Hotel chain expands

AN East Anglian hotel chain has launched an expansion drive with the purchase of two properties.Butterfly Hotels, which already has four hotels under the Ramada brand in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, King's Lynn and Peterborough, has now bought two new sites at Stevenage and Bromwich.

AN East Anglian hotel chain has launched an expansion drive with the purchase of two properties.

Butterfly Hotels, which already has four hotels under the Ramada brand in Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, King's Lynn and Peterborough, has now bought two new sites at Stevenage and Bromwich.

It has bought the 110-bedroomed Express by Holiday Inn in Castle Bromwich from Hotel Vienna Plc, and the 74-bedroomed Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage from Corus Hotels.

Both hotels will continue to operate under their existing brand or name, but the company is considering bringing the Cromwell Hotel under a major brand.

“Building on the strength of our existing portfolio, we aim to expand to a total of 10 properties in East Anglia, the Midlands and south east England within the next two to three years,” said Clive Nicholls, operations director at Butterfly Hotels.

“Properties are likely to be new-build and to operate under a recognisable, high-profile brand such as Ramada, Express by Holiday Inn, or Days Hotel.

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Butterfly Hotels was originally formed in 1987. Bury St Edmunds businessman John Ward sold the chain in July 2004, and they were rebranded as Ramada so that they could be promoted globally.

The company made a significant investment in each of the hotels, which were all built in the late 1980s and early 1990s by increasing security measures, refurbishing conference suites and improving guest facilities.