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    Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan, part of leading UK independent hotel chain Hallmark Hotels, has invested over £1.5 million

    Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan unveils £1.5 million refurbishment

    750 487 Daniel Fountain

    Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan, part of leading UK independent hotel chain Hallmark Hotels, has invested over £1.5 million into refreshing the design of its bedrooms, suites and conference rooms.

    Situated in leafy Edgbaston, just five minutes from Birmingham New Street and a stone’s-throw from the city’s renowned Arena, the hotel is popular among business travellers and as a venue for events.

    The refurbishment project, which began in 2016, has seen a £700k investment into modernising the lift structures within the hotel and a further £450k spent on turning 53 of its 135 bedrooms into City Doubles. Continuing into 2017, the hotel has most recently seen £200k spent on converting 18 of its bedrooms into Classic twin bedrooms.
    The work will continue throughout the year, and will incorporate the refurbishment of its Wallace Suite, and six other meeting rooms which together hold up to 170 delegates.

    Amy Windsor, General Manager at Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan said: “The widespread refurbishments have given, what was already a popular hotel, a more modern and streamlined feel. Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan has a natural focus towards corporate and business guests and the increased space and investment will help us extend our offering to new and returning visitors. Alongside our new menu, also designed to meet the needs to the business traveller, we’re delighted with the feedback we are getting from regular business guests.

    “With Birmingham’s position as a UK hub for the meetings and events market, we are especially keen to see the completion of our Wallace Suite – our largest conference suite – which we’re looking forward to unveiling later this autumn.”

    The investment into Hallmark Hotel Birmingham Strathallan is part of the group’s wider refurbishment initiative to modernise several of its portfolio of 28 hotels across the country.

    For more information visit www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk

    White Horse Dorking

    The White Horse, Dorking prepares to re-launch

    850 510 Daniel Fountain

    The countdown to the re-launch of The White Horse in Dorking is on, Bespoke Hotels is delighted to reveal. Set to re-open in late 2017, the historic Coaching Inn in the heart of Dorking will reveal its new dining concept, The Dozen, alongside expanded accommodation as part of a £4 million investment by Bespoke Hotels.

    A first for Dorking, The Dozen will offer a stylish all-day dining space. Designed by Squid Inc, creators of Manchester’s trendy 5-star Hotel Gotham, the hotel’s new Dozen concept will combine homely touches with contemporary charm, in keeping with the hotel’s long-standing history as one of the UK’s oldest coaching inns. The adaptable space can also be used for private dining, meetings and events.

    White Horse Dorking
    Following the re-opening of the White Horse, guests will also be able to enjoy a fresh new look across the hotel’s 56 bedrooms and suites, with room types ranging from cosy, spacious and indulgent rooms to decedent one-bedroom suites for maximum pampering, all of which are being beautifully enhanced to breathe new life into this historic hotel, combining style and substance with affordability.

    The White Horse is within quick and easy reach of London, as well as being conveniently located for business travellers, with Gatwick Airport nearby. Local attractions include Denbies & Albury Vineyards, Wisley Gardens, Hampton Court Palace and much more.

    New Road Hotel

    Hotel Concept Focus: New Road Hotel to open in Whitechapel, October 2017

    916 516 Daniel Fountain

    New Road Hotel will be opening its doors in Whitechapel, London, in Q4 2017. Inspired by the increased popularity for social living and accessible luxury, the new concept hotel will be offering guests everything they need, and nothing they don’t. Independently owned, this 80-room boutique hotel with an edgy flair will fit perfectly into the East London scene.

    On New Road Hotel’s doorstep is Shoreditch, famed for its buzzing bars and restaurants, and Aldgate is just moments away, the centre of London business. New Road Hotel’s concept will focus around stripped-back luxury and necessity, bringing guests together in their welcoming lobby spaces and perfecting the finer details of service, comfort, and food, down to a tee.

    New Road Hotel is a true passion project for owners Monsur, Masrur, and Moksud Malik. The brothers decided to build New Road Hotel on the site of an old textile factory, formerly known as Service House, where their father once worked. Since its closure in 2000, the building has remained empty, until 2011 when the family decided to convert it into a hotel. Following a multi-million-pound investment, New Road Hotel is now almost ready to open its doors to the public. The hotel’s interior design and open plan architecture reflects both its heritage and location within London’s famous East End, where the garment trade boomed in the 1960s. With exposed brickwork, open lobby spaces flooded with light, and incredible views of London’s skyline, New Road Hotel will be a London hotel with a difference. The focus will be on sleek and efficient design, five-star service, and high functionality over frills and opulence.

    New Road HotelIt’s no secret that space is at a premium in today’s London. New Road Hotel will tackle this with a clever combination of compact yet practical rooms and communal open spaces where guests are encouraged to work and socialise. Whether popping out of their room for a hot drink or snack; squeezing in a few productive hours on the laptop; or getting into some healthy competition with fellow guests on the pool table, the three lobbies (one on each floor) will have everything guests need to feel entertained in their home away from home. Hotel guests are no longer confined to their bedrooms with New Road Hotel’s exciting new concept!

