Soon, travelers will be able to snuggle up with Branson

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin group has officially confirmed that it will enter the hotel market, launching a new website this week.

The ubiquitous brand intends to begin building a portfolio of four-star hotels in major North American cities, according to its website, offering between 150 and 400 rooms per property.

Virgin says that while its amibitions are global, it is focusing first on North America, promising that its properties will feature "contemporary style and great functionality, an efficient yet personalized ambience, ample communal space and a signature restaurant."

The firm says that it is aiming for the "creative class" - high income, well educated and metropolitan individuals that may ordinarily pick an upscale lifestyle or luxury chain such as W Hotels, Andaz or InterContinental's Hotel Indigo.

Virgin's impressive presence in the travel market, with multiple airlines and a train company, give its announcement significant weight.

"This isn't just another brand", wrote Jeff Higley, the editorial director of industry publication HotelNewsNow.

"It's got an iconic name led by an iconic master marketer in Richard Branson...  and it's a positive sign that things are turning for the better."

http://www.virginhotels.com

http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/

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