Stanwell House hotel in Lymington is undergoing a £3m refurbishment to transform it into a four- to five-star property.
The 18th century Hampshire hotel closed on 2 January and is due to reopen in the summer. It will still have 29 bedrooms and, planning permission being granted, the front of the hotel will be converted into an upmarket pub and bar to complement a seafood and grill restaurant.
"We're going to really up our game on the food and drinks," general manager Lance Bartlett told The Caterer. "We want to bring jobs to Lymington and we want to have something that Lymington's going to be really proud of, somewhere people know they can always come in and relax."
From next week the hotel will be holding an open house furniture sale, with all proceeds being donated to Naomi House hospices for children and young adults.
"It's all kicked off pretty quickly, so right now we're doing a sale in the hotel trying to get rid of the majority of the stuff that's in here so that we can start to do the building work," said Bartlett.
Stanwell House was acquired last May from Anthony Jones by the owners of the Snakecatcher pub and Albero restaurant in Brockenhurst. It is the group's first hotel. Calum and Mary Maclean are listed as majority shareholders on Companies House. Staff are being kept on during the refurbishment.
Bartlett added: "We've been lucky enough to find some good staff who have been really great from when we took it on in May [when] we had no staff, to open up in a month with minimal staff and we've grown from there. It was definitely a learning curve for us."
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