Green light for renovation of Brownsword's Imperial Torquay hotel

11 November 2021 by
Green light for renovation of Brownsword's Imperial Torquay hotel

Torbay Council has given the green light for Andrew Brownsword Hotels to extensively renovate its Imperial Torquay hotel.

The plans include refurbishing the exterior and interior of the property, reducing the room count from 152 to a maximum of 111, and the construction of a new beach club and spa complex to the south of the hotel to transform the property into a "modern, high quality four-star hotel".

Planning documents filed with the Council said that the property had "suffered in recent years from insensitive and at some times unnecessary alterations" and that the "character and appearance of the original building has been lost through extensions and significant remodeling of the elevations", meaning the hotel "operates and trades at a level significantly beneath its potential".

The application proposed, with selective removal and alteration of some of these elements, to reinstate the proportions and grandeur of the original building - creating a contemporary interpretation of the Italianate style - while providing for modern requirements such as balconies.

Planning officers accepted that the hotel "has no clear viable future without investment".

Andrew Brownsword Hotels is owned by Andrew and Christina Brownsword and includes Gidleigh Park in Devon, the Bath Priory, Amberley Castle in West Sussex, and Sydney House Chelsea in London.

The group also owns five Cotswold properties: the Slaughters Manor House, the Slaughters Country Inn, Buckland Manor, Minster Mill and the Old Swan, as well as Abode hotels in Canterbury, Chester, Glasgow and Manchester.

Andrew Brownsword Hotels purchased the Imperial hotel in 2016 from Lone Star Funds and said at the time that a "sympathetic restoration and refurbishment project" would be on the cards.

In its heyday, the Imperial's general manager was 1986 Hotelier of the Year, Harry Murray, who ran the property from 1976 to 1994.

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