42 the Calls to close for refurbishment

31 October 2019 by
42 the Calls to close for refurbishment

Leeds hotel 42 the Calls is closing for a 12-month refurbishment in December, with 20 jobs expected to be lost.

Subject to planning permission, owner Simon Pollard, who bought the hotel out of administration last year, is seeking to transform the hotel into a five-star, luxury property targeting the leisure market, set to reopen December 2020.

The hotel's 20 members of staff will be made redundant when the hotel closes on 24 December. Pollard told The Caterer they had "worked closely with the staff", who were welcome to re-apply for jobs next year, when 78 roles are set to become available.

The redevelopment will include the creation of a members-only rooftop Champagne bar, an Italian-inspired café bar, a ground-floor Champagne bar with a deck overlooking the river, and a riverside restaurant. The hotel, situated on the River Aire, will have its own boat to welcome train guests at the station's waterside and deliver them to the hotel's mooring.

The 41 bedrooms will be transformed into 37 contemporary suites while respecting the heritage of the 18th century corn mill. The hotel will also incorporate technology including facial recognition and an app to control features such as lighting and temperature.

Pollard added: "I am extremely excited about the future and look forward to creating something truly special. The hotel has retained the support of its long-standing customers through high-quality service and its friendly welcome and we look forward to welcoming them back alongside new visitors.

"Embracing the 18th-century converted corn mill's unique setting, provenance and potential, we will develop a luxurious and opulent experience for the people of Leeds and beyond to treasure and enjoy. I believe the team I have built alongside my vision will put 42 the Calls firmly back on the map as the best luxury hotel in Leeds."

Pollard, a Leeds local and entrepreneur, is also chief executive of telecoms company Intouch Advance and 22 Street Lane Nursery.

The hotel – winner of the 1995 Hotel of the Year Catey – entered administration in February 2018. Jonathan Wix (also behind the 69-bedroom, five-AA-star Scotsman hotel in Edinburgh) bought the former mill building for £775,000 in 1989 and, some two years and £2.8m later, transformed it into the 42 the Calls before selling both properties in 1999.

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