Following an extensive multimillion-pound building project, the new hotel will welcome its first guests in summer 2016. Combining the existing 10-bedroom Brew House Hotel with the Old School House, the adjacent buildings and a new build complex, it will re-emerge as One Warwick Park, complete with 38 luxuriously-appointed bedrooms.
Nick Moore, Group Commercial Director said: “One Warwick Park will be the most luxurious hotel in Tunbridge Wells. Offering a five-star level of service, it will deliver a luxury experience to a discerning market and promises to have the wow factor in spades.”
Work started on the site in August 2013. Nick Moore said: “With a build of this duration and complexity we have worked very hard to ensure that we did not impact unnecessarily on local residents and neighbouring businesses. The contractors have worked within the ‘Considerate Constructors Scheme’, which monitors the site for appearance, community, environment, safety and workforce.”
In fact, not only have contractors worked strictly within acceptable working hours, during some of the particularly dusty excavation work they’ve offered complimentary patio and window cleaning services too. What’s in little doubt is the fact that the new hotel will be a massive asset to the ever-popular ‘village area’ of Tunbridge Wells. Robert Jacobs, Head of Residential at Savills Estate agents said: “This is going to be great news for the southern end of town. Having a glamorous hotel, plus a great restaurant and a decent place to drink is only going to draw people in – and who knows, hotel guests from London may even fall in love with the town and decide to relocate here.”
As well as employing up to 100 contractors and sub-contracters over the past 18 months, the hotel will recruit 60 full-time staff in the run up to opening, plus part-time roles for functions and events. In fact, the company will begin hiring for key roles this summer, including an operations manager, a front-of-house manager and head chef. The hotel is aiming for four-star AA accreditation, while delivering a five-star level of service. Project Manager Sarah Freeman said: “Our Talent Development team will run an intensive training package so that our level of service will consistently exceed expectations.”
While the construction work is ongoing, the first test bedroom in the hotel is complete, and six members of staff have already tested out the functionality of the room. Sarah said: “Everything has been designed with guest ease and comfort in mind, so feedback from staff has proved invaluable when making minor alterations to interior features, but we were lucky that we got a lot of it right first time round.”
The overall look and feel of the hotel will be one of “contemporary elegance”. To help design and visualise the hotel’s ultra-contemporary interiors, the company has employed the services of local interior designer Mel Ellis from Envy London, with support from architectural consultants KTB. Sarah Freeman said: “Every detail, from the wood panelling in the reception area to the controlled light switches in the bedrooms, will shout sophistication. All the bedrooms will be slightly different in terms of their look and feel and have their own distinctive personality.”
Despite its ultra-high specification, the hotel will be inclusive rather than exclusive in tone, welcoming everyone from tourists and business clients to newlywed couples and ‘mini mooners’. Families may want to stay in one of the hotel’s duplex suites with interlocking doors, while businesses may prefer to use some of the hotel’s function rooms for meetings and conferences. Sarah said: “Following feedback from our local business clients, we realised that there was a real dearth of conferencing space available in the town centre. One Warwick Park will offer meeting spaces for local businesses, and will be perfectly placed for meeting clients from London, being just five minutes’ walk from Tunbridge Wells railway station.”
The buildings adjacent to The Old School House, and the new building will house a spacious double-storey space with an atrium-style glass ceiling. Sarah said: “Lined with windows, this multipurpose space will have a light and airy feel, and form the centre of the hotel, joining the new build to the listed part of the hotel. It can be used for afternoon teas or as a function room for weddings and special events.”
Another unusual feature of the new hotel is the tunnel which runs underneath Cumberland Walk. Sarah said: “The tunnel will be a softly-lit subterranean gallery space. It will act as a transition between the two buildings, from the reception area to the hotel’s centre.”
One Warwick Park will also host weddings. For those wishing for a stylish, town-centre setting, the hotel will host wedding receptions for up to 120 guests.
The hotel’s restaurant will be part of the hotel but also act as a standalone restaurant. Sarah said: “It will be open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. We aim to make it a ‘destination restaurant’ in the town, serving modern European cuisine, including a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.”
Nick Moore, Group Commercial Director said: “We are working very hard to ensure that this phase of building does not impact unnecessarily on our residential and business neighbours.
It has been a real feat of engineering to get the sub-basement level constructed, and we thank everyone for their patience. Work is progressing well and we’re confident that when the hotel is finished it will prove itself to be a tremendous asset to the area, benefitting residents, businesses and visitors alike.”