    The hotel’s simple yet elegant bedrooms will promise the utmost in comfort and cosiness, focused around getting the best night’s sleep possible. Features will include black out blinds, soft Fine Bedding Company sheets, and no whirring fridges or flashing lights to keep guests awake. For those wanting to add a little more to their in-room experience, exclusive loft rooms will boast indulgent hot tubs for evenings overlooking all the sights of London from this prime location.

    No hotel is complete without a famous chef taking the reins at the signature restaurant, and New Road Hotel is excited to be working with Marco Pierre White to open Mr White’s English Chophouse. Combining his Italian heritage with his passion for the New York food scene, Marco will be serving up only the best cuts of meat cooked to perfection to hungry Londoners. The Chophouse will also be open for breakfast, or if guests are in a hurry they can still indulge in a delicious yet speedy start to the day with a bowl of cereal in the lobby’s Cereal Grind.

    Making its mark as part of the ongoing regeneration of the Tower Hamlets and Whitechapel area, New Road Hotel is set to be East London’s hottest opening this year. Offering an alternative to the traditional five-star offering with its laid-back, inclusive concept, New Road Hotel will attract everyone from business commuters to young travellers wanting a more sociable hotel experience.

    www.newroadhotel.co.uk

    Lancashire’s Barton Grange Hotel has certainly not rested on its success in the last few years. Having invested £670 000 in the last three years into upgrading its bedrooms, corridors and main events space - the Barton Suite, the Hotel has announced this week that owners have added a further £250 000 into upgrades at the Hotel

    Lancashire’s Barton Grange ‘blooming’ after investment

    1000 562 Daniel Fountain

    Lancashire’s Barton Grange Hotel has certainly not rested on its success in the last few years. Having invested £670 000 in the last three years into upgrading its bedrooms, corridors and main events space – the Barton Suite, the Hotel has announced this week that owners have added a further £250 000 into upgrades at the Hotel.

    The Hotel has just completed refurbishment to its eight guest rooms in the adjacent Garden House, which is now offered to guests wishing to book larger groups into the Hotel such as for a private party, wedding or conference, or those just looking for extra privacy and a unique garden view during their stay.

    Brides and grooms with weddings at the Hotel or companies staging a business event can also now take advantage of a newly landscaped ‘wedding’ garden. Designed by the Hotel’s sister company, the Barton Grange Landscapes, the gardens have been manicured with new shrubs, flowers, paving and lighting, to offer couples the option of hosting an al-fresco wedding drinks reception. Of course, not exclusively the realm of wedding guests, the space has the capacity to hold up to 200 people for a private drinks party or corporate cocktail evening, and can be a venue for a marquee seating 240 people.

    Lancashire’s Barton Grange Hotel has certainly not rested on its success in the last few years. Having invested £670 000 in the last three years into upgrading its bedrooms, corridors and main events space - the Barton Suite, the Hotel has announced this week that owners have added a further £250 000 into upgrades at the Hotel.Lounge area renovations are also complete. With a warm, contemporary style mind, the lounge can now accommodate up to 30 guests for morning coffees, pre-dinner cocktails or night-caps, and adds a welcoming space to relax or meet friends at the Hotel’s entrance.

    With general manager Daniel Rich at the helm for the past three years, the Hotel has already seen steady growth resulting from the upgrading of accommodation and meeting spaces, and improved marketing and management – but plans go further.

    Lancashire’s Barton Grange Hotel has certainly not rested on its success in the last few years. Having invested £670 000 in the last three years into upgrading its bedrooms, corridors and main events space - the Barton Suite, the Hotel has announced this week that owners have added a further £250 000 into upgrades at the Hotel
    The Hotel is now expanding its leisure offering, with the addition of a spa treatment services to its current indoor pool and gym. Two new treatment rooms will provide a range of therapeutic, beauty and salon treatments. This will be available to Hotel guests, people living locally and an exclusive club membership from early 2018.

    Commenting on the development programme Daniel Rich, general manager said: “The final stages of the changes are about ensuring that the Hotel is very much the ‘go to’ destination for event organisers, wedding couples and leisure visitors to the local area.’

    Lancashire’s Barton Grange Hotel has certainly not rested on its success in the last few years. Having invested £670 000 in the last three years into upgrading its bedrooms, corridors and main events space - the Barton Suite, the Hotel has announced this week that owners have added a further £250 000 into upgrades at the Hotel‘The opening of our leisure club’s spa services will give us scope to expand our customer base even further. At the moment it is a strong, growth sector and will enable the Hotel to attract a wider range of leisure travellers, as well as offering a greater service to our wedding couples and corporate clients looking for incentive breaks and bespoke ‘away-days’.’

    Daniel added: ‘We are particularly delighted that we were able to use local tradespeople to help with the work carried out. Our philosophy has always been to source locally wherever we can, and this refurbishment has been no exception – from architects to builders, painters and decorators to flooring, and spa therapists to garden landscapers….all from Lancashire.’

