Laura Ashley opens boutique hotel

Floral print pioneer and perfumer Laura Ashley is to open a boutique hotel to showcase its wares, it revealed last week.

The brand, well known for its flowery curtains and clothes, confirmed last week that it has purchased a 49-room hotel in the British county of Hertfordshire, where it will build a branded getaway experience.

All of the bedclothes, sofas, wallpaper and curtains will be matching fabrics with the first guests expected to be welcomed next year, after an overhaul of the property.

The announcement came as the brand posted a rise in sales, particularly in furniture, where its flowery prints appear to have gone down well among cash-strapped consumers despite the continuing lure of cheaper furniture options such as Ikea.

That could explain why the brand is so keen to follow other designers into owning an establishment where fans can totally immerse themselves in the experience.

Prices are likely to be lower than the spectacularly-expensive Armani Hotel in Dubai, where furniture comes courtesy of Armani Casa and linens and fabrics are also from the Armani design team.

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