Overlooking the Leas, the sea and with views to France, one of Folkestone’s hotels is under new ownership and is being transformed into a new boutique hotel with a separate bar and restaurant.
After recently transforming a derelict Police section house in Greenwich into a luxury 4* Hotel, Ann and Dave from project and construction consultancy; Rees Mellish will be applying the same high spec to the former Salisbury Hotel.
Purchased in February, the development is going full steam ahead and despite the amount of work required to go from a budget to boutique hotel, the opening is planned for June, just five months after work started.
Aiming for 44 rooms in the new ‘View Hotel’, a reduction to its predecessor, it’s clear to see why the new owners would choose to lose some of the bedrooms. Walking around the site and looking at the plans with Dave and Ann, the smallest rooms previously had the best views; directly overlooking the sea: “We’ve now taken that out and allocated that space to a signature suite, which can also be family rooms. We’ve got five real signature rooms.”
What is unique about this development, is each room commands a sea view, and not in a ‘stand on a stepladder, on your tip toes and crane you neck type way’ but with actual sea views; from every room.
Along with the high spec design planned for this boutique hotel, there will also be a separate bar and restaurant called The Cliffe. All though it’s part of the business, the aim is for both the restaurant and bar to also be a destination for locals to use, with the entrance away from the hotel’s reception and arrival area: “Although it will serve residents of the hotel, it will be very much driven to outside guests and locals.
“Although it’s part of the same ownership, and run by the family, it will be run as a separate entity.” The bar and restaurant will be managed by son Charlie and will serve traditional British cuisine, with an outside area to dine and eat in front and to the side of the hotel.
You can see the amount of work involved as new spaces are reconfigured, while trying to maintain many of the original features, but what is already forming is the plans for this new hotel and restaurant to be a destination, both for people visiting Folkestone and for Folkestone itself.