    “We are continuing to build on our success as the year progresses, with a growth in our events business of 20%, and our accommodation continues to show a strong performance with average room rates up by 10% on last year. These are firm foundations on which to continue to develop the business and I am confident that the investment in further upgrades at the Hotel will play a huge part in seeing the Hotel achieve greater success moving forwards.’

    www.bartongrangehotel.com

    Ellerthwaite Lodge

    Windermere hotel Ellerthwaite Lodge sells off-market for £1m

    998 635 Daniel Fountain

    Ellerthwaite Lodge, a four-star bed and breakfast located within walking distance of Lake Windermere in the Lake District, has been successfully sold, achieving a price in excess of £1 million.

    The 19th century property which comprises 17 en-suite bedrooms, a dining room, and ground floor coffee shop was sold off-market by Alastair Rushton, of Lonsdale Hotels Limited to Jonathan Denby at South Lakes Hotels.

    Jonathan Denby, managing director of South Lakes Hotels said: “I’m delighted to add this exceptional property to our existing portfolio bringing the group total to six Lake District hotels, all of which benefit from the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.

    “We aim to continue the excellent standards set by the previous owner Alastair Rushton. Our plans are to operate the business on an all-year-round basis, catering for both national and international guests.”

    Alistair Greenhalgh, a director at LSH Hotels, which represented the seller during the sale, said: “Ellerthwaite Lodge is an attractive 19th century property which benefits from a superb corner plot and a honey pot trading location, which makes it a very appealing investment opportunity.

    “This sale highlights an increasing trend for well-qualified purchasers returning to the leisure market to acquire correctly priced assets that offer a good reliable income, and strong growth opportunities. We are currently in contact with a number of buyers looking for similar opportunities.”

    White Horse Hotel

    £3 million investment for Dorking’s White Horse Hotel

    850 560 Daniel Fountain

    Bespoke Hotels is pleased to announce it has committed to a substantial refurbishment and expansion program of Dorking’s historic White Horse Hotel, due to take place between July and November, 2017.

    Totalling over £3,000,000, works will encompass the property’s accommodation, including a comprehensive remodelling and the addition of 16 new bedrooms. In addition to this, there will be a total re-design of the ground floor restaurant, bar, events and public spaces at the property, with the aim of introducing a stylish and affordable destination hotel, café and restaurant offering to Dorking for the first time.

    Following the property’s closure on July 17th, the dining and events spaces are set to be entirely re-designed, with the current total of guestrooms expanded from 41 to 57. Interior design will be overseen by Squid Inc, who recently worked alongside Bespoke on the opening of Manchester’s award-winning Hotel Gotham in 2015, with the aim of significantly transforming the culinary offering by expanding the property’s dining space and placing a renewed emphasis on local and freshly-prepared produce, available both to takeaway and dine-in.

    “We are delighted to be able to commit so substantially to the reimagining of The White Horse”, commented Graham Marskell, Managing Director – Operations of Bespoke Hotels. “Bespoke Hotels and our creative partners will be overseeing a complete overhaul of both the accommodation and culinary sides of the business, with a view to re-establishing it as one of the region’s foremost foodie destinations.”

    De Vere Latimer Estate

    De Vere Latimer Estate unveils £7 million renovation

    1000 667 Daniel Fountain

    Nicknamed The Spy House because of its connections with WWII, Grade I listed De Vere Latimer Estate has this week unveiled a £7 million renovation that places the mansion house back at the heart of the estate. Situated in Latimer, among Buckinghamshire’s rolling Chiltern Hills just five miles from the M25, the refurbishment uncovered and restored many original features, as well as subtly celebrating the hotel’s connection to a secret history.

    De Vere Latimer Estate boasts a rich history that dates back to the 16th Century when the original house held Charles I during his imprisonment. The red brick Tudor-style mansion standing today was completed in 1838 and became the temporary host of captured German U-boat submarine crews and Luftwaffe pilots during the Second World War before becoming the National Defence College until 2006.

    De Vere Latimer Estate’s biggest transformation occurred in the mansion house, where no stone was left unturned. The refurbished original sweeping staircase with stained glass windows leads guests to 31 new deluxe rooms and suites that were previously meeting rooms and offices, bringing the total number of guestrooms to 205.

    All guestrooms feature free Wi-fi and flat screen TVs, whilst suites and deluxe rooms come complete with king size beds, fluffy robes and slippers as well as luxury bathroom toiletries.

    The new 1838 Restaurant & Bar, which is open to members of the public as well as hotel guests, is located in the mansion house and features an open kitchen cooking up locally sourced, seasonal British dishes. Guests can choose to dine in the modern, wooden-floored restaurant, with soft green touches and indoor trees, or head outside to the courtyard and dine under the trees by candle light. The new Huntley Bar features stunning views across the Chess Valley and offers both guests and locals a relaxing, stylish environment in which to enjoy a drink whilst taking in the surroundings.

