HBAA, The Hotel Booking Agents Association, is promoting its ‘Safe, Clean and Legal’ Accreditation as a recognised industry standard of hygiene and cleanliness for venues and hotels, including Covid-19 protocols. The accreditation is awarded to hotels and venues that meet or exceed minimum set standards across a wide range of factors, including compliance with hygiene and food safety regulations which has become paramount following the Covid-19 outbreak.

All properties submit their standards and are then audited to ensure that they maintain the rigorous levels of cleanliness and safety, providing greater reassurance to customers.

The aim is to drive customer confidence among delegates, guests, agencies, staff and employers.

Park Regis Hotel, here in Birmingham, is one of the city’s biggest hotels and it is aiming to become ‘Covid ready’. It has already signing up to a new accreditation standard. Park Regis Hotel is aiming to kickstart the events, meetings and accommodation industries following the coronavirus pandemic.

Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director of HBAA commented; “HBAA identified the urgent need to have such a uniformed and united standard across our sector. We are spearheading this standard enabling customers to feel assured that the accommodation and venues they’re using are compliant with the latest government guidance and agreed protocols. Working with such an accreditation from a recognised authority like QT drives confidence from its rigorous application and inspection process. It is an important initiative which we can all get behind.”

“Whilst we continue to see more hotel chains and venues present their own cleaning standards, which we welcome, we do need to drive consistency on a level playing field.”

“HBAA continues to collaborate with industry associations, shoulder to shoulder and is requesting that this accreditation is communicated amongst their membership and features prominently in RFPs and part of hotel and venue selection criteria.”

Plans have just been released which would see an office building in Watford demolished and replaced with new offices plus a 168-bedroom hotel.

The building in question is Cassiobury House, an office block dating from the 1970s and located in Station Road opposite Watford Junction station.

The proposals are for the site include a new 168-bedroom hotel and restaurant, peaking at 13 storeys, but dropping down to seven storeys.

The new hotel will have limited parking space. Developers believe that the scheme's proximity to Watford Junction means that future business guests will travel to the new hotel via the station.

If all goes to plan construction could begin in late 2021 or early 2022.

Serviced apartment operators, Cheval Collection, currently with apartments across London has announced expansion in Scotland. From July 2020 Cheval Collection will brand and operate two properties in the centre of Edinburgh.

The two properties will become Cheval Residences from 1 July 2020. They are The Edinburgh Grand and Old Town Chambers.

Cheval The Edinburgh Grand includes 50 mainly one- and two-bedroom apartments and is located in St Andrew Square - three minutes from Edinburgh Waverley Station. It also features a three-bedroom penthouse apartment on the seventh floor with a wraparound roof terrace and includes The Directors’ Suite which will seat up to 12 guests. The property features a cocktail lounge and bar and a gym.

Cheval Old Town Chambers is located in Edinburgh’s Old Town a few yards from the Royal Mile. Cheval Old Town Chambers includes 50 apartments, again mainly one and two-bedroom apartments. Cheval Old Town Chambers will also include a three-level two bedroom medieval townhouse which dates back to the 14th century. Cheval Old Town Chambers features an onsite gym.

The Edinburgh Grand and Old Town Chambers add a further 100 new apartments to the group’s portfolio. Cheval’s existing portfolio includes 512 apartments across eight London Residences.

Construction starts this week on phase two of Blackpool’s £100million Talbot Gateway city centre regeneration programme.

The development will see the town’s existing Wilko store demolished, the completion of the new tramway interchange at Blackpool North Station, construction of a new underpass and a new Holiday Inn hotel.

The five-storey Holiday Inn will feature a restaurant, a bar, conferencing facilities and ground floor retail outlets.

Construction on the Holiday Inn is scheduled to start in October 2020 and complete in April 2022.

Blue Orchid Hotel group has been given the go-ahead to convert the Grade-I listed 55 Broadway Complex, above London's St James' Park station, into a luxury hotel.

The complex includes 55 Broadway, 100 Petty France and Wing Over Station. The building, described as London’s first skyscraper, was constructed in St James’s Park in 1929 in an art-deco style. It was built as the headquarters for Underground Electric Railways of London – now better known as the London Underground.

A 526-bedroom luxury hotel is planned for the building – more details to follow.

Blue Orchid Hotels is a private collection of luxury independent hotels all located in the heart of London. They include The Wellington, an 84-bedroom hotel in Vincent Square and The Rochester Hotel also in Vincent Square with 76 bedrooms. Both hotels have a range of meeting and events suites. The group’s third existing property - Tower Suites - overlooks the River Thames and the Tower of London. Tower Suites has 273 individual suites.

New owners of Great John Street Hotel in Manchester have published plans for a major revamping of the hotel.

Great John Street Hotel was Manchester's "first boutique hotel" when it opened in 2005 but now a refurbishment is required to keep it up to standard.

Plans would include a refurbishment of all the bedrooms and see the existing rooftop bar reconfigured. A new external glass lift shaft is part of the plan together with a single storey, glass extension on the Little John Street side of the hotel.

The refurbishment will result in a reduction in the total number of hotel rooms from 30 to 24.

Great John Street Hotel building had previously been The Atherton Street County School and was later part of Manchester’s Granada TV complex.

Great John Street Hotel is located in the heart of Manchester a short walk for all three central Manchester stations: Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria and Manchester Oxford Road.

Plans have been submitted to Manchester City Council.

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