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Business boosted at Soar Mill Cover hotel in Salcombe by £2m refurbishment

16 May 2013
Business boosted at Soar Mill Cover hotel in Salcombe by £2m refurbishment

The soon-to-be-completed £2m redevelopment of the four-star, 22-bedroom Soar Mill Cove hotel in Salcombe, Devon, has already helped to boost business.

Owned by three generations of the Makepeace family since 1978, the hotel has undergone an almost total refurbishment with new interiors overseen by Jenny Makepeace and her daughter Becky, with the addition of a new spa, salt water swimming pool and three eco-style self-catering villas.

The new-look Serendipity restaurant, under head chef Ian Macdonald, and public areas reflect the location overlooking the sea with a calm, nautical theme throughout, while the bedrooms display stronger, primary colours. Local contractors undertook the work which was overseen by Keith Makepeace senior, who was a carpenter when he bought the hotel 35 years ago.

The Makepeace family forecast that it will take six years for the hotel to repay the investment, which has been part-funded by a loan from Lloyds. This, they say, will be boosted by the anticipated 20% increase in turnover.

Keith Makepeace junior, the son of Keith senior, said the family is constantly considering how the hotel can be made as good as its coastal location.

"This is a significant investment for us, but one that is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to hold and develop our market," he explained.

"Self-catering always used to be seen as the ‘prowling evil' amongst hotel owners, however as the market is constantly changing our additional self-catering retreats are proving popular and rather than take away from our hotel business, they are adding volume and cashflow, all of which can only be positive in the current climate."

Makepeace added that a significant investment was also being made in expanding the hotel's online and social media presence.

"With year-on-year sale up 9% after Easter, Soar Mill Cove is excited about what the future holds: both the immediate future and for generations to come."

Champagne Bar Devon, Salcombe >>

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