Best hotel revamps and renovations from the last 12 months


New bedrooms at Homewood

Hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor opened 10 new bedrooms in October on the estate at Homewood Bath.

The Mallingford Mews, situated in the gardens of the estate and named after the Ealing comedy, The Titfield Thunderbolt, have been designed by Ian himself and feature interesting artworks, collections, books, fabrics and lamps, synonymous with the Taylor’s distinctive style.

Each bedroom has wooden floors complete with underfloor heating in the marble bathrooms designed by Porter.

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Four also feature an outdoor hot tub with private terrace or balcony.

Ian has worked with partners on the interiors, including Porter Bathrooms, Sally Storey of John Cullen Lighting and built-in wardrobe areas along with minibars and tea and coffee cabinets from Hawker Joinery Bath.

James Rogers, an expert in pigment analysis, colour matching and block carving was commissioned to hand block different wallpaper designs.

Adam Aaronson has designed individual door knobs, bathroom glass, key fobs and sculptures in each room, alongside a lollypop sculptures in the entrance.

Alongside the intriguing design, each room is packed with comforts, from Nespresso coffee machines and Dyson hairdryers, to amenities from Diptyque, exclusive to Homewood.

The Hydro becomes The Ro

The Ro has now opened in the Lake District in Bowness-on-Windermere after a multi-million pound renovation process.

The former Hydro hotel was acquired in early 2019 out of administration by Thai-based Lake Merritt Hospitality, who have now invested into converting the property into The Ro, a new 87-bedroom hotel with all-day dining restaurant and bar.

The Ro, situated in Bowness-on-Windermere, is managed by UK management company 7 Hospitality Management.

The Ro’s 87 rooms feature eight different categories, from cosy to the Ro Suite with lake views. Previously The Hydro was home to 78 bedrooms.

The hotel’s design takes inspiration from the lake and surrounding countryside with cool blues and turquoises complemented with accents of oranges, natural stone and traditional grey slate. 

The interior design has been carried out by APM Design Ltd, and architect Mason Gillibrand reconfigured the internal space and main entrance.

In addition to the rooms and dining, the hotel’s conference and meeting rooms have also been given an overhaul. The six new spaces can cater for events from 6 to 200.

The 78-bedroom Hydro hotel in Lake Windermere entered administration in February 2019, after a large-scale £1m renovation project led to cashflow issues.

The property had been owned and operated by Squires Hotels since 2014.

Glenapp Castle’s new penthouse apartment

Glenapp Castle launched its new luxury penthouse apartment, The Endeavour earlier this year.

The Endeavour occupies the whole top floor of the Castle and is made up of four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a lounge with dining for up to 16 guests, a media room, sauna, library, games room, treatment room and kitchen dining room.

Design nods to the building’s history run throughout the style theme.

Strongest of all the maritime links is that of the former resident, the First Lord Inchcape, once the Chairman of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, better known as P&O.

The Endeavour has been in the vision of Glenapp Castle’s proprietor Paul Szkiler since he acquired the hotel back in 2015.

The new addition is part of a bigger seven year plan, which include the development of a spa.

Paul Szkiler comments: “We believe The Endeavour penthouse apartment provides a world class destination in both its unique setting and surroundings and in providing a standard of service from a bygone era.”

As well as The Endeavour, the hotel is also to announce other new developments at the hotel, including the launch of the new Azelea Glasshouse Restaurant, located in the Castle’s walled garden.

Olga and Alex Polizzi’s new venture

Dynamic mother-and-daughter duo, Olga and Alex Polizzi have opened their new hotel, The Star in Alfriston, Sussex.

The Grade-II listed 15th century building has opened as a 30-bedroom hotel, featuring Olga’s Polizzi’s signature design flair, and comprising an all-day casual dining space as well as a more formal restaurant.

In December 2019 Olga Polizzi, the renowned interior designer, hotelier and director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels bought The Star, Alfriston, in East Sussex, with her daughter, Alex Polizzi, the businesswoman and presenter of Channel 5 television show, The Hotel Inspector. 

Olga Polizzi already owns Hotel Tresanton in Cornwall and Hotel Endsleigh in Devon, while The Star, Alfriston is the first official joint venture for the mother and daughter duo.

The Star will become the third hotel in the Polizzi Collection.

New look dining spaces at The Grove

The Grove in Hertfordshire unveiled a new look when it reopened in May after the third national lockdown.

