Edinburgh-founded hotel brand House of Gods growing reach after checking in funding boost

Luxury hospitality brand House of Gods Hotels is expanding its footprint, including a new site in Glasgow, after securing a major funding boost.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 4:55 am

House of Gods was founded by brothers Mike and Ross Baxter in September 2019, opening its Edinburgh House of Gods property that year. The hoteliers have now secured a £4.8 million loan from entrepreneur-focused OakNorth Bank to expand their offering, which has a focus on “luxurious decor and intimate cocktail bars”.

This, along with £5m investment from Imbiba, the specialist operator-led leisure and hospitality sector investor, is helping the hoteliers create two four-star, boutique hotels in Manchester and Glasgow, and launch Casablanca Cocktail Club at their Edinburgh site.

House of Gods Hotel in Edinburgh was partially funded via a £1.1m loan from OakNorth Bank – the UK bank powered by fintech unicorn OakNorth – in 2019. The brothers said at the time that they wanted to have five House of Gods hotels by 2022 with 20 to 50 rooms each.

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The group is opening four-star boutique hotels in Glasgow and Manchester. Picture: contributed.

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Mohith Sondhi, senior debt finance director at OakNorth Bank, said: “Prior to Covid-19, The House of Gods hotel in Edinburgh had been trading extremely well. When hotels were allowed to re-open in late April this year, it achieved 90 per cent occupancy in May and 95 per cent occupancy in June – a clear demonstration of the demand for this unique hotel concept.

"We want to ensure the business has the capital it needs to not only take advantage of the demand when all restrictions end next month, but to also maximise opportunities to continue growing the brand in the meantime.

"Since our last loan to the business in 2019, Mike and Ross have beefed up the senior management team with two excellent hires and have secured investment from one of the leading investors in this space. It is businesses like House of Gods Hotel that will play a vital role in the UK’s post-pandemic economic recovery, so it is essential they get the support they need to not only survive, but also thrive.”

The brand is focused on 'luxurious decor and intimate cocktail bars'. Picture: contributed.

Mike and Ross Baxter said: “We’re very excited to be expanding the brand. The Edinburgh Hotel has been incredibly well received and we feel both Glasgow and Manchester are the perfect locations for the two new hotels.

Opportunity

"Its been a challenging year for the industry but with the support of Mohith and his team at OakNorth Bank, the business has traded very well and found opportunity in two fantastic new sites.

"We’re grateful for [OakNorth Bank’s] ongoing support and belief in the long-term potential of our business.”

OakNorth Bank was launched in 2015, and its first transaction in Scotland was announced in 2018 – a £3m investment in Edinburgh-based property developer AMA Homes, helping it redevelop Belford House and Douglas House.

The lender has borrowers across a variety of sectors, including healthcare (nursing homes and retirement villages), consumer goods, vehicle and parts manufacturing, capital goods manufacturing, nurseries, and business support services, as well as hospitality and recreation (including hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars and fast food outlets).

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