There’s been a machinery revolution in recent times, with a focus on energy costs, sustainability…
From boutique B&Bs to international hotel groups, our sector is battling back after the pandemic, even if staffing and supply chain issues are creating new problems to overcome.
A good example is Forty-Seven in Manchester, which was set to open in 2020 within a Grade II listed former shipping warehouse but will now welcome guests from the summer. While this was frustrating for all involved in the project, including owners Kro Hospitality, they’ve used the time to really do the building justice.
The result is a 32-room boutique hotel featuring signature and duplex suites with some bold and even extravagant designs. Asha’s Restaurant, co-owned by Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle, will re-open on the ground floor and provide room service for the hotel. In Wales Newport’s biggest luxury hotel, the 135-room Mercure operated by Accor, finally opened in May, some two years after the original planned date. It sits at the top of Newport’s historic – and tallest – building, the Chartist Tower.
August will see the opening of citizenM’s fourth London hotel, with the latest at Victoria joining properties at Bankside, Tower of London and Shoreditch. The new offering has 226 rooms featuring XL king-size beds, MoodPad controls, rain showers, and HD TVs.
Also in the capital, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is planning a winter opening for its second London property, the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair. The property will have 50 rooms alongside nearly 80 private residences. The guestrooms and suites have been designed by UK based Studio Indigo. It will also be home to Michelin-starred chef Akira Back’s restaurant and ABar Lounge. The spa will include a swimming pool, sauna, vitality pool and relaxation room.
Civic dignitaries and guests have been delighted to view the Wyboston Lakes Resort’s new attractions near Bedford following a £1.5m revamp. There’s been major renovation of the Waterfront Hotel’s reception, Y Spa Bistro, and outdoor terrace. New events and co-working spaces have been launched, while the brasserie and bar has been renamed The Gravel Pit (the resort’s original use) and offers lakeside dining including a large amount of local produce and plant-based dishes.
Cowley Manor in the Cotswolds has become the first UK property outside London for the Experimental Group, who’ve purchased it from Jessica and Peter Frankopan, co-founders of A Curious Group of Hotels. The hotel has 31 rooms and sits in a stunning setting of woodland and lakes. Experimental say all the local staff will be retained and they plan to refurbish it over time while respecting the heritage of the location.
Every re-opening in smaller communities is something to celebrate and a good example is the Conon Hotel in Conon Bridge, Ross-shire, Scotland. This village hotel dating back to 1780 was in a state of disrepair when new local owners took it on – spending the past 21 months on restoration so that it can operate as a family hotel with 10 rooms and pub.
A similar ‘labour of love’ has been going at The Bell Hotel in Suffolk where a spring reopening was planned by owners Beales Hotels. But supply chain issues led them to delay until July, and autumn as they await vital kitchen equipment. Beales bought the Victorian Grade II listed hotel when it came up for sale during the pandemic. It will have 15 rooms and suites to showcase when that opening takes place.