    De Vere Latimer EstateFor those booking a wedding or event at De Vere Latimer Estate, the mansion house provides four new look spaces; including a traditional grand drawing room, The Cheyne, with original features that can host intimate celebrations for up to 30 guests, to The Cavendish Suite for weddings and events up to 200 guests. Respectively added to the mansion during the refurbishment, the Cavendish suite offers state-of-the-art facilities that can double in size by the opening of bi-folding doors on to a new terrace that offers views across the countryside. Couples who like to mix the tradition of a church wedding with a country house reception can have both at De Vere Latimer Estate, as the estate’s church is short walk from the stately home.

    Antonio Campanile, General Manager at De Vere Latimer Estate, commented: “We’re very proud to have restored this remarkable mansion house back to glory; a lot of time and work has gone in to this project, to ensure homage is paid to its important history. The newly refurbished bedrooms are looking fantastic and we’re already receiving excellent feedback from guests.

    He continued: “As a popular venue for the meetings, conferences and private events market, the renovation was planned and designed to appeal to all our customers, whilst providing a stylish standout venue in stunning surroundings.”

    De Vere Latimer Estate, nestled in 30 acres of formal gardens and grounds, boasts free superfast outdoor Wi-fi, a restored Victorian Pond, as well as specially commissioned sculptures by artist Emma Stothard. Guests of the hotel also have access to a gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, as well as a boot room which provides complimentary Hunter wellies in which to explore the stunning grounds.

    The property also boasts 28 flexible meeting and events spaces, some of which are located in the Cormorant and Mews buildings, which sit adjacent to the mansion house. The refurbishment has also seen the introduction of De Vere’s first Burr & Co. coffee shop concept, where guests can enjoy high quality ethically sourced coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, artisan cakes and pastries to take away or eat in.

    The completion of De Vere Latimer Estate’s refurbishment marks another important milestone in De Vere’s wider multi-million-pound country estate hotel renovation project, which places the Mansion House at the epi-centre of the group’s country estate portfolio. The gardens will also receive investment with the addition of outdoor dining patios and sculptures, making the great outdoors an extension of the hotel itself.

    Treetop Hotels - Keemala – Phuket, Thailand

    Guest Blog: Why treetop hotels are growing in popularity…

    1000 556 Guest Blog

    Travellers can now live the luxury treetop dream with a little help from the Hotels.com. Loved by guests awards and the millions of genuine guest reviews they’re based on, ten amazing hotels have been crowned winners in the brand new Best for Treehouse category, and they’ll be climbing straight to the top of your wish list.

    Today’s travellers are aiming high and dreaming of a vacation in the sky, as the travel experts at Hotels.com saw almost a 30% increase in demand for treehouse hotels last year. With treetop luxury (33%) proving more popular than sleeping in a spaceship (28%), checking into a hotel made of gold (24%) or bedding down in an ice hotel (23%), Hotels.com reveals the best-of-the-best Loved by Guests award winners…

    Arkansas Adventure
    Eureka Springs Treehouses—Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Review Rating: 4.8 out of 5 on Hotels.comIf you’re looking for a secluded romantic getaway, this is the place to be. This resort is a hidden gem with quirky features and fun at every turn. The treehouses are held on cedar logs, surrounded by beautiful greenery and destination themed, so guests can stay in Venice, New York, Santa Fe and Paris. If treetop life isn’t for you then fear not, as Eureka Springs also offers stays in fairytale castles, with hidden passages and Jacuzzi towers, and guests can even check in to enchanting hobbit caves that are like magical cocoons. Rate Available upon request.


    Beachside Bungalows Among the Trees

    Azulik – Adults Eco-Resort & Maya Spa – Tulum, Mexico
    Bring out your inner child and swing above the turquoise sea of Tulum, all from the privacy of your own villa at this luxurious beach hideaway. Azulik is a celeb spotting hotspot, but its biggest draw is the stunning villas. These wooden-crafted abodes feature spectacular water views, outdoor mosaic bathtubs and a deck with a swing and hanging Balinese bed. Guests can enjoy fine dining and entertainment with a 12 course tasting menu at the Kin Toh restaurant that’s built 12 meters above the Mayan jungle, all while watching artistic performances.

    Treetop hotelsFloat Among the Clouds
    Keemala – Phuket, Thailand (main picture)
    Fancy taking a dip on the edge of a cliff in your own 30-meter infinity pool? You can do just that at these gorgeous Bird’s Nest treehouses on stilts, located just 40 minutes from Phuket. Keemala is an enchanting evergreen wonderland, and these unique villas feature giant monsoon showers and freestanding bathtubs that have amazing views over the rainforest. Beach luxury, spa treatments, sunset cocktails and champagne picnics are also all on the menu at Keemala.

    Style in the Sky
    Tree Hotel – Harads, Sweden
    The Tree Hotel has upped the style stakes with its quirky, custom designed eco-treehouses. Imagine sleeping amongst the tall pine trees in a Mirror Cube, a Bird’s Nest or a UFO! Treehouses come complete with their own private giant hammock, so you can stargaze and seek out the Northern Lights. Guests can relax in the tree sauna, enjoy some authentic homemade Swedish food or zip line over Swedish Lapland and the Lule River for some exclusive and spectacular views.

