A new 20-bedroom boutique hotel is to become the latest element in the revival of the Kent seaside town of Margate.
The Sands hotel, which will open next week, is being launched by Nick Conington, a former financier turned property develop who bought the property at auction in 2011.
Located in a Victorian building overlooking the sea front, the hotel will help meet the growth in demand from visitors attracted to the town's thriving arts scene, led by the opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery.
Conington said he fell in love with Margate the instant he first viewed the building in 2011. "I was stunned by the glorious views across the sands, the vibrancy of the nearby Old Town, and the magnificent new Turner gallery just along the bay.
"I'd originally planned to convert the building into luxury flats but discovered that it had been a hotel in Victorian times and was excited by the possibility of recreating a hotel and trying to capture some of the building's original splendour."
After acquiring the hotel, Conington brought in Conrad Bigham, a former hotel consultant and director of Geronimo Inns, as a shareholder and co-director.
The hotel's restaurant, Bay @ Sands, is headed by Ryan Tasker, who after leaving his native Scotland has worked in Kent at Eastwell Manor, Abode and the Marquis at Alkham. For the past two years he has been head chef at Wallets Court Hotel & Spa in Dover.
Tasker's menu for the first floor Bay restaurant is inspired by seasonal produce from throughout Kent and by the hotel's seaside location.
Conington and his wife Karen have worked with Margate-born designer Dawn Pirie to create an interior which aims to balance the building's original Victorian columns and cornices with a contemporary interior.
Margate was voted one of the 2013 top 10 holiday destinations in the world by the Rough Guide.
Photo of Conrad Bigham and Nick Conington