Lake District hotels refurb programme to resume

Inn on the Lake Hotel
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One of the Lake District’s best-known hotel groups is set to restart a refurbishment programme with architecture, design and masterplanning practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP).

Work will resume in the Spring as the Cumbrian business looks to take further advantage of the growing move towards staycations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Preston-based FWP has spearheaded the 2020 upgrade of Lake District Hotels’ flagship properties in Cumbria – delivering contemporary bedrooms and public spaces through its interior design expertise.

It completed two major projects at the Skiddaw Hotel and the Inn on the Lake just before lockdown in March, delivering contemporary new looks for the ground floors of both popular venues.

More work to refurbish bedrooms at the family-owned group’s Borrowdale Hotel was put on hold as a result of the pandemic. However, that project is now set to restart in Spring next year.

Lake District Hotels first appointed FWP in 2011 with the remit to provide designs for contemporary bedrooms and public spaces in each of its seven hotels.

Led by senior interior designer Kate Simmons, the FWP team has delivered a series of acclaimed upgrades for the group, which is owned by the Graves family.

In March this year it completed the full ground-floor revamp of the Skiddaw Hotel, Keswick, including its entrance and reception, bar, restaurant, function room and conservatory.

It also finished the refurbishment of the ground floor of the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding, which included its bar, lounges, ceremonial room and wedding prep and meeting rooms, as well as the venue’s dining suite and restaurant.

Dani Hope, marketing director at Lake District Hotels, said: “We were also working with FWP on bedroom refurbishments at the Borrowdale Hotel – that came to a standstill as a result of COVID-19. We are hopeful that we can pick up where we left in Spring 2021.

“We’ve worked with FWP for over 10 years and have built a strong relationship.

“We invest a lot of money in ensuring our hotels look and feel great so that we can feel proud of them when we walk through the door.

“We try to carry out a rotation of refurbishments with our 280-plus bedrooms which can be a mammoth task to get through, but it is important that we keep our standards high to suit guest expectations.

She added: “There is a lot of competition in the Lake District, so it is important that our hotels look enticing, cosy and welcoming.

“We have always wanted the hotels to feel like you can come in with your dog, kick off your muddy boots after a day on the fells and enjoy a drink by the fire, but on the other hand you can dress up to enjoy a decadent afternoon tea or fine dining meal.

Inn on the Lake reception

“So, it is important that the décor reflects these very contrasting experiences. This is something that FWP has managed to create in its refurbishments.”

She said: “Following work which completed in March, we were only open for three weeks before going into lockdown. The feedback we received in that short time was very positive.

“After lockdown it was like reopening brand-new hotels and it was nice to be able to shout about that across our website and social media.”

Kate Simmons said: “Lake District Hotels are all about quality and individuality and our designs look to enhance the offering and experience for guests.

“The Graves family pay great attention to detail at all their properties, which is why they have an excellent reputation in the industry.

“Our work ensures that bedroom space and natural light is used to the maximum effect and that guests can enjoy accommodation that is also the perfect place to relax and unwind.”

Skiddaw Hotel

FWP, which has offices in Preston, Manchester and London, has a wealth of experience in the hospitality and tourism sector.

It was part of the team that delivered the £16m development of the Low Wood Bay hotel and spa at Windermere.

FWP also oversaw a £2m expansion plan at Haverigg Holiday Village in South Cumbria.

It is the architect in the current project to deliver the Sands Venue Resort, which will be Blackpool’s first five-star hotel, and is part of the team looking to bring the Victorian Park Hotel in Preston back to life.

FWP has also worked with the Max William Hotels group on its North West hotel aparthotel projects, including No.10 Preston and Winkley Square Hotel in its home city.

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