Hotel La Tour: Securing Investment for a New Hotel Brand

Launching a new hotel brand in the current economic climate is brave, but that hasn’t dented the spirits of those behind Hotel La Tour – due to open in Birmingham next year.

We speak to Jane Schofield, managing director of Hotel La Tour about developing a new hotel brand and securing investment in the current climate. Why does Birmingham need Hotel La Tour?

Schofield: We’ll be a new destination for eating, drinking and sleeping for Birmingham’s vibrant business and leisure market, offering something unique and individual. Our focus is on employee engagement and customer service. Our venue will create 100 jobs in the city centre. What’s your overarching strategy for success with this new project and future developments?

Schofield: The basis of the company is around quality and value for money for guests plus caring about our employees. Because we invest in our employees, they’ll be best placed to provide great customer service for our guests. Has it been difficult to secure investment for this project in the current climate? Did you have to prove anybody wrong?

Schofield: We secured investment four years ago for a different project and this all changed with the economic climate. We had to sit back and take a deep breath while everything settled down. Our investors were previous investors in Hayley Conference Centres and the new management team so were happy to back us. So far, we have not had to prove anyone wrong but, once the doors open, no doubt there will be a few sceptics out there who we will enjoy convincing we are doing the right thing! Was it important to secure the right type of investment from the right sources?

Schofield: Yes, you want to work with a partner who sees your vision and wants to support and encourage you. Without this, the project would not work. We have so far performed inside the parameters we set out at the beginning and we will continue to do this so that our investors can really rely on us.

Aalto Restaurant at Hotel La Tour

Aalto Restaurant at Hotel La Tour What have been the key challenges in devising a new hotel brand?

Schofield: Without doubt, it’s trying to ensure that everything we do is sustainable. We want to great longevity in the business and we have done this by the design of the interiors and also our very high management standards. What will define the Hotel La Tour experience in 2012?

Schofield: It has got to be the people. Once the initial buzz of a new hotel has died down we’re the same as any other property – bedrooms, restaurant and bar although perhaps a little more sparkly and well-kept than the others! So then it comes down to the people working with our guests – it’s up to them to make the difference and create a unique experience. For me, the business is mainly about the employees as it’s by making sure they are at their best which will ensure we’re a success and people will want to return.


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