    Treetop hotels

    Breath-Taking African views
    Tsala Treetop Lodge – Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
    High in the treetops, this hotel hideaway is set in the wilds of South Africa, in the heart of the Garden Route. With breath-taking views and a mystical charm, the treetop suites are pure luxury. They come complete with their own private spa bathrooms, fireplaces and even infinity pools. The hotel also offers a unique dining experience from a special dining deck suspended above the forest floor, where you can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast or a lazy lunch.

    Treetop hotelsTreetop Tranquillity
    Silky Oaks Lodge – Mossman, Australia
    Imagine a rejuvenating spa experience in one of the world’s most ancient rainforests. Located along the Mossman River, Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef – there are rainforest walks, crystal waterholes and a billabong beach, all at your disposal at this hotel. The luxury treehouses have large verandas and hammocks, perfect for unwinding in the heart of the rainforest canopy. Guests can also enjoy dinner in their open-sided treehouse restaurant.

    Treetop hotels

    www.hotels.com

    La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi An

    La Siesta Resort & Spa Hoi An debuts new five-star wing

    1000 577 Daniel Fountain

    A major expansion, refurbishment and rebrand has propelled La Siesta Resort and Spa Hoi An into the elite category of hotels in Hoi An – a UNESCO-listed ancient port famous as one of the most Vietnam’s premier tourist destinations.

    The property, which is owned and operated by leading Vietnamese boutique hotel brand Elegance Hospitality Group (EHG), recently unveiled a name change – it was formerly the Essence Hoi An Hotel and Spa — and its brand-new East Wing, a luxurious 37-room annexe that also encompasses a spa, saltwater pool and fine-dining venue.

    Currently in its soft-opening phase, the new wing features an array of luxurious room types. Poolside suites come with deep wooden bathtubs and private Swedish saunas. Duplex suites benefit from clawfoot bathtubs and expansive balconies overlooking the pool. The Premium Terrace Suites, meanwhile, span a generous 76-sqm and are kitted out with private Jacuzzis.

    La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnAttention to detail is at the fore throughout the new wing. Specially commissioned teak furniture was handcrafted by artisans, while flooring that combines polished wood and patterned tiling evokes an old-world charm in-keeping with the timeless aura of Hoi An itself.

    “That was a real priority for us when it came to conceptualising and realising our vision for the new wing – making it as harmonious to the atmosphere in the destination as we could,” said Nguyen Cao Son, EHG Chief Operation Officer. “Not only did we want to create something that would elevate the boutique resort experience in Hoi An, we were aware of our architectural responsibility to stay true to the spirit of the place.”

    La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnAs such, guest rooms are aligned around an extensive saltwater swimming pool in three-storey buildings, carefully designed to maintain harmony with the traditional architecture that characterises Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town. Other call outs to the destination’s incredible heritage include an on-site Confucian temple dating back to the 15th Century, which will be used in future for special event dinners and traditional lantern festivals. The resort is located in Thanh Ha village – a peaceful area famous for its ceramics – and is just a short 5-10-minute walk from the shophouses, temples, colonial buildings and iconic Vietnamese tube houses that characterise central Hoi An.

    Yet while sympathy to local tradition is very much in evidence throughout the new wing, trimmings and service standards are in keeping with those of the very best modern five-stars. Inviting extras include access to a personal butler (for suites and villas), handmade toiletries from La Siesta’s own line of spa products and state of the art in-room technology such as Samsung sound-bars and espresso coffee makers.

    La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnOther highlights of the new wing include a luxurious spa lounge and the Temple restaurant, which serves international buffet breakfast and elevated European-influenced fare for lunch and dinner in an attractive poolside setting. The new wing blends seamlessly with the existing west section of the property, acclaimed by guests for its charming colonial-style low-rise architecture and the highly-rated Asian cuisine served at its Red Bean restaurant.

    “Our mission with the new wing was to position La Siesta Hoi An at the pinnacle of the hotel offerings in Hoi An, alongside established international brand names,” said Cao Son. “However, we also wanted to maintain the Vietnamese character and warmth of service that EHG has been widely commended for. We think we’ve managed to achieve something very special.”

    Highbullen Hotel

    Planning approval for extension at Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club

    800 450 Daniel Fountain

    It’s been a successful week for the staff and owners of Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club after their plans for 58 holiday lodges and a 16 bedroom extension to the hotel were approved by North Devon Council planning committee.

    David Tearle, General Manager of the Hotel said: “Highbullen has benefitted from significant investment under the new ownership since 2012 which has resulted in a string of regional and international awards. This decision will help Highbullen take its place as a destination hotel and somewhere North Devon can be proud of.”

    To date over £8.8million has been invested in the estate by the owner Mr Frank Chapman. As well as the complete refurbishment of all the existing facilities, a new state of the art wedding venue and conference centre has been created. This is already attracting prestigious events to the hotel from far and wide.

    The planning approval will allow additional investment to be made to further improve the quality of accommodation and range of facilities on offer. This will include a luxurious spa, comparable to anything available in the south west of the UK. That will help attract visitors to North Devon who might otherwise look elsewhere.

