Hever Castle & Gardens has added nine new bedrooms to its luxury bed and breakfast accommodation following a 12 month project.
The childhood home of Anne Boleyn offers guests the chance to soak up the beautiful atmosphere and impressive scenery, as well as learn more about the 700 year old building whilst enjoying 21st Century comfort.
Situated in the refurbished Anne Boleyn Wing the new rooms comprise an array of individually designed rooms, each boasting a unique theme. Nine to Eleven Design delivered the design services for the scheme after establishing a longstanding relationship with Hever Castle owners Broadlands Properties.
We caught up with Nine to Eleven Design’s company Director Sarah Clark, to find out more about the scheme after it completed in January of this year.
“We got involved with Hever Castle having worked with Broadland Properties and the Guthrie family on the refurbishment of the Anne Boleyn Wing bedrooms. I have been doing work for the hotel for five years now and so this was a follow on project – I was invited to put together the concept for the Anne Boleyn wing.
“Our design process began in January 2013 and we were involved in talks with the client until January 2014 when the project commenced on site. We have created individually designed bedrooms that echo the essence of the refurbished Anne Boleyn Wing bedrooms offering great views of the castle and grounds. The rooms have been given a slight medieval theme with an Edwardian feel.”
The hotel was operational throughout the works meaning the on-site team – made up of numerous subcontractors working directly for Hever Castle – had to work closely with the hotel management team to ensure guests’ experiences were not disrupted. The project was undertaken on a rolling basis with the team working in-line with restricted working hours, as well as utilising times when the hotel was closed.
Most of the works were undertaken in June, July, August and September.
Sarah Clark and her team have refurbished what were previously storage rooms and office spaces to create individually designed bedrooms and suites, complete with new bathrooms and facilities.
Bathrooms and bedrooms were designed to complement each other, meaning guest staying in every suite are guaranteed to have a unique stay.
The newly refurbished Edward VII suite boasts beautiful views overlooking Hever Castle and is one of the largest rooms in the wing. The bridal suite comprises a medieval feel and has been finished with heavy tapestries and brocades, alongside romantic silks and embroideries.
The room also contains an impressive 7ft emperor bed completed with a half tester above the bed to make it akin to the four posted beds from medieval times.
The suite also comprises a split level room with the bathroom accessible via some steps on a lower floor. Autumnal colours have been used in the bathroom, as has a heavy travertine stone and commissioned oak panelling around the WC area.
Sarah and her team worked alongside bathroom designers North Allerton Tiles & Bathrooms, electrical contractors Arc Electrical, HGC Decorations and construction contractor Ecotech Construction, who are specialists at working with historic buildings.
Sarah said the team encountered a few challenges due to the fabric of the building. She commented:
“Due to the way the building has been built, every single element is a challenge from a trades point including the varying heights of the room. With this in mind everything had to be delicately installed and we had to be careful to not disturb anything externally.
“As all of the works were superficial we didn’t have to work with conservation officers. The renovation works were undertaken in the Edwardian side of the building, not the Tudor element or the outside of the structure which are both Listed.”
Sarah, who was on site throughout the project, said all of the contractors on site worked well together. She added:
“I liaised closely with all contractors from the start of the project through to completion, then my team went in and dressed the space with the antiques, lighting, lamps and soft furnishings.
“This scheme has been absolutely fantastic for our company; it is a real privilege to work on a contract that has spanned such a long time. I’ve developed very longstanding relationships with many of the people on site and at Hever Castle.
“Our company has been delighted to be involved with such a project and I had almost free rein with the soft furnishings and with the scheme. We have been trusted and the project has been very well received. I hope that the project has elevated us in this field and given us a great portfolio proving to other clients they can trust us; I hope that our relationship with these clients continues for many years to come.”