Starwood eyes ManchesterBy Storm Rannard, Digital Staff Writer
A senior executive at a hotel group behind some of the world's best-known brands has told Insider that the leisure business is eyeing Manchester as a potential option for expansion.
Michael Wale, the president of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, was speaking at the official launch of Aloft Liverpool last week (27 November 2014), the first venue in the brand to open outside of London.
"We're continuing to talk about Manchester but don't have anything there yet," he said. "I've been trying to get something in Manchester for a long time."
Starwood, which also owns the Sheraton, Four Points, W Hotels, Westin, Element, Le Meridien, The Luxury Collection and St Regis brands, is set to open another Aloft in London, as well as venues in Munich and Stuttgart.
Wale added that the brand would also work well in other cities across the UK, including Manchester.
"Aloft is a brand that would be fantastic for other cities in the UK outside of London. Our challenge is that we've always been successful in the capital and so one of the things that we're proving in Liverpool that we can succeed.
"We would love to be in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. We're working with partners, including BDL Refine, which operates Aloft Liverpool. They do a lot of work around the UK so we're hoping this will bring us some more product along the way."
He added that Manchester could "probably take an Aloft plus something else".
"Manchester is a vibrant city – the whole North West region is a very affluent region. It has football, entertainment and lots of stuff that goes on that create demand generation for hotels. It would be a great city for us to be in," he told Insider.