    Peregrine Mears Architects based in Barnstaple and Exeter are agents for the application. Practice Director Peregrine Mears, added: “Farming and tourism have long been the mainstays of the North Devon economy. Highbullen is a special place and we are really excited to be able to help the hotel take its place as the jewel in North Devon’s tourism crown.”

    Crucially the decision will safeguard the jobs of the hotel’s existing employees, many of who live locally and some of whom are second generation. The planned development is anticipated to generate a further 25 jobs on site in future.

    Wilton's work at Statham Lodge

    Wilton celebrates understated elegance at Statham Lodge Hotel

    850 567 Daniel Fountain

    Bespoke woven axminster carpets from Wilton Carpets have been used to extraordinary effect throughout the public areas and suites of the Georgian period Grade II listed Statham Lodge, an award-winning Cheshire wedding venue.

    With the various patterns of existing carpets showing signs of wear on thresholds after 20 years of intense use, the time had come to replace and so Statham Lodge turned to the quality of wool-rich woven carpets from Wilton.

    Emma Walker, project manager at Statham Lodge, explains: “In the past, we had to adopt a rather piecemeal approach to our carpet to get something down as quick as possible, often just rolling out a stock pattern as opposed to one designed for the space. However, we noticed that a bespoke carpet copied from an original Georgian creation had stood the test of time. Having made the decision to start from scratch and create our very own look, this seemed a natural starting point.”

    For the entrance hall, reception and Shelley Suite, Emma tasked Wilton with creating an effect that referenced hand-made Savonnerie style area rugs, inspired by traditional Georgian designs found in 18th Century country houses such as the Robert Adam’s designed Syon Park. Working closely to this brief; Wilton’s head of creative, Damian Roscoe, created a design that achieves an air of understated elegance and with the ability to last for another 20 years without looking dated.

    “We wanted the carpets to feel like an heirloom piece and so opted for traditional Georgian designs and a muted colour palette also referencing the period, allowing us to make the most of the light and airy feel afforded by the archetypal Georgian features found within the building,” continues Emma.

    With the Shelley Suite, the design was reworked to deliver a more formal feel suiting the room’s use for civil ceremonies and in a palette made to work with any wedding colour scheme. The rug effect design works here too, as it creates a defined shape with symmetry that sits well with a centre aisle for ceremonies.

    In the substantial Gainsborough Suite, the approach to carpet design took into consideration a need for a neutral feel, again to work with wedding colour schemes; while reflecting the grandeur of the setting. As the principle room for wedding breakfasts and receptions, it was important that the carpet didn’t overwhelm the space, yet that it also wasn’t lacking in character and so Wilton designed a statement Georgian inspired carpet that retains the understated elegance of carpets elsewhere. By giving the intricate pattern room to breathe through use of borders, centre motifs and large areas of plain background colour; the design fits the brief perfectly.

    “Emma was clear from the beginning that the carpets needed to work not only in respecting the history of the building, but also in the practicality of Statham Lodge’s status as one of the best wedding venues in the north west,” explains Damian Roscoe. “The key was to evoke Georgian style with low contrast between colours, so that they didn’t feel too sharp and new.

    “Creating a Savonnerie rug look with such an intricate design, different in individual rooms, was a huge challenge, so we introduced a subtle floral diamond backdrop to work as an effective border that still had an elegant period feel to bring everything together. The results are extraordinary and show what can be achieved when building owner and carpet manufacturer work closely together with a clear objective.”

    As part of a wider refurbishment to the interior, including wall panelling and a new colour scheme, the carpet also proves the importance of designing areas in harmony; bringing the overall feel desired while retaining an individual sense that responds to the unique requirements of rooms. Woven in a high-performance blend of 80% pure new wool and nylon, the bespoke 10-row axminster carpet is made to last and retains ease of maintenance; vital for Statham Lodge.

    Emma Walker continues: “A lot of people were nervous about the colour palette, faded blues and reds atop light stones, as it breaks so much from convention, but this was important to make sure the carpets offered a ‘blank canvas’ for weddings. Also, we didn’t want a ‘pub carpet’ feel just because it might be better at hiding stains.

    “A subtle scree in the backdrop of the design helps to minimise the appearance of stains, while also contributing to that all-important sense of faded elegance that purveys a subtly relaxed feel. So far, chocolate cake and red wine have posed no threat and the carpet has responded 100 per cent to spot cleaning. A reflection of the quality of fibre and construction employed by Wilton Carpets.”

    Crafted on Wilton Carpets’ computer-controlled high speed axminster looms in Wiltshire, the stunning carpets were woven within tight timescales to meet Statham Lodge’s need for an installation process that meant the venue could stay completely operational. Careful planning of the design and expert installation have led to a first-rate carpet that has been exceptionally well-received:

    “The response to the carpet was immediate and we’ve received lots of fantastic comments on social media from our guests. When you say it’s a Wilton carpet, it seems to make everyone happy,” concludes Emma Walker.

    For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or sales@wiltoncarpets.com

    Napoleon Hotel Shoreditch

    London’s smallest hotel – one-room Napoleon Hotel

    960 640 Daniel Fountain

    A hotel which can claim to be London’s ‘smallest’ has opened in Shoreditch – it contains just one room available to book.

