Superdry founder launches urban hotel concept by going back to his roots

Cult Hotels – The George

Cheltenham is set to welcome a new hotel concept focusing on the culture and experience of the town. Cult Hotels is the brainchild of Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of fashion giant Superdry and the highly successful Cotswold’s hotel and restaurant portfolio The Lucky Onion.

Inspired by the originality and diversity of each local area, Cult Hotels will be an easy, accessible bolthole for travellers who are big on exploring and big on design. The name derives from Dunkerton’s first retail store, Cult Clothing, which he launched in Cheltenham in 1985, before launching the Superdry brand in 2003. After a few years of strong growth, Cult Clothing became Superdry.

The George will be the first and flagship hotel by Cult Hotels. The building is made up of five refurbished Grade II listed Regency townhouses with 46 bedrooms. The original features are weaved with modern touches.

With automatic check ins, post-box key return and a 24-hour access pantry for guests, Cult Hotels will be tapping into the metropolitan urban crowd. The company wants to roll its new brand into popular cities across the UK and beyond over the next few years.

Cult Hotels says its plan is to buy up and refurbish characterful, older buildings.

Julian Dunkerton said: “The name Cult Hotels is a nod to my history and where it all began for me, naturally Cheltenham is home to the flagship hotel – The George. As an entrepreneur I identified a gap in the market to create a new hotel concept that is accessible, approachable and cool. Cult Hotels exists for the savvy traveller who values aesthetic and culture at a fair price. My ambition with this venture is to continue to breathe new life into old buildings and bring a game changing hotel concept to the marketplace.

Cult Hotels is the latest in a global wave of funky urban “lifestyle” hotel brands. Many of them launched by well-known brands such as Hilton and Marriott, take the rooms down in size but offer more affordable prices.

Cult is differentiating itself by adapting older properties with more character.

Prices at The George start at £115 for a night in an “Edgy” room, rising to £165 for a night in a “Culture” room.