Hotel Indigo opens in Durham’s Old Shire Hall

Hotel Indigo has opened its latest hotel in a Grade II listed building in Durham city centre.

The new 83 bedroom hotel has been created at the Old Shire Hall building following a £15 million redevelopment.

The striking red brick building was originally the headquarters of Durham County Council has more recently has been used as office space by Durham University.

Built in the late 19th century and designed by architects H. Barnes and F.E. Coates, the building is just a stone’s throw from Durham Cathedral and Castle which make up the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The cathedral, castle and university are all alluded to in the new hotel’s 83 boutique bedrooms which feature ornate details throughout the three distinct room types, from academia-inspired featuring the University’s official colour, purple, through to grand bedrooms with a sumptuous feel.

Paul Borg, General Manager of Hotel Indigo – Durham commented: “Durham is one of the UK’s most beautiful cities with a rich history and diverse culture. Hotel Indigo Durham embraces the city’s character through the hotel’s creative design and we look forward to welcoming local and international guests alike to explore the neighbourhoods of Durham.”

Tom Rowntree, Vice President of Brand Management – Luxury and Boutique brands, IHG, Europe added: “We want to ensure each city is reflected through the design of every Hotel Indigo property, making each one completely unique. We are pleased that new and existing fans of Hotel Indigo are now able to explore one of the UK’s most historic and iconic cities with the arrival of Hotel Indigo Durham.”

Image: Old Shire Hall pictured prior to redevelopment in 2016. Source: Google

Germany boutique hotel operator Ruby Group announces new London site

A GERMAN boutique hotel operator has announced it will be opening its first London hotel.

Munich-based Ruby Group says it will open a 76 room hotel at Lower Marsh close to Waterloo by the end of 2019.

The new ‘Ruby Lucy’ hotel is one of three international hotels just announced by the company which has an existing portfolio of sites across Germany and Austria.

Planning permission for the new hotel designed by architects Studio Kitson was given by Lambeth Council earlier this year. The new scheme, with integrated shops and restaurant, will replace a post-war development that spanned eight historic plots.

Michael Struck, who founded Ruby in 2013, commented: “We accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services. Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organise ourselves differently from conventional hotels.”

Image: Supplied by Ruby Group

Luxury aparthotel to open in London next month

A BRAND new premium aparthotel will open in London next month.

Popular Dublin-based aparthotel operator has announced the opening of Wilde Aparthotels London The Strand for March 12th 2018.

Features at the 106-room design-led venue include solid oak flooring, rainfall showers, intelligent in-room technology, and “a finely detailed piece of handcrafted joinery curated with local curiosities.”

Guests can look forward to an XL-sized bed with high quality bed linen complemented by a collection of Irish-inspired crafted accessories and soft furnishings

Situated at the corner of Adam Street and The Strand, close to Covent Garden, the new aparthotel is Staycity’s first under the new Wilde brand, with Edinburgh lined up as the second location.

“Wilde has a strong personality making reference to its Irish heritage and the local surroundings. With its fantastic central location – close to London’s theatreland and West End – as well the City and conference venues, Wilde will be popular with both business guests and tourists,” commented Jason Delany, Staycity’s director of brand, product & marketing.

Image: Google Maps

Birkwood Castle hotel developer goes in to administration

DEVELOPERS behind a scheme to turn a Scottish gothic castle-turned hospital into a hotel have gone in to administration.

Johnston Carmichael have been appointed as administrators of Birkwood Estates, owners of gothic 18th century castle Birkwood House in South Lanarkshire.

The historic property, described as the most haunted in Scotland, was due to be converted into a hotel with the £80 million redevelopment scheme also including new holiday lodges, residential homes and a park area.

Birkwood House formerly belonged to the MacKirdy family who also owned the Isle of Bute. In the 1920s it became a psychiatric hospital which it continued as until 2002.

Planning permission to redevelop the site as granted by South Lanarkshire council in early 2015 and it was anticipated that the new hotel could open in 2019.

Donald McNaught, partner at Johnston Carmichael, commented: “We’re hopeful of being able to find a buyer who recognises the opportunity presented by the site, so the future of this local landmark can be secured.”


Birkwood Hospital. Image by Paradasos – Used under Creative Commons.

Former Leeds lap-dancing club could become boutique hotel

A PLANNING application has been submitted to Leeds City Council to turn a former lap-dancing club in to a new boutique hotel.

APM Ltd want to turn the former Deep Blue club in Wellington Street into a 21 bedroom hotel with rooftop terrace and bar.

36 Wellington Street, which is sandwiched between the West Riding pub and Queens House – both Grade II listed properties – and just over the road from Leeds railway station, is currently vacant.

The building itself dates back to the 19th century and it the developer plans to retain the Victorian front façade whilst rebuilding the internal structure to support new floors.

The proposals would save “the building from dilapidation by putting a sustainable use which is committed to high standards of appearance and ethical responsibility,” says the developer.

Related: Find boutique hotels in Leeds.

Image: Google Maps