Andrew Gosling, founder of London-based catering and events company Food Show Ltd, has ventured into the hotel business with the purchase of Cliff House Hotel in Southbourne, Dorset.
Gosling plans to reopen the 14-room hotel, which was one of three UK properties put on the market by former owner the Salvation Army last year, as a boutique hotel.
New general manager Tim Seward, who brings 20 years’ experience and joins from a three-star Bournemouth hotel, told Boutique Hotelier: “Everything downstairs is being totally gutted. The reception area is being pulled out and replaced with a glass-table check in with a Windows tablet, there’ll be a very nice high-end bar and lounge menu, and breakfast”.
Two of the bedrooms are also being overhauled and the property will launch a restaurant and welcome weddings from next year, according to Seward.
He said there would be a soft launch of the hotel on April 26 for a 40th birthday function, but Cliff House Hotel’s official relaunch is slated for June 6.
The property dates back to the 1880s and was a boys’ school before being converted into a hotel. It was last extensively renovated in 2003.
“Each of our 14 en-suite light and airy rooms has been individually and sympathetically designed in order to be an inviting oasis of calm, while still showcasing the historic charm and character of the 19th century former homestead,” Gosling said.
He and Seward plan to bring the Food Show’s 24-year philosophy of sourcing high-quality seasonal produce to the hotel’s F&B offering.
“We both believe in not just meeting but exceeding expectations, and are dedicated to making the Cliff House Hotel experience an exceptional one,” added Gosling.