Canadian-owned Sandman Signature Hotels unveiled its latest multi-million pound investment in the UK hospitality industry at London Gatwick last night (14th September 2017).
Attended by more than 100 guests, the event marked the culmination of a three-year top-down transformation of an iconic seven-storey site into a luxury hotel brand – and coincided with the rapidly expanding hospitality group’s 50th anniversary.
A total refit saw the hotel re-imagined primarily for the corporate guest and executive travel buyer. All 151 of the four-star bedrooms are now equipped for longer term stays with a microwave, fridge and laptop safe.
Featuring private gym, gastro bar and grill, with a fully catered conference floor and free high speed Wi-Fi throughout, the Sandman Signature London Gatwick reflects a growing trend among operators to focus on business traffic close to airports.
“Gatwick is not only a major gateway into the UK for business visitors, but also a busy hub for domestic flights, supported by good transport infrastructure, including fast access to central London,” said Sandman Signature Hotels’ UK-based MD Mitch Gaglardi.
“There is also a vibrant international business community that has grown up around the airport. To our mind, that makes it a natural choice for a hotel operator such as ourselves, focused on providing a four-star experience for the corporate client.
“When we took over, the proportion of corporate to holiday guests was roughly 40/60. Thanks to the hard work of our business development team here, we’ve already completely turned that around. 70 per cent are now executive visitors looking for a venue in which they feel comfortable working, staying and meeting colleagues – the sort of venue that I, as an international business traveler based in the north of England, would like to use. It’s my kind of hotel.”
The Group’s policy of using local suppliers for each of its hotels will see millions of pounds pumped into the local economy over the next few years.
General Manager Inga Gadisauskaite was previously involved in the launch of the group’s flagship north of England site, created out of the Scottish & Newcastle brewery building. She added: “We owe a huge thank you to our many local contractors for working with us on this amazing project and allowing the hotel to remain open with minimum disruption to staff and guests”.
“We would also like to thank those corporate clients who were flexible and understanding during the entire three-year process. Many local businesses have shown tremendous support and have given myself and my team a fantastic welcome to the Gatwick business community. They’ve taken a keen interest in the progress of the transformation. Many of them were at the unveiling and we hope to welcome them as regular guests of the Sandman Signature London Gatwick now that we are fully operational.”
The Shark Gastro Bar, Shark Business Club and Shark Grill will be run independently by the hotel group’s catering arm, headed up locally by Shark General Manager Bradley Carr.
The Sandman Signature and Shark Club London Gatwick, which directly employs around 70 staff, is the second of three hotels opened by the group in the UK. The Sandman Signature Aberdeen is due to open early in 2018.
Photos from Amanda Duncan Photography
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