Palé Hall in Wales is using this lockdown time to focus on improvements and speeding up the completion of new developments. The five-red-star hotel and 3 AA Rosette restaurant is owned by Alan and Angela Harper.
Speaking to BH, general manager, Debbie Coppadona says: “We are concentrating on a few things during this lockdown. We are undertaking a restoration of our damaged fine dining restaurant ceiling, which will take around six weeks, and a two-month project to repair our historic clock.
We will be retraining in all departments, with 10 management, supervisor team members, focusing on how to be an inspirational leader and a more effective manager, while 30 staff will be given cross-training in different departments and five-red-stars service standards. We are also looking to appoint a new restaurant manager.
On top of this, we have introduced a team Whatsapp group to encourage the sharing of activities, interests, walks and more to ensure lonely team members do not feel on their own.
We opened our four new garden suites in August last year, so we will spend some time promoting these during this time.
The hotel is ticking over in lockdown using 100% of its own electricity through the Hydro turbine on the estate.”
Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa, The Esplanade Hotel and Boringdon Hall Hotel and Gaia Spa are operated by Philema Hospitality Management, with a number of ongoing projects taking place this winter while guests are away.
Laura Cameron, operations director, says: “We focused on projects at Fistral and Boringdon in the first lockdown but this winter it’s all about the Esplanade; we closed on 1st November, in light of the uncertainty of what the winter was going to be like for hospitality and with the type of business that we have at the Esplanade we decided to shut until Easter and take the opportunity to do a complete refurbishment that we wouldn’t be able to do if we were open. We had planned to do this over the next couple of years but decided that this would be more beneficial for reopening next year and hopefully another busy staycation summer!
“We are currently in the process of refurbishing all of the bedrooms including knocking a few rooms together to create larger family rooms, replacing all bedroom and corridor carpets, replacing all doors and skirting with solid oak, all new décor and soft furnishings. We are also refurbishing our front entrance, lounge and reception area, have created a new cinema room, refurbishing our Bar area into an adults only bar and overhauling our restaurant to become an all day dining restaurant with new feature bar area with soft play area / chill out area off to the side.
“We are also doing a lot of “behind the scenes” upgrades to kitchen, boilers and replacing all of our bedroom balconies with stainless steel and glass balconies.
“We will be ready to open in time for Easter with all current situations permitting! Any refurbishment of this size is of course challenging but with constantly changing circumstances at the other two hotels definitely keeps it interesting!
“We have also just signed off the plans for an extension to the Spa at Boringdon Hall which we are hoping to get started as soon as possible, this will include a new collection of Wellness rooms including suites and also another pool and relaxation area.”
Five-star hotel, The Nare in Cornwall has been busy during lockdown, working on its new Whittington Suites, due to open in March.
Owner Toby Ashworth is bidding for the new additions to be the largest sea-view hotel suites in Britain.
Speaking to BH, he says: “2021 will be a landmark year for The Nare as the brand-new Whittington Suites open in March fresh from lockdown. Construction work started on the four master suites last year and they are very much a focus for me and the hotel during lockdown when the finishing touches will be made.
““The Whittington Suites will be adjoined to the hotel in their own wing and guests will have use of an exclusive entrance. Offering the comfort of the hotel with added seclusion and space, they are expected to be the largest sea-view hotel suites in Britain with the largest measuring up to 132m2.
“The four suites are situated over two floors (two suites on each level) and form the western part of the hotel. They will also have a dedicated entrance from the hotel’s croquet lawn car park.”
The Hari in London has always had a heart for its community, and this lockdown period is no different, with support being given to local residents and charities.
Speaking to BH, general manager Andrew Coney says: “If you had asked me a year ago about my knowledge and practical input into mental wellbeing I am ashamed to say it would have been a scant reply. Now after 10 months of extraordinary disruption it has become my main focus. My team are passionate, sociable and deliver incredible service day in day out. Effectively switching them on and off and requiring them to spend extensive time alone is heart-breaking and as such I place huge relevance on keeping the team informed immediately upon any announcements as many are anxious and want to know what we are doing. We have endeavoured to maintain contact, in person when possible otherwise virtually, running wine, cocktail and coffee appreciation sessions and providing on line fitness classes.
2021 will also be about giving back. We have long supported the local community and have run projects through lockdowns to provide assistance to our neighbourhood, from a mass production of Christmas meals for those who would have gone without, to jumping on our Hari bikes to deliver groceries. Our charitable work will continue but this year we want to do even more and are working on projects to support the arts who are in as much of a crisis as us, through sponsoring graduate artists and supporting young live theatre.”