A leading independent Cumbrian hotel is getting ready to unveil its biggest single investment: a £1million state of the art spa complex.
Building work has been going on all summer on the new spa at the four-star Appleby Manor Country House hotel - and owner Mike Dunbobbin says it’s on course to open in the second week of November.
The ambitious project, which replaces the hotel’s old pool and leisure suite which shut in April, will be one of the county’s most upscale hotel spa centres yet.
Eight staff have already been recruited in anticipation of the opening with more set to follow as part of the £1million project.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “This is by far the biggest single investment we have made in the 15 years that we have been here.
“Cumulatively, over the years, we’ve spent more. But in terms of one specific project, this is definitely the biggest. We’re very excited about it.
“The old leisure suite was 30 years old and showing its age. The choice was to revamp it or start again and go for a brand new full-service destination spa and that’s what we’ve done. “
A lot of hotels call themselves a spa but all they’ve got is a steamroom, a sauna, a gym and a pool. What we’re doing is much bigger than that.”
The new spa complex will be based around a thermal suite featuring five different experiences designed to gradually raise body temperature.
The bold project is the product of extensive planning by Mr Dunbobbin and his wife Angela.
“We did six to eight months research before we started so that we could get the concept absolutely right in our heads first.
“We’re lucky to have good contacts in the trade and we went round and had a very good look at what’s out there at the moment and had a good look behind the scenes too.”
As plans for the opening gather pace, eight staff have already been taken on for the spa with another two set to follow and extra hirings planned for the hotel too to deal with an influx of new spa clients.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “We had been due to open at the end of October but the weather put us back a bit. We’re on course now to open in mid-November and we’re getting ready to launch.”
The hotel has a time-lapse camera filming the building work so that a short video can be put together showing the various stages of the project’s transformation.
“It’s been a lot of work but we’re very excited,” said Mr Dunbobbin. “It’s a major investment which will be good for the business, good for the area and good for visitor numbers.”
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