A HOTEL in Malmesbury has re-opened after undergoing extensive renovations and refurbishment.
Husband and wife Simon Haggarty and Marianne Hofstra are the new joint tenants of Arkell Brewery’s Kings Arms Hotel on the High Street.
The hotel, which was closed for two months whilst work took place, was packed for its launch party on Friday, August 2, with around 250 people in attendance.
Simon has been in the hotel industry for 35 years having trained with The Savoy Group in London and Switzerland.
He said: “I met my wife, Marianne whilst a cashier in Claridge’s. After Switzerland I started my management career at The Manor House in Castle Combe and have been in the West Country ever since, apart from a year in St Lucia in the Caribbean.
“After a career break of two years I was introduced to George Arkell and the Kings Arms story began.
“Marianne worked in St Lucia as well and in other hotels I have been involved with.
“She is a garden and interior designer and has brought her flair to the venture.”
Working together alongside managing director of Arkell’s Brewery, George Arkell, it’s all change at the hotel.
Simon said: “Originally the ground floor was only going to get a bit of paint but George Arkell agreed to make a big statement to establish The Kings Arms as the focal point of the town.
“We had to close to make a wow statement for Malmesbury.
“In the bedrooms we have tried to make them as large as possible giving the rooms a more up-to-date, urban, industrial feel.
“We currently have 12 bedrooms, but we are in the process of building four more rooms ready to open in two months time, taking us to 16 rooms.
“All of the old wardrobes, bed-side tables, dressing tables and most of the beds were donated to Stroud District Furniture Bank who provide furniture for families finding themselves in difficult times.
“We are also outsourcing the laundry, so we donated all the bed linen and towelling to Gerry Watkins, founder of The Big Yellow Bus Project.
And it’s all change in the restaurant and bar area as well.
Simon said: “We have closed the smaller bar that has been the focal point for all Malmesbury’s youth for the past 20 years. This is to say that era is over. This room might be ideal for local groups or societies to meet in, perhaps an open-mic night.
“We are opening up the much larger bar, lounge and restaurant area. The floors have been re-sanded and the room lightened and opened up, it is easily the largest dining area in town.”
Simon says the new menu has also been well received, adding ‘there’s nothing like the menu in town’.
The restaurant will be serving dishes between 12pm and 9pm inspired by the countries surrounding the Mediterranean, from Spanish tapas and Greek meze to North African meat dishes.
With all the changes, the couple say they want to cater for all people, whether they are looking for a drink, a bite to eat, or an overnight stay.
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