Stroud's reborn hotel nears completion
By Simon Hacker | 17th August 2023
Completion on long-awaited renovation and remodelling of Stroud's showcase hotel is set for this autumn, with the £2m project looking likely to open its doors comfortably ahead of Christmas trade.
As reported in March, the project to renovate and remarket the former Imperial Hotel in Stroud, opposite the town's train station, has not been without controversy.
But project manager Steph Burrows, former ballerina and wife of Razorlight drummer, Andy Burrows, told Punchline that she is confident that the 'The Stroud', reborn as a kitchen, bar and hotel with 25 rooms, will be a significant step up for the Cotswold town.
Ms Burrows said: "It is not quite coming in under the £2m budget and there is a little more to do now which sets back a date for completion which we hoped would be September, but it's going to look spectacular and is shaping up to look like an amazing addition to what the town can offer."
Wallpapering and final touches to décor are being finalised throughout the building, which was originally a coaching inn built in 1863, but shut down in 2020.
The task of rescuing and remodelling the hotel has been taken on by Simon Berg, of London-based S2 Estates after the company acquired it for £1.1m in 2022. It has been recognised locally as as an initiative that adds momentum to the £30m nearby investment Dransfield Properties has been making in the town's retail future.
Ms Burrows said that the hotel will draw deeply on its heritage and cultural roots, not least by renaming the bar after famed architect Benjamin Bucknall, who designed the building. References to Laurie Lee, who was a regular drinker, and a young Princess Elizabeth, who dined here in 1950, are also to be expected.
"We have just found a lot of photographs which show the history of the hotel, down in the cellars, and we are working on these for display," she said.
Although a number has not been specified, the project is also creating new work opportunities for the town: Peter Holgate has been appointed as general manager and is currently looking to recruit bar staff, a reception team and waiting staff.
And after launching her own dance fitness business, Popfit, in London, Ms Burrows says she will be transferring the project as part of the hotel's programme of activities.
"Renovation has produced some surprises," she said, "but it's a wonderful building and we are parricularly excited about the Bucknall bar, not least the sociable banquette eating plan and the sharing menus. We have a lot of wonderful surprises in store."
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