60 seconds with... Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant's Christine Lawson

C&IT caught up with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants senior vice president of sales & catering Christine Lawson at the company's annual London BBQ to get the scoop on new developments.

60 seconds with... Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant's Christine Lawson
60 seconds with... Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant's Christine Lawson

How popular is the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand in the UK corporate market?

The UK market is incredibly important to Kimpton. Since we started the brand more than 35 years ago, London has consistently been our second largest feeder market internationally, so it’s a market that we’ve continued to see growth from and our clients really understand our brand.


First European Kimpton hotel to open in Amsterdam

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InterContinental Hotels buys Kimpton for $430m


 

 

 

How has the UK corporate market developed in recent years?

We’ve always seen more corporate business from the UK, which has been extremely important for us as we expand our hotels and meeting space product. As a brand, we’ve always offered a unique experience on a less traditional path compared to other hotels. The UK has always taken to that. What we do has been greatly received by the UK clients and they continue to grow with us as we open new hotels and products.

Are there any developments in the pipeline that our readers should be excited about?

There’s a lot to be excited about! We have 18 new hotels in the pipeline, so we’re on a huge growth trajectory. We’ve always had hotels in primary markets like New York, Boston and San Francisco, but what’s really exciting is the growth we have in the cool and up and coming secondary markets like North Carolina, Nashville and Austin.

The UK corporate market is really starting to look good for these non-traditional experiences. They want something different, which is why we are continuing to grow in these other markets. We’re looking to kick the door open in the resort market and at the end of the year we'll be opening in the Grand Cayman. 

The more we expand in areas like Florida or resort-orientated destinations like Grand Cayman, it helps us to build that area of our business and opens the door to groups that are looking for resort locations.

Also, in Q2 we’re going to open the first Kimpton property outside the US, which will be based in Amsterdam. Since InterContinental Hotel Group’s acquisition of Kimpton, the focus has been on growing us globally as a brand so we’ll start with Amsterdam and continue to see a lot more development. Europe is a definite hot market for us.

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