    The Napoleon Hotel’s single offering is a luxury 430sqft suite complete with three bars, and will cost guests £180 per night. The two new bars, the Sack and The Devil’s Darling, were designed by bottled cocktail makers Thomas Aske and Tristan Stephenson. At basement level is a whisky den, the ground floor is a sherry bar and on the first floor is a cocktail bar.

    The room is equipped with a service elevator, which provides room-service food and drink from any of one of these bars. For breakfast, food is delivered to the room by the same elevator.

    The suite sits on the second floor of the hotel and is equipped with a drinks trolley with bottled cocktails from the Aske Stephenson range. Speaking to the media, Aske said: “The space we had available for the hotel room could have housed two smaller rooms, but the decision was made to offer a more luxurious experience through one spacious suite.

    “We feel that by having only one suite, the focus is on the guest experience and hospitality allowing us to tailor their stay and ensure that they have the staff’s dedicated attention.

    “As Fluid Movement are bar operators we wanted to ensure we stayed true to this by offering three unique bar concepts within the hotel, creating an uncommon ratio of bars to rooms. Our guests can experience an entire evening of world class drinks without leaving the hotel.”

    Barnett Hill Country House Hotel, a stunning wedding venue set in the Surrey Hills, has been awarded with two rosettes and four stars from the AA

    Barnett Hill scoops awards following renovations

    1008 470 Daniel Fountain

    Barnett Hill Country House Hotel, a stunning wedding venue set in the Surrey Hills, has been awarded with two rosettes and four stars from the AA.

    Owned by Alexander Hotels and Utopia Spas in 2016, the property has since undergone a number of renovations. Its 18 bedrooms, restaurant and public guest areas were all recently refurbished.

    The hotel’s newly appointed executive head chef Lee Young received two rosettes for his work at The Oak Room restaurant.

    Tim Hall, general manager, commented: “On behalf of all the team at Barnett Hill I am delighted and extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication that everyone has shown in striving to achieve our AA four star rating and two AA rosettes awarded for the quality of our food at the first attempt.

    “My congratulations go out to all those involved but in particular to Lee Young, our executive head chef, who has done an amazing job having only joined Barnett Hill just under three months ago.

    “We are all very excited to have become part of the Alexander Hotels family and we are looking forward to welcoming guests to the new look Barnett Hill Hotel.”

    alexanderhotels.co.uk/barnett-hill

    SPAShell

    SPAshell launches at Fishmore Hall, Shropshire

    1024 484 Daniel Fountain

    Designed by leading spa consultancy, SPA Creators (which has more than 20 years experience in creating exsquisite spa designs for hotels) make their first UK launch with Fishmore Hall, Shropshire, as they launch their innovative, designed pod-builds known as SPAshell.

    Launching into the luxury boutique hotel Fishmore Hall, Shropshire, in October 2016 Laura Penman, Owner of Fishmore Hall said: “The beauty of SPAshell is that it provides us all the elements required to create a successful spa: from design and site development stages, through to delivery and commissioning; all building works are completed off-site using the latest technology. There’s no need for traditional foundation-work to be done, the installation of SPAshell takes a matter of a few days, and there’s almost no disturbance to our existing business and our guests. For us, it’s an obvious next step in our development of Fishmore Hall.”

    Boutique hotels can now choose their pod builds: from ‘Mini SPAshellTM’ size, which offers four treatment rooms for guests, to the ‘Oyster SPAshellTM’ which offers eight treatment rooms for guests. Both come with thermal suites to boost guests’ relaxation experience with stylish and sophisticated Italian designed sauna and steam rooms and each SPAshellTM’ include a commercially-graded outdoor vitality pool, made from beautiful cedar wood materials with bucket shower and monsoon drench showers -ideal for cooling off.

    SPAShellInside the spa, British brand Elemis provide luxury spa treatments to guests. Each SPAshellTM installation is turnkey supplied; from fully trained, managed staff members, to a fully integrated training and client management solution, ensuring that spa guests receive the highest standards of spa and wellbeing treatments.

    The eco-conscious brand has chosen low maintenance Siberian Larch Wood to clad each spa pod; with a natural resistance to decay, it blends easily and sympathetically over time within the immediate environment whilst combining high standards of manufacturing technology to the core buildings. In Russia, the Siberian Larch tree is known as the ‘Tree of Eternity.’

    Founder and Manging Director of SPAshellTM’ Alistair Johnson says: “We’re incredibly proud and excited to be launching the UK’s first SPAshellTM Fishmore Hall this October; this represents five years of design and planning to reach this stage. The SPAshellTM build offers a brilliant solutions for any boutique hotel or corporate business looking to add spa and wellness packages to their business and provide an additional revenue stream.”

    SPAShellOnce installed, each SPAshellTM is commissioned and operational in less than ten days. The exterior landscape will be fully integrated with the SPAshellTM using both eco-conscious materials and methods, blending aesthetically in to the existing hotel site with ease.

