A double-decker hotel in the heart of Slough opened its doors on Monday (1 February) a UK first for the parent hotel chain and the council.
Developed and owned by Slough Borough Council and delivered via Slough Urban Renewal, SUR, a property partnership with between the council and Morgan Sindall, the dual brand hotels have been built and fitted-out three months ahead of schedule.
Each has opened within the parameters of coronavirus guidelines and is taking bookings for guests exempted by the government during lockdown. Those exempted include people who need it for work purposes or provide charitable or voluntary services, to attend a medical appointment, to undertake education or training, or moving home, among others.
With its 152 rooms, The Moxy incorporates Thunderbirds graphics in its décor in honour of the popular vintage puppet series filmed in the town by its creator Gerry Anderson. The Residence Inn’s 92 suites meanwhile are designed with longer-staying guests in mind and boast fantastic views of the London skyline.
A team of 25 people have been hired to operate the hotel after an X-Factor style audition process at the end of last year with the emphasis of creating local employment.
Cycas Hospitality is a specialist hotel management company with experience of running other dual-branded hotels across Europe and will be operating both Marriott International-branded properties.
Each hotel offers its own restaurant and bar, catering for everything from early-morning coffee meetings to evening meals. Slough residents can also take advantage of their modern, extensive meeting and event rooms. Guests, meanwhile have a 24/7 on-site gym to enjoy.
Next door is Novus Apartments a new collection of 64 studio, one and two bedroom apartments which have recently launched for sale.
Cllr James Swindlehurst, council leader and cabinet member for regeneration and strategy, said:
“Despite the lockdowns and restrictions during 2020, construction work continued on the Old Library site to build out this major town centre project.
“Since the scaffolding and hoardings were removed from the buildings before Christmas, it has been easy to see only finishing works remained and these have been racing towards completion. The Moxy sign on top of the building is now visible from around the borough and already beginning to feel like an established town centre landmark.
“It’s great to see this unique hotel and residential development in the heart of the town and its opening couldn’t be more timely in terms of the new local jobs it has delivered.
“The council chose to involve itself with this development knowing it would be a long term asset to the town in terms of creating employment for our residents, adding much needed hotel capacity, and delivering a secure revenue stream back to the council from its lease that will help sustain local services in the future. The development also includes much needed new housing.”
Martin Dennis, the council’s project manager for regeneration, said: “The opening of the new Moxy and Residence Inn hotels in the heart of Slough will provide 244 hotel rooms offering short and long stay opportunities.
“Once over the worst of the pandemic, this will be a huge opportunity for more guests to return to Slough for business and pleasure. Regeneration projects such as the hotel development, investment in leisure facilities and further housing development show Slough continues to grow, and that Slough will continue to be a vibrant town which we can all be rightly proud of.”
Andy Howell, general manager for Slough Urban Renewal, SUR, said: “It is testament to the whole team that we were able to adapt quickly, implementing new measures to enable construction works on the site to continue safely, throughout the pandemic. As a result we are delighted both hotels and the new homes are ready ahead of schedule.
“The hotels are a fantastic asset and our projects continue to be a catalyst for change in the town. As well as the essential accommodation they will provide for both business and leisure users, the additional bar and lounge facilities will give a new sense of life to this area of the high street.
“Sat alongside Novus Apartments, our new collection of homes, we have created an exciting and enticing new hub for the benefit of the wider town.”
Wayne Androliakos, Cycas Hospitality’s chief operating officer, added: “This is a landmark development for the town as well as all the partners involved, and we’re delighted to have been instrumental in bringing two well-known accommodation brands to the area.
“With our experience of developing double-decker hotels, we understand the benefits a ‘two-in-one’ approach can deliver to travellers and travel bookers. With the former library site now transformed into a vibrant destination, we are confident that the addition of two high-profile hotel brands will help boost Slough’s profile and add renewed life to the town centre.”