Robert Glashan is general manager at Wychwood Park hotel in Crewe, Cheshire. The property is undergoing a £3m revamp, with all 110 bedrooms set to be refurbished by next month; while a revamped restaurant and bar will be unveiled in the autumn. Katherine Price hears all about it
How much can you tell us about the plans for the hotel?
We made a conscious decision to inject a sense of warmth and comfort when planning our refurb. The hotel was originally a conferencing facility, but we are so much more than that now, as we are a golf resort, hotel and, of course, a conference centre. Our new look needed to reflect this, through the decor, soft furnishings and overall ambience, and we're confident we've achieved our goal.
How has guest and local business feedback helped shape your plans?
Massively. For example, a high-profile car manufacturer, who has been a long-standing client, worked with us to help us ensure that the floor of our entrance area could withstand the weight of one of their vehicles. They use our venue for conferences and they're able to drive straight in through the front door, so we wanted to make sure that our new floor was strong enough.
Will any parts of the hotel close during works?
We've planned the refurb so there is minimal disruption to guests, meaning that we will only need to close public areas for very short periods of time. For example, we will temporarily close the restaurant when it is being renovated, but we will set up an alternative so that guests will still receive a high level of service.
The bedrooms have been refurbished in phases – how did you ensure it was business as usual while works were ongoing?
We chose to refurbish the bedrooms one floor at a time to minimise disruption and we were extremely strict on when works would be carried out, putting in place clear timings and hours of work.
Forward planning and clear lines of communication with both staff and guests have been key, and we've ensured that guests are fully aware of what's happening. The feedback so far has been positive, with many of our long-standing corporate clients and returning guests commenting on how the hotel is being transformed by the day.
What are the plans for the bar and restaurant?
We've brought in a Scandi look and feel to inject a spot of warmth and create a bold, timeless look. Once the restaurant and bar are complete, we're confident that it will make a real difference to guests' time here at Wychwood and we're looking forward to getting started on the changes, which are set to be complete by the end of the year.
You talk about the refurbishment as being part of the hotel's ‘next chapter' – what does this involve?
This refurbishment programme is really only the beginning of a new era for the hotel; we're currently in discussions about how we build on the first round of renovations.
We'll be looking to further develop the golf areas and are also considering the possibility of an exclusive spa facility, with the aim of establishing ourselves as one of Cheshire's most popular resorts.
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