Virgin Hotels signed up five more hotels under marketing contracts last week, taking Virgin Collection's total number of members to 27.
Those hotels which have joined are: Brockencote Hall Country House Hotel in Chaddesley Corbett, near Kidderminster; Buxted Park Country House Hotel, Uckfield, in East Sussex; Craigellachie Hotel in Craigellachie, Grampian; Duchally House Hotel in Auchterarder; and Nuremore, Carrickmacross, in the Republic of Ireland.
Nuremore, which includes an 18-hole championship golf course, is the first Irish hotel to join the consortium. Virgin is now targeting Ireland for further members and expects more contracts to be signed shortly.
Of the 27 hotels currently signed up, 10 are managed by Virgin Hotels, while the remaining 17 are under marketing contracts. All are marketed under the Virgin Collection brand.
Michael Herriot, managing director of Virgin Hotels, said the group hoped to have 30 hotels under marketing contracts by the end of the year. He also hoped to increase the number of managed or owned hotels. An announcement is expected next month, in the run-up to publication of the company's results.
More joint marketing agreements with other European hotel companies are also likely, similar to the arrangement Virgin has with German group Arabella which has 15 four-star hotels.
Mr Herriot said the group's natural limit was probably around 45-50, as an "exclusion zone" around each participating hotel was part of the consortium's commitment to its members.