The design overhaul has seen all three restaurants, lobby and bedrooms in the west wing of the hotel refurbished, in a project spearheaded by Martin Hulbert Design.

All dining spaces – The Glasshouse, The Stables and The Lounges – and all 189 west wing bedrooms have been given a new look, with the work representing a significant investment for The Grove over the last two years, that has been able to be completed during lockdown.

London-based designers Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson of Martin Hulbert Design, who have worked with The Grove since the hotel’s launch in 2003, were charged with updating the property while retaining its ‘signature warmth, character and luxurious modern touches’.

One of the biggest projects was the makeover of the west wing bedrooms, which have been completely remastered with new colour schemes and furnishings.

The Grove’s signature restaurant The Glasshouse has been redesigned, to bring the ‘outside in’. New velvets and leathers have been installed, with kinetic sculptures suspended from the ceiling and voile drapes used to create intimacy. At the Glasshouse Bar, a new mirrored bar space has been created.

Also part of the overhaul are The Grove’s Lounges, a series of characterful drawing rooms at the heart of 18th century mansion.
The Grove’s Stables restaurant, currently the setting for Alpine-style pop-up restaurant ‘Jimmy’s Lodge at The Grove’, has also received a complete refresh, with warm tan leather seating and equine artwork as a nod to the late George Stubbs.

Rothay Manor rolls out revamp

Rothay Manor in Ambleside revealed the completion of its first phase of a £1.25m renovation, led by owners, husband and wife team, Jamie and Jenna Shail late last year.

The refurbishment has seen almost all rooms and suites, plus the restaurant, drawing room and Brathay Lounge redesigned.

The project has been carried out by Matt Hulme of Dynargh Design.

A new boot room complete with a doggy wash, a new orangery reception area and the transformation of a cottage, in the grounds, into a new block of eight bedrooms, has also been completed.

The renovation began in 2017, one year after the Shails first acquired the property, with the reimagining of the reception area and drawing room, followed by a number of bedrooms and the restaurant.

The most recent development in the renovation is the completion of the Fairfield suite.

Hotly-anticipated NoMad London opens

NoMad London marks the first international property for the NoMad brand operated by New-York based hospitality company, Sydell Group.

The historic former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station in Covent Garden has been transformed into a 91-bedroom hotel, including 21 suites, plus a handful of exciting drinking and dining destinations taking residence in the Grade-II listed building.

In collaboration with New York-based interior design studio, Roman and Williams, the transformation of the historic 19th century building draws inspiration from the building’s history and its location in Covent Garden, as well as exploring the artistic and cultural connection between London and New York.

F&B will play an integral role in the experience, with the offering overseen by executive chef Ashley Abodeely.

The hospitality and dining room teams will be overseen by food & beverage director and NoMad NYC opening alum, Chris Perone. 

At the heart of the hotel, The NoMad Restaurant is housed in a light-filled atrium evocative of an Edwardian greenhouse and is open five days a week (Tuesday to Saturday).

Side Hustle is NoMad’s version of a British pub with a decidedly New York ‘sensibility and a playful spirit’, serving a menu of sharing plates paired with an agave-based list of spirits created by mixologist Leo Robitschek and the NoMad Bar team. 

The Library is the living room of the hotel where guests can enjoy light fare, coffee and tea, and cocktails amidst a thoughtful collection of books.

Common Decency, is the first-ever NoMad lounge, and is nestled in a ‘subterranean playground’, offering a lively East London style craft cocktail bar complemented by elements of West End establishments. 

Cameron House’s big comeback

Cameron House Hotel is reopening this month after a three-year closure since a fire in 2017.

Cameron House Hotel in Loch Lomond will launch new fine dining eatery Tamburrini & Wishart, headed up by Scottish chefs Paul Tamburrini and Martin Wishart, The Tavern Bar and The Lobby Bar, as well as the Cameron Grill and Great Scots Bar.

This new restaurants and bars join the resort’s existing food and drinks line up which includes The Boat House and The Clubhouse at Cameron.

The main 17th century baronial building has undergone an extensive restoration, and will be known as The Auld House, home to 14 suites complete with furnishings and design from Glasgow-based Timorous Beasties. The Cameron and The Tower Suites will be the hotel’s top priced bedrooms.

Situated in the West Wing will be an additional ten suites, while the rest of the resort’s 114 bedrooms will be located in an adjacent block.

Tags : DESIGNhotelsinvestmentsnew lookrefurbishmentsrenovations
Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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