Global hotel consultancy HVS London is predicting a major change in store for hotels and their future operations resulting from the Coronavirus lockdown.

They predict that basic hygiene and cleanliness will be foremost in guests’ minds in future, at least in the short term. Global hotel operators Marriott, Hilton and Accor are already launching programmes designed to communicate and promote high standards of hygiene and cleanliness – not just in the bedrooms.

Hilton Hotels, for example, has teamed up with the makers of ‘Dettol’ to launch a new standard of hotel cleanliness and disinfection. The programme - Hilton CleanStay – is being launched worldwide from June 2020. Hilton CleanStay Room Seal will indicate that guest rooms haven’t been accessed since they were last cleaned. Extra disinfection will be applied to the top 10 high touch areas in guest rooms including light switches and door handles plus there will be an increased cleaning frequency of public areas.

Hotels will introduce new hygiene practices extending to screens at check-in, social distancing in public areas such as restaurants, controlling the numbers of people using lifts at any one time, as well as making safe the use of leisure facilities, pools, gyms and spas.

The buffet breakfast is likely to become a thing of the past. IHG has already dispensed with it offering an entirely a la carte breakfast option.

As far as the type of hotel is concerned one view is that budget hotels and aparthotels will more successfully adapt to the future because guests can self-isolate more easily, order take-away food rather than eating in hotel restaurants and not mix in the communal areas found in traditional hotels.

The major question concerns the future existence of hotels themselves with some commentators predicting that banks that have financed hotels will be stepping in and handing over the properties to new investors from different industries. Hence a possible big reduction in the number of hotels is one view of the future

Only time will tell what the future holds for the hotel and particularly the conference and meetings market.

New owners of the Mitre Hotel at Hampton Court - Signet Hotel Group - have published plans to upgrade the hotel from a three-star to a five-star property.

The Grade II-listed Mitre Hotel has 36 bedrooms and is set on the banks of the River Thames by Hampton Court Palace. The hotel also includes a 60-cover riverside restaurant, a 70-cover brasserie and bar, an 80-cover Orangery, a large riverside terrace, two conference rooms and private dining space.

The new-look Mitre Hotel is due to reopen in September 2020, government guidelines permitting.

The original Mitre Hotel building dates back to the mid 17th century when it was built as additional accommodation for guests of King Charles II. It was subsequently rebuilt in the mid-18th century.

With the UK hospitality industry now in lockdown with hotels up and down the land closed for all but essential travel, it is sobering to read the important contribution the industry makes to the UK economy. Figures published by Conference News Magazine show:

In 2018, there were an estimated 1.48million conferences and meetings in the UK. These events were attended by 95.3million delegates accounting for approximately 152.8million delegate days. There was an average of 428 conferences and meetings per venue in 2018 - up from 373 events the year before.

In 2018 exhibitions in the UK generated £11bn in spending and contributed £5.4bn in value-added to the UK economy. UK exhibitions attracted over 9.1million visitors in 2018 to almost 1,100 major events across a range of sectors - and this activity supported 114,000 jobs in the UK.

In 2018, there were 141.5million visits to outdoor events in the UK, with a total on-site and off-site spend of £39.5bn.

Full breakdown:

A new Radisson Blu Hotel will be at the centre of the Heart of the City II scheme in Sheffield. Thed development seeks to convert an existing Victorian building overlooking the city’s Peace Gardens. The new hotel will form a gateway to the district from the east and is one component in the city’s regeneration plan.

The Radisson Blu Hotel will have 156 bedrooms, flexible banqueting and meeting spaces and a rooftop bar and restaurant. It will sit alongside an old Odeon building which will be redeveloped into a mixed-leisure complex.

Building contracts will be awarded at the end of the year to be followed by a two year construction period.

Meanwhile, ten miles down the road in Rotherham, a new hotel is also being planned.

The new hotel will feature as part of a mixed-use scheme at the Forge Island site in the centre of Rotherham.

The scheme includes a new cinema, food and drink outlets, new leisure facilities as well as the new hotel - all connected by a new pedestrian bridge to the wider town centre.

If consent is granted it is anticipated that construction will begin in Rotherham in autumn 2021.

Leconfield House Mayfair in central London, better known as MI5 Headquarters, is set to be converted into a luxury, five-star hotel and private members club.

Plans have been lodged with Westminster Council to convert the building. If all goes to plan the new hotel will have up to 78 bedrooms and will also include a health club and spa, restaurant and bar, meeting and events facilities, retail units and a screening room. The façade of the building could also feature a new living green wall as well as a glass dome on the roof above the restaurant.

Leconfield House is located in Curzon Street. It was built in 1939. In 1945 MI5 moved in to occupy the building before moving out in 1976. The building featured machine-gun turrets mounted on the roof during the war in case of a foreign invasion - they pointed up Curzon Street toward Hyde Park.

Aparthotel operator, Room2, is planning to open a new 175-unit ‘hometel’ aparthotel in Belfast city centre.

The nine-storey aparthotel will include food and beverage facilities on the ground-floor level with meeting and conference facilities on the first floor. The apartments will range in size from 21sq-mt up to 37sq-mt and all will include a fully fitted kitchen.

Construction is due to commence shortly with completion anticipated in late 2021.

Room 2 Belfast will be located in Queen Street in the heart of central Belfast within easy walking distance of all the major sites and landmarks in the city.

If you have scrolled this far down the page you will have a good idea of the services we offer. We simply believe in finding the right venue for the right meeting at the right price - because the venue and the services provided are the most important component of a successful meeting. Ring us today 0121 749 7575