A Bodmin Moor hotel has invested in eight wooden Hobbit Houses with the support of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Co-owner of the Wheal Tor Hotel, Maxine Frost, approached the bank for a commercial loan to expand the premises and offer an outdoors experience for her guests. Each house can sleep five people, increasing the hotel’s customer capacity by 40.The Hobbit Houses, which are outdoor wooden cabins, opened in June and to cope with the anticipated increase in guest demand, Maxine has increased her members of staff by three.
As the hotel is based in two and a half acres of woods, Maxine has also fitted a shower block and a BBQ area so the guests of the Hobbit Houses can enjoy outdoor comfort.
Maxine and her husband, Mark, took over the business two years ago and have since gone on to build a conservatory in the bar area and refurbish all bedrooms and bathrooms with the support of the bank.
The couple have just finished an infinity deck where guests can enjoy the surrounding view and plan to build another area in the hotel woodlands by creating a traditional gypsy caravan camp.
A new summerhouse in the hotel gardens, which houses a sauna and a hot tub, will be completed for the peak holiday season in July.
The freehold licenced premises is the highest hotel in Cornwall, standing more than 900 ft. high atop Caradon Hill, once home to Captain Seccombe who managed the East Caradon copper mine. The original window from which the Captain would pay his miners is still in use.
Maxine said: “Bodmin Moor hosts beautiful scenery but it is illegal for people to camp. Through the new Hobbit Houses, families and couples alike will be able to enjoy the next best thing. The funding from the bank has enabled us to invest in this new venture and will also allow us to continue an expansion of the grounds, increasing our customer base.”
Dave Ware, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The hotel welcomes guests and locals alike. Maxine and Mark saw the potential of the premises and have most definitely put their stamp on the business since buying it in 2012.
“Our year-on-year net growth in advances to SMEs, such as the Wheal Tor Hotel, was five per cent in the 12 months leading up to March 2014. It is great that we can support UK entrepreneurs, like Maxine and Mark, to continue the thriving tourism industry in Britain.”