Beefy's, a new steakhouse and seafood concept developed by Sir Ian Botham is at the heart of the new 171-bedroom Hilton at the Ageas Bowl Southampton, which has opened at the home of Hampshire cricket.
The hotel's launch follows lengthy delay after the original contractor for the project went into administration. Work on the project, which stopped in September 2013 after Denzien went into administration, eventually started again eight months later following the appointment of new contractor, Powells Group, to complete the work.
The hotel, which received development funding from Eastleigh Council, is owned by RB Sport & Leisure Holdings, parent company of Hampshire Cricket. It is being operated under a franchise agreement with Hilton Worldwide by Interstate Hotels & Resorts.
Former England cricketer Botham, together with his business partner Rod Bransgrove, has personally selected the wines at Beefy's, which is the inaugural restaurant of a new chain.
The restaurant is one of three food and beverage options at the hotel alongside the Spa Café and the Lakeview Sports Bar.
The hotel also offers the first Hilton eforea spa with eight treatment rooms, pool, salon, nail bar and restaurant; eight meeting rooms and the largest ballroom in the region with more than 1,500 sq m of event space, hosting up to 700 people; executive lounge; and 24-hour business centre.
Simon Vincent, executive vice-president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide said: "The redevelopment of the Ageas Bowl brings a striking new business and leisure destination to Southampton and an exceptional home for our flagship Hilton brand, which is also expanding across the south coast this year with a new hotel in Bournemouth and major renovation in Brighton planned.
"Hilton at The Ageas Bowl Southampton will provide an additional economic stimulus to the region's thriving economy, home to more than 50,000 businesses."
Dominic Osborne, general manager, Hilton at The Ageas Bowl Southampton, pictured here, added: "We are delighted to offer guests exceptional hospitality whether for business, sport or leisure."