The first phase of the £90m transformation of the former Surrey home of media magnate and politician Lord Beaverbrook into a luxury country house hotel and exclusive golf club is now open to the public.
Located within the 400 acre estate of Beaverbrook , near Leatherhead, the Garden House has launched with 11 bedrooms, a 55-seat restaurant and cookery school.
The club house for the 18-hole golf course, designed by five times Open winner Tom Watson and architect David McLay Kidd, will open later this month; while the main Grade-II-listed French chateaux-style mansion, which will form the heart of Beaverbrook, will launch next year with 18 bedrooms, a bar, restaurant and screening room. A spa, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools and six treatment rooms, and a further six suites in the grounds will also open in 2017.
The development of Beaverbrook, previously known as Cherkley Court, has been a protracted process since the acquisition by Longshot, headed by Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors, in 2011. Work eventually went ahead after opposition to the development from environmental campaigners failed in the High Court.
Justin Pinchbeck, former general manager of the Berkeley hotel who is heading the project as chief operating officer, described Beaverbrook as "a leading country house hotel meets world class sporting excellence".
"The board of directors had the fantastic vision to create such a unique venture at Cherkley Court, the former home of Lord Beaverbrook," he explained. "I am privileged to be part of Beaverbrook's new beginning and excited by the opportunity of building a dynamic team completely focussed on exceptional hospitality.'
The hotel team includes Nathan Unwin, Garden House manager who will be joining shortly from his current role as restaurant manager at the Barn at Coworth Park; Kaz Suzuki, Garden House head chef, who has moved to the UK from Japan via New Zealand; and Justin Ellis, club house manager, previously at Hotel Café Royal and Wentworth Club.
Other key members of staff include Colin Campbell, director of golf; Sandra Frade, executive housekeeper; Jordan Ramanauskas, head PGA professional; and Eric Olson, golf course superintendent.
Nicola Harding, who has previously worked on the Bel and the Dragon group of seven pubs, also owned by Longshot, has designed the Garden House; while Susie Atkinson, whose earlier work has included Babington House and Dean Street Townhouse for Soho House & Co, is creating the look for the mansion house and club house.
Membership of the golf club will cost in excess of six figures. Nearly 300 members have signed up so far, with the target figure standing at 500.
Beaverbrook is located within a 400-acre estate close to Box Hill, home of the 2012 London Olympics road cycle race. The house hosted seven prime ministers, including Sir Winston Churchill, during Lord Beaverbrook's ownership of the property.
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