Balmer Lawn Hotel, a country house set in the heart of Hampshire’s New Forest, has completed a multi-million-pound refurbishment thanks to NatWest.
A £3.95m loan from NatWest has enabled the owners to revitalise the hotel from top to bottom including expanding public areas and upgrading ten of its 54 bedrooms from standard to superior.
This has included extending function facilities used for weddings and parties, with corporate and conference areas benefiting from additional space and stylish new furniture including French shutters and wood burners.
Wedding bookings have already doubled at the hotel, which features a popular spa and restaurant, in 2017 as the venue has grown to accommodate more guests.
To meet customer demand, the owners – Alison and Chris Wilson – have increased the hotel workforce by 30%, bringing to 65 the number of staff employed. Alison and Chris have owned the hotel for 20 years, and in 2007 oversaw its improvement from 3-star to 4-star official rating.
The refurbishment is set to bring a contemporary edge to the hotel design whilst ensuring it continues to be sympathetic to its New Forest surroundings.
Alison Wilson said: “Chris and I have successfully run two hotels over the past 25 years. We have learnt that is essential to continue investment and development to grow the business.
“Developing a hotel to meet guest expectation can be very complex and after meeting with David Humphreys and the NatWest team we were extremely impressed with their local knowledge and understanding of the industry.”
David Humphreys, senior relationship manager at NatWest, said: “Alison and Chris are very passionate about their business and the role it plays within the local community. They are already seeing the bookings flood in following the refurbishment, and it is fantastic to see their hard work continue to reap rewards.”