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Barnsdale Hall Hotel at Rutland Water is refurbished ready for reopening

A Rutland hotel is receiving a refurbishment of its bedrooms, restaurant and bar areas as the new owners prepare for its reopening.

Dineshbhai and Savitaben Patel, who are co-founders of Leicester’s Cofresh snack foods empire, bought Barnsdale Hall Hotel on the north shore of Rutland Water last summer.

It had been marketed with a £10m price tag.

Barnsdale Hall Hotel is being refurbished by the new owners
Barnsdale Hall Hotel is being refurbished by the new owners

They are now investing heavily in their new business and are hoping that the hotel will be open again to guests - and as a local venue for weddings and other special events - by the spring or summer.

John Higham, the hotel manager, said the rooms being revamped would have new beds, carpets, furniture and curtains, while the bathrooms have already been upgraded.

Mr Higham, who joined the team 18 months ago, said: “It’s a very exciting time because the new owners want to regenerate the site.

“It hasn’t been used to its full potential and I think it can be a jewel in the crown of Rutland.

“We are refurbishing the restaurant, the kitchen and the bedrooms and hopefully that will all be done by June.

"The restaurant is a building site but should be done by mid-April. We are also upgrading the front-of-house and launching a new website.

“The new owners want this to be their legacy for the next 50 years or so.”

The 66-bedroom hotel includes a spa and hairdressers with timeshare lodges in the 55-acre grounds and planning permission for more.

Mr Higham said in normal times the hotel offers everything from wedding facilities – with space for outdoor ceremonies – to romantic breaks and corporate activities.

Typically it employs around 100 people, though most are on furlough right now as the business plans its reopening.

He said: “We are very confident that we will benefit from the staycation market this year and we did really well when things got going again last August.

“The first few weeks of July in 2020 were slow, until confidence started picking up again.

“After that we performed really well, but December was a bit of a let-down in the end because we weren’t able to host any Christmas parties and then, like everywhere, had to close down.”

When guests return there will be measures to protect against the spread of Covid-19 including the use of digital thermometers, social distancing and stringent cleaning regimes.

“If we open by the end of April we won’t have completed all the rooms by then, but hope they will all be finished by the end of May,” said Mr Higham.

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