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31 Oct 2018

BY James Chapple

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Thomas Cook firms up plans for own-brand hotel expansion

Thomas Cook has firmed up plans to ramp up expansion of its own-brand hotel portfolio over the coming year.

Thomas Cook Casa Cook Rhodes.jpg
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Thomas Cook firms up plans for own-brand hotel expansion

Cook will open 20 own-brand hotels by the end of 2019 including six in Spain, four in Greece and three in Turkey.


New openings include Spain’s first Casa Cook hotel and the first family Casa Cook, as well as seven youth-focused Cook’s Club hotels.


Cook says further openings would be confirmed in the coming months, growing its overall hotel portfolio to 200 with around 40,000 rooms.


“Expanding our own-brand hotel portfolio is central to the success of the whole business,” said Enric Noguer, Cook chief of hotels and resorts.


“Operating and overseeing a group of well-managed high-quality hotels our customers recognise and turn to for better service and reliability is an important part of our strategy as a group.


“These latest announcements demonstrate further progress in developing our hotels and resorts division into a hotel company within Thomas Cook, working with strong partners and focused around hotel management, franchising, and sales and distribution.”


Cook debuted its Casa Cook brand in Rhodes in 2016 and was followed by Casa Cook Kos in summer 2017. Casa Cook Chania, which had been due to launch this September, and a fourth Casa Cook hotel in Ibiza will open during summer 2019.


The operator earlier this month secured €40 million funding to develop its own-brand hotel portfolio through its Thomas Cook Hotel Investments joint venture with Swiss investment firm LMEY.


One of its “key assets” is Casa Cook Ibiza. The 189-room hotel will open next summer, the first of two new Casa Cook properties.


The second, the 106-room Casa Cook Chania in Crete, which had been due to open in September, will be the first Casa Cook hotel specifically designed for families. Cook says it will take an “alternative approach” to traditional children’s offerings with more of a focus on “learning through play, art and local culture”.


Cook debuted its Casa Cook brand in Rhodes in 2016 and followed this up with Casa Cook Kos in summer 2017.


Casa Cook aims to blend style and comfort with cultural experiences, relaxation and healthy living pursuits, while remaining affordable.

Cook's Club, SENTIDO, SunConnect and Aldiana

Cook's Club, SENTIDO, SunConnect and Aldiana

Cook’s Club, meanwhile, launched this summer in Hersonissos, Crete. The youth or millennial-focused brand is designed, says Cook, to appeal to a “new generation” of package holidaymakers and bring “a sense of urban cool to the beach”.


Hotels will feature escape rooms, VR gaming, rage rooms and private discos, as well as street food dining, a poolside cocktail bar and live DJs providing a complementary soundtrack day and night.


Cook has outlined seven locations for new Cook’s Club hotels, with a further three to be announced in the coming months.


New Cook’s Club hotels included a managed hotel in Palma Beach, Majorca, as well as two franchised hotels in Turkey, a further two in Greece, and another in Italy. Cook will also take the concept to The Gambia, opening winter 2019, while three further Cook’s Club properties in Bulgaria, Egypt and Greece are awaiting sign off.


Other additions to Cook’s hotel portfolio next year include another six SENTIDO hotels, taking its total to 70, and four more SunConnect family-focused hotels, expanding the brand to 20 locations.


And following its investment in Aldiana, Cook will open an Aldiana club in Ampflwang, Austria, and a new-build resort in Calabria.


The operator confirmed it had removed nine hotels from its portfolio that did not meet brand quality standards.

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