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May 14, 2018

Asian-owned Dorsett Hotels plans £700m UK expansion May 14, 2018 | The Telegraph | Business.

telegraph.co.uk

Asian-owned Dorsett Hotels plans £700m UK expansion


The City of London skyline
Dorsett Hotels is planning to ramp up its UK presence from just two hotels now with plans to spend around £700m on new sites
Asian hotelier Dorsett Hotels is set to ramp up its UK presence by ploughing £700m into opening new sites in London and Manchester.
Chief executive Winnie Chiu said her company had only recently opened two hotels in London’s Aldgate and Shepherd’s Bush but had plans build five or six more across the two cities in the next few years.
Dorsett Hotels is owned by Far East Consortium, one of Asia’s largest developers and hotel operators which was founded in 1972 by renowned Hong Kong entrepreneur Deacon Chiu, the late grandfather of Ms Chiu.
Alongside conventional hotels, Ms Chiu said she was planning to open one site under an apartment-style concept known as Dorsett Residences. This is aimed at travellers staying for longer periods of time, with each room offering kitchen facilities.
At its planned site in Hornsey where it is redeveloping the town hall, Ms Chiu said that location would also offer a co-working space in a bid to take advantage of the growing demand for such offerings, fuelled by the likes of WeWork and Rocket Space.
“We want to develop these things in the UK first and will look to roll similar sites out in Europe and Asia in the future,” Ms Chiu said.
“Brexit makes it an interesting time to invest but we remain confident in London and other parts of the UK.”
Ms Chiu said the company had just last month established a presence in mainland Europe after buying a firm with hotel assets in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.
She added that unlike many hotel companies, Dorsett owns its sites rather than leasing them or operating through franchisees. With its site in Aldgate, it purchased what was an office building, knocked it down and rebuilt its hotel there.
Far East Consortium, which is now listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, has 14 hotels in Asia with another under construction in Malaysia and four planned for Australia, where it also owns a large car park business.
In the UK, Far East consortium recently snapped up the huge Angelgate development site in Manchester at auction for £5.2m. The 1.96 acre plot has planning permission for nearly 350 homes.