Four-star hotel plans expansion after six months of trading


A four-star hotel in Lancashire has revealed plans to expand and hire more staff, just six months after opening its doors for the first time.

The Oak Royal Hotel in Bury Lane, near Chorley, opened in August 2015 after a £2m investment, and it’s proved to be such a success that the owners are now planning to add six new bedrooms, taking the total number of rooms from 26 to 32.

The hotel is owned by serial entrepreneur Charles Downes, who started out farming cattle on his parents’ 25 acre smallholding in Withnell.

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He expanded the farm before founding a business supplying catering good to the licensed trade, before he began developing property locally, specialising in converting old agricultural buildings into homes.

In 2007 he opened the nine-hole Oak Royal Golf & Country Club on the farm, with a restaurant and café in the club house and the opening of the Oak Royal Hotel last year marked his first hotel project.

The hotel is managed by Kenny Arnott, who most recently was hotel manager of the five-star Island of Eriska resort in Argyll.

Arnott said: “The hotel has been doing phenomenally well. We have built of a very strong core team of staff and we have had some fantastic feedback and reviews from our guests.

“Looking forward, weddings will prove critical to our success, so it’s really satisfying that we already have so many booked for next year.

“Work will shortly get underway on the new rooms and we look forward to being able to welcome more guests.”

Alongside the hotel’s bedrooms, the Oak Royal Hotel is home to the Lark Hill Restaurant, the Bubbles Lounge Bar and Sportsman Bar and two function rooms, the Jubilee Suite and The Boardroom.

The expansion work is being backed by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to the tune of £600,000.