A £2.5 million scheme to revamp the Busby Hotel in East Renfrewshire has completed following a ten month project.
The Busby Hotel is part of Manorview Hotel & Leisure Group who currently own six stunning, luxury boutique hotels across the central belt of Scotland.
The Busby is a 29 bedroom property which Manorview bought from the previous owners out of administration at the beginning of 2013. We caught up with Mike Simmons, a Director at design firm Space ID, who undertook the design works and the architectural services on the renovation project.
“We became involved in The Busby Hotel project as we have worked with Manorview Hotel & Leisure Group for seven years so they are an established client of ours. We have done three of their other hotels for them and are currently on with two more.
“The planning process began in summer 2013 and works began on site in January 2014. Manorview bought the Redhurst Hotel, Bar & Restaurant and The Busby Hotel at the same time but because of their comparative trading figures they decided to close The Busby and give it a total refurbishment ahead of the other.
“The design brief of the project was to give the clients something they had never seen before.”
In order to achieve this the first thing the on site team did was to create an extension to the front of the hotel to create a larger trading area for the ground bar lounge which in turn also enabled a veranda to be created to the first floor, extending the function rooms and providing a lovely outdoor area overlooking the River Cart.
The existing layout of the hotel meant that the ground floor lounge bar was originally very small because half of the room space was used for back of house facilities including laundry, storage and staff facilities.
In order to use the space more efficiently the on-site team, including main contractor Hugh Stirling Ltd and Space ID, broke into the back of house space and increased the lounge bar, tripling it in size. It was a challenging task for the team as there was a change in level in the floor level between the two areas so it was structurally challenging to rectify. Large supporting walls had to be taken down and beams fitted in order to achieve adequate head room for customers.
The newly revamped bar and restaurant “Carters” offers guests a relaxed, informal dining experience by serving up an array of freshly prepared dishes filled with local produce. The wine and extensive beer menu includes craft beers such as WEST, Blue Moon and Samuel Smith Pure.
Extensive landscaping works to the back of the hotel were also undertaken including the construction of an outdoor gazebo, a bridge over an existing beck and a hidden footpath leading to the back of the hotel. Manorview were keen to create the ideal space for wedding photograph opportunities and so the team have created this space at the back of the hotel literally from nothing by using previously unused space.
As part of the refurbishment, the 29 bedrooms have been upgraded with one wing being transformed into executive suites complete with a high specification of bespoke furniture and impressive high end bathrooms including Porcelanosa tiles and sanitary ware, as well as whirlpool baths, LED televisions, rain drench showers and iPod docks.
The team have also combined the space from two existing rooms to create an extraordinary honeymoon suite complete with a secret outdoor hot tub area on an elevated roof at the back of the hotel. The suites bathroom also boasts the latest high tech facilities including a huge circular glass rain drench shower and almond shaped bath.
The project was completed at the end of October this year and so far the feedback from the customers have been very encouraging. Mike, from Space ID, added:
“The project was on site for ten months and so it has been the talk of the town; as a result local people were really excited to see it. Compared to what it used to look like the hotel looks like a new build.
“One of the most noticeable changes with the hotel is how it looks from the outside because of the extension; we have also clad some parts of the building with cedar and added some intricate balustrading and copper lanterns. The building has been attributed brand new signage and the hotel has been given a whole new brand identity.”
Mike said it has been amazing for Space ID to be involved in the project:
“It has been challenging because Manorview usually phase the works and keep the hotels trading whilst undertaking work in chunks. However with The Busby Hotel the clients have decided to completely close the doors and do the works in one hit. The coordination between all of the contractors and trades was a big task but great to be a part of.”
Over 70 jobs have been created within the hotel and restaurant with the majority of new staff coming from the surrounding area. New employees were chosen via a three day selection process during the summer of this year and underwent an intense eight week training programme at the Group’s other properties ahead of The Busby launch.
Steve Graham, Managing Director of Manorview Hotel & Leisure Group said:
“The Busby is our most ambitious project to date. Back in the day The Busby was one of Glasgow’s most iconic hotels for Saturday night dances and events and we’ve worked hard to put the heart back into this hotel. Attention to detail is paramount, with every element of the hotel considered to ensure the highest standards have been met.”
Hugh Stirling acted as the principal contractor on this project taking charge of the delivery of the scheme, procuring all materials, as well as managing the trades people and contractors on site. The project has involved major structural alterations, an extension to the front of the building, complete new services and a full fitout of all areas.
Hugh Stirling specialise in refurbishments within the licensed leisure and hotel industry employing directly their own builders, roofers, steel fabricators, joiners, plumbers, plasterers and decorators. We caught up with Angus Alston from Hugh Stirling, he commented:
“It was important to be involved in this project as it was one of the most high profile, high quality hotel redevelopments carried out in Scotland in recent years and we felt it was an ideal opportunity to showcase out skills, in both managing a fast track project whilst demonstrating the quality of shopfitting we are capable of producing.
“Manorview have very exacting standards in both design and quality of fitout and we were delighted to work with them so closely to create a finished product of such outstanding quality.”
SSE Audio Group worked on the scheme creating a state of the art integrated audio system to serve the bars, function rooms and all other public spaces. A combination of Bose Roommatch and DS series speakers were used to ensure the installation was discreet throughout yet able to deliver in terms of performance depending on the room.
Two function rooms and a bar have been equipped with DJ booths and a dancefloor audio system. In addition a performance stage in the lounge bar has been fitted out. SSE Installations Project Manager Mark Hatfield commented:
“Working closely with the client and the onsite team we came up with a scheme that accommodates the venue’s operational requirements and sounds great.”
Manorview Hotel & Leisure Group
The Group was established in 2007 by Steve Graham and now owns and operates six boutique properties across Scotland. The family business, which Steve manages along with his niece Fallon Cowley, Operations Director and her husband Anthony Cowley, Project Development Director, now employs over 400 members of staff.
The Group specialise in the restoration and transformation of old rundown properties into luxury boutique hotels and venues. The Busby Hotel is one of the first hotels in the central belt of Scotland to be World Host Accredited for its comprehensive staff training programme.
The Manorview portfolio includes The Busby Hotel, The Torrance Hotel in East Kilbride, The Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone, The Bowfield Hotel and Country Club in Howwood ,The Redhurst Hotel in Clarkston,The Commercial Hotel in Wishaw and the newly acquired Boclair House in Bearsden.