Stakis Hotel Chain Seeks Share of North American Market

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Reed Travel Features

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Stakis hotel brand might not ring a bell now, but if all goes as planned that will change soon.

The Glasgow, Scotland-based hotel chain opened a North American sales office here and is busy promoting its properties to tour operators and retailers throughout the U.S.

Gillian McKnight, who is director of sales for the new office, plans to increase the percentage of North American guests from 10% to 30% by year's end.

Although the 50-year-old hotel company is well known in the U.K., the majority of its market is domestic.

McKnight is meeting with retailers and tour operators around the country and familiarizing them with the chain.

She wants to have Stakis included in a number of wholesalers' 1998 tour products.

In addition, the company is participating in British Midland's Discover Europe promotional campaign, which offers nightly rates starting at about $118 per room when booked in conjunction with a British Midland program, she said.

Stakis Hotels, which recently acquired the Metropole chain, has 51 three- and four-star properties throughout the U.K.

Because of the variety in types of properties, ranging from larger city-center hotels to country manor houses, the company's clientele is a mix of corporate and leisure travelers, she said.

McKnight said that a number of properties offer programs and rates for families.

The company also is targeting the small meetings market with its Assured Meetings policy, which offers the same standards and inclusive rates for facilities at all of its hotels, she added.

Stakis offers a 10% commission on corporate bookings and 8% on leisure-travel reservations.

Rack rates, per person, double, at the hotels range from about $95 at the Isle of Man property to about $260 at London St. Ermin's.

A variety of packages and children's rates are available.

For example, a few hotels feature a Stakis Easter Break plan that includes activities for children.

Unmarried travelers can take advantage of Stakis' Singles Weekends, held at 18 properties.

Under the program, double rooms are available to single travelers at no extra charge for weekend stays.

Other programs include deals for seniors, Celebration Breaks and Sunday Night Specials. Rates and packages vary with the hotel.

There are four Stakis London central hotels: the St. Ermin's, the Metropole, the Coburg and the Harewood.

In Scotland, the chain's properties include those in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The company also has one hotel in Newport, Wales, and two properties are slated to open in Ireland.

The Stakis Dublin property is scheduled to open in August and the Stakis Ulster hotel and golf resort will open in County Antrim, just outside Belfast, in the spring of 1998.

To tempt retailers to experience its hotels first-hand, the chain is offering a travel industry rate of about $42 per night, including breakfast. There is a supplement for properties in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance, and the rate is available year-round.

For further details, call (800) 233-4459 or (203) 454-1957; fax (203) 454-3189.

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