The UK's first Marbella-style beach club is to open on the Isle of Wight in Sandown in July.
Called Origin, it will offer 24 bedrooms and two one-bedroom apartments in the Townhouse at Origin (formerly the King's House hotel) from £170 a night. The business will offer indoor and alfresco dining in the Terrace restaurant, where local seafood will be a feature, along with a cocktail bar, a swimming pool with DJ area, plus a roped-off section of Sandown's famous sandy beach, complete with sunbeds and a beach bar.
Origin, so-called because Charles Darwin allegedly finished his On the Origin of Species in one of the hotel's bedrooms while enjoying the island air after recovering from an illness, promises a ‘laid-back beach retreat' aimed at clientele aged 35-65.
Origin, owned by the Carlauren Group, marks a dramatic departure for the company, which operates care homes, or rather "luxury resort living with care as needed", as stated on its website.
"The company is moving into high-end hospitality," confirms Lucia, who reveals that the move is the brainchild of the company's chief executive, Sean Murray, a fan of international beach clubs and the yachting lifestyle, who struggled to find something similar in the UK. The Isle of Wight boasts 57 miles of shoreline and more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the UK.
Negotiations are already under way with the local council for dedicated moorings so that yachts can drop anchor and their occupants can be ferried to Origin courtesy of a RIB valet parking service.
The Carlauren Group opened the 25-bedroom Auckland House in Shanklin on 12 April, and is currently refurbishing the former 75-bedroom Ocean hotel next door to Origin, which will open next year as Ocean House with around 55 bedrooms. Ocean House will be run separately from Origin.