Oddfellows on the Park is set to open its doors in less than five weeks time, and Boutique Hotelier got the first exclusive look at the new property as building work nears completion.
The new hotel from Jonathan Slater – of Chester Grosvenor and SLH fame – will open next month after an 18-month renovation programme that has seen it transformed from a derelict property to a striking boutique in the heart of Bruntwood Park, Cheadle in Manchester.
Slater described the project as ‘the biggest he has ever undertaken’ but said it would be the ‘most satisfying’ when it opens its doors.
The hotel will be home to 22 bedrooms, The Galloping major restaurant, The Stud Room Bar, The Parlor and the group’s playful take on a beauty salon, The Pigsty.
Oddfellows on the Park will be the second hotel in the Oddfellows portfolio, joining Oddfellows Chester, which opened in 2012, and will be the first UK property outside of London in the Design Hotels stable, a consortium that Slater said ‘put lots of confidence in us to sign us pre opening’.
Boutique Hotelier was lucky enough to be taken on the first press tour of the hotel, complete with high vis jacket and hard hat, to see the project taking shape.
Bruntwood Hall was first built in 1861 and has been through many reincarnations such as a film set, town hall and stud farm, but the launch of Oddfellows will be the first time it’s become a hotel.
The project has not been without its challenges; Slater says finding dry rot in the building was a major hurdle which resulted in the building being completely stripped back to the bare bones and rebuilt. Asbestos was also found in the building right at the start and in November last year, the builders announced that the roof wasn’t actually attached to the ground structure.
“It certainly has been a long time coming,” explains Slater, “but it’s definitely all worth it. The work on the tower suite doubled our budget for that part of the renovation and set us back, but when the final hotel is open, it’ll be worth the investment. Our shareholders are very understanding too.”
The interior design has been created by Space Invader, with Tim Groom Architects responsible for the structural changes, and the look will be a ‘more grown up Oddfellows’ says Slater, with nods to the hotel’s equestrian history, Victorian gothic roots and sprawling parkland surroundings.
Walking around the property it very much feels like a home and Slater says the plan from the start was to ‘embrace the local community’.
The three tiers of bedrooms are set across three floors with a grand central staircase making for a showstopping entrance. The ‘Bridle’ suite is set in the building’s iconic tower, with views across Bruntwood Park.
The building’s original ceilings have been uncovered, with original thistle motifs paying homage the property’s first owner, who was Scottish.
The Galloping Major restaurant will have 50 covers and open up onto the terrace outside. The kitchens have all been designed by Simon Radley, who consulted on the project for Slater. The room has a sprung floor, which is thought to have been the first one in the UK when it was first built to symbolise the owner’s social status and wealth.
Oddfellows on the Park will have 70 staff on the books when it opens in March with Paul Cookson, who has worked with Slater for 14 years, coming in a general manager.
The hotel’s close proximity to Manchester airport (10 minute drive) and Manchester city centre (10 minute drive) will ensure that both corporate and leisure trade is strong year round.
See the new Oddfellows on the Park take shape below: