Maurizio Redaelli – currently cluster general manager of Starhotels' the Pelham, Franklin and Gore hotels in London – has revealed plans to refurbish the New Forest hotel he acquired earlier this year.
He and his partner Francesca Mannone bought the hotel in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, in July using their own funds for a figure understood to be over £1m. The previous owner, a former journalist who once worked at The Caterer, Christina Simons, has retired having owned the hotel for 15 years. She and her husband David Mascord bought the hotel for £720,000 in 2004.
Redaelli and Mannone plan to undergo a phased 12-month refurbishment of the property's 16 bedrooms as well as the reception area starting next month after Redaelli leaves Starhotels. He will be replaced by Thomas James Orchard, who has been appointed to oversee the three properties, joining from Carlisle Bay in Antigua where he was managing director and general manager.
The plan is to give the Cottage Lodge a ‘forest feel' using local products, especially timber, and local artists, as well as decorating the wall of the bar with a map of the New Forest.
Redaelli told The Caterer that he and his partner had been looking for a hotel in the New Forest for "a couple of years" having "fallen in love" with the area. He worked as deputy general manager at the four-silver-AA-star, 77-bedroom Careys Manor in the New Forest 15 years ago.
There are no plans to close the property during the refurbishment.
The Cottage Lodge will have a focus on sustainability, with many of its larger suppliers already swapped for smaller local suppliers to reduce its carbon footprint; and small toiletry bottles replaced with large dispensers of New Forest Aromatics toiletries. Solar panels have also been installed and the car park has two charge points for electric cars.
"We want to support the local businesses, that's very important to us," said Redaelli. "Our dream is to make it the first fully sustainable hotel in the New Forest."
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