    • SPAshellTM eco spa pods are especially well suited to sites whereby space, budget of planning for a full build may be a barrier.
    • SPAshellTM enable hotel owners and hotel operators with no prior spa experience or knowledge, to deliver a luxury spa experience for their hotel guests.
    • SPAshellTM is pre-designed to suit existing sites/locations, it’s delivered manufacture-ready to each business. Once installed, each SPAshellTM is commissioned and fully operational in less than ten days.
    • The design concept will also appeal to country house and landowners who are looking to diversify and increase their revenue (REV PAR -Revenue Per Room), increase their food and beverage sales and broaden their market appeal.
    • Each SPAshellTM is approved to the highest building standards required for any UK spa enterprise. It’s unique and sleek design engages positive client flow, SPAshellTM integrates the best possible operational spa business practices to offer an exceptional spa experience for guests.
    • We combine cutting-edge design with the highest quality fittings, SPAshellTM offers a unique spa experience for boutique hotel guests that is set to revolutionise the hotel and wellness markets.

    www.spacreators.co.uk
    enquiry@spacreators.co.uk
    +44 01189471857

    Hardwick Hall

    North east hotel Hardwick Hall to undergo major refurbishment

    1000 592 Daniel Fountain

    A leading North East country house hotel is about to enjoy a £350,000 refurbishment.

    Hardwick Hall Hotel near Sedgefield – part of Ramside Estates – is to undergo a major facelift which will see the bedrooms, bars and boardrooms all being redecorated, along with a new look to one of the hotel’s leading function rooms.

    Plans are to spend £150,000 on the Coleman Suite, which can take up to 400 guests, to decorate and lay new carpets, along with replacing the existing furniture. The four star hotel, which is set in County Durham’s Hardwick Country Park, has 51 bedrooms along with its acclaimed Rib Room Steakhouse and Grill.

    “We are very excited about this renovation which we are sure will be appreciated by our guests,” said Lee Kirtland, General Manager at Hardwick Hall. “It means that there will be even more reason to visit Hardwick, no matter if you’re an overnight guest, popping in for a drink or a meal or are hosting a wedding or a business conference with us,” he added

    The hotel is renowned for holding large scale balls and events, including the popular Lobster Ball which attracts more than 1000 guests.

    Work is set to start immediately on the refurbishment and is due to take around three months.

    www.hardwickhallhotel.co.uk

    Grand Brighton facade renovation

    The Grand Brighton reveals multi-million pound façade restoration project

    950 556 Daniel Fountain

    Luxury seafront hotel, The Grand Brighton, has announced plans for its highly anticipated multi-million pound façade restoration project.

    The refurbishment, due to be completed in autumn 2017, will be conducted in four phases and will see the initial work commence on the East Wing of the building from 24 October.

    Enhancements to the iconic hotel will include the installation of a new lighting system that will enrich the architectural design of the building, new windows and balconies for sea-facing rooms and full insulation, as well as a re-render of the front of the building.

    Working with local businesses, J Davies Building Limited will be the main contractor having worked on a number of projects with The Grand, including most recently the Victoria, Lounge, Terrace and Bar refurbishment.

    Conservation has been a main priority throughout the planning phase in order to minimise the impact and ensure guests continue to receive the best experience. The Grand has worked closely with Brighton Council and other conservation groups to ensure the heritage of the building is respected and restored to its former glory, with materials selected for longevity and for the environment.

    The Grand Brighton facade renovation

    Andrew Mosley, General Manager at The Grand, comments: “Since becoming an independent hotel in 2014, our owners have invested a significant amount and this project is a testament to our ongoing commitment to our customers and improving the guest experience at The Grand.

    “The Grand is one of Brighton’s most treasured icons with a well-known and storied history. Once completed, the restoration of the façade will not only return the hotel to its former glory, but firmly establish The Grand as one of the landmark destinations on Brighton’s famous seafront.”

    The restoration project is the latest development in a wider multi-million pound investment programme, following the sale of the hotel to independent owners in 2014. This has seen The Grand roll out an ambitious programme to install air-conditioning across its 201 bedrooms, refurbish its Victoria Terrace, Lounge and Bar, further upgrade its own seafood restaurant, GB1, upgrade Wi-Fi bandwidth capacity to 1GB and invest significantly in back of house facilities.

    grandbrighton.co.uk

    Guy Ritchie Ashcombe House hotel

    Hollywood director Guy Ritchie planning hotel on Ashcombe House estate

    945 397 Daniel Fountain

    Hollywood director Guy Ritchie is set to convert a barn on his Ashcombe House estate into a luxury hotel and spa resort, according to media reports.

    The 12-room hotel and spa, with indoor pool, cinema and library, will be built amongst a shooting retreat on his 1,200-acre estate. Ritchie has reportedly submitted planning permission papers for the property, which have been approved.

    A source, speaking to The Sun newspaper, said: “Guy loves shooting and knows that there’s a gap in the market to provide a world-class retreat for it. He knows that tourists from America and Japan will pay thousands to hunt pheasants in England but they also demand luxury accommodation.”

    There is already a USP on the site, as a micro-brewery sits on the estate.