This small hotel (now named Arlan House) is the first of what I hope is a portfolio of hotels that we're looking to grow. Unlike other projects, this particular venture was pretty much ready to go from the start. In essence it was a hotel that wasn't being run properly that we turned around and is now thriving.
Arlan House (formally Springfield House) has been acquired by us and is a part of Arlan Group who run both the hotel as well as a small group of serviced accommodation units.
The hotel took about 2 years to acquire as the owner had extremely unrealistic expectations on the value so it took that long (including losing the deal 4 times) to get the deal done. It took a lot longer than I had ever envisaged, but not overpaying for a property is rule number 1.
Once it was finally acquired we began work straight away and began to fill the hotel up and haven’t looked back since.
Because the property is only small, we don’t have facilities such as a kitchen or reception areas, it’s literally just bedrooms, which works extremely well given the location is right in the centre of Basingstoke. Arlan House is unmanned and everything is managed remotely with an admin team to look after bookings and initial guest communications, and all rooms have electronic locks with PIN entry, allowing us to change the codes all the time and really control the access to the hotel, all from a mobile phone.
This model is what we’re looking to recreate in other towns.