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Stanwell House Hotel in Lymington set for £3m-4m upgrade with 100 new jobs

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A LYMINGTON town centre hotel is set for a multi-million-pound upgrade with hopes of creating about 100 new jobs.

Grade II listed Stanwell House Hotel is to shut from Sunday while the extensive refurb, costing an estimated £3m-£4m, is under way, with the aim of reopening in the summer.

The High Street venue has been under new ownership since April, and general manager Lance Bartlett said he hopes to bring at least 100 new jobs to the town when customers are welcomed back.

Stanwell House Hotel general manager Lance Bartlett
Stanwell House Hotel general manager Lance Bartlett

First, however, Stanwell House will host open days for those who fancy a slice of the hotel’s past – for a charity contribution.

“We need to get rid of literally everything inside,” he said. “It all needs clearing out, from the rooms to the kitchen and the restaurant.

“The hotel has collected a lot of things over the years, and it just all needs to go.

“All we ask is those who do take anything give a contribution to Naomi House.”

It is a substantial project, Mr Bartlett stressed, with the added difficulty of the hotel’s listed status.

“Being listed is probably our biggest issue. We obviously need to be careful and get everything right, but that’s exactly what we’ll do,” he explained.

“We have a team in place to make sure we get it perfect – the right designs, staff, cutlery, crockery, etc.

“When we came in, the hotel was very tired, very outdated. There were lots of leaks, damaged walls, a lot of water-damage, and just a handful of staff.”

Employees would be kept on, Mr Bartlett said, with some furloughed at the hotel’s expense, some fully paid and a desire to “find ways to keep them busy”.

The 18th century building was a private home before being turned into a finishing school for girls, in around 1820. It was home to solicitors Moore & Rawlings from the late 19th century, and has been a hotel since 1945.

Plans involve increasing the existing restaurant’s covers from 100 to 150-180 seats, opening a pub/bar with 50-70 seats, and 29 upmarket boutique rooms.

“It’s a big job, but I’m very much looking forward to taking it on.”

The dates of the open days have yet to be decided, with Mr Bartlett estimating “around 10th January for two weeks”. It will be announced on the hotel’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

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