Celtic Manor Resort
Situated on the outskirts of Newport, Celtic Manor is a stunning upscale golf and country resort featuring three hotels and spectacular landscape gardens, in addition to a lavish spa and adventure activities. Inside the original Manor House there is an air of sophistication, with period features and four-poster beds, while the 330-bedroom Resort Hotel exudes modern luxury with its vast atrium lobby and five-star facilities.
Premier Hospitality spoke to Glenn Lewis, Director of Food and Beverage at Celtic Manor Resort, to discuss the latest developments, including new restaurants and a Signature Collection of refurbished bedrooms. According to Glenn:
“The Signature Collection was created within the Resort Hotel, encompassing 45 Signature rooms and two suites, a Signature Lounge and a gourmet dining restaurant – Steak on Six.
“The new collection of rooms and suites and the restaurant are all located on the sixth floor – known as the Signature floor. It is for adults only and has its own exclusive check-in service and breakfast restaurant.
“All of the Signature bedrooms have been refurbished, under the first phase of a total refurbishment of all bedrooms within the hotel, which will be taking place well into 2017. The bedrooms have been re-carpeted and new curtains, soft furnishings, bespoke lighting and bedding added.
“All furniture in newly refurbished rooms has been replaced with bespoke furniture encompassing some classic shapes but with a more contemporary edge. In terms of décor we have always had a traditional style, so we realised we needed to bring it into the 21st century – this led to the combination of classic and contemporary for the Signature Collection.”
Beautiful hues of gold and brown complement different fabrics within the bedrooms, giving a real sense of variety in texture. Commissioned artwork features on the walls, with velvets and satin adding a real luxurious vibe to the space.
Exclusive to guests staying on the Signature sixth floor, the Signature Lounge presents a classic and contemporary setting that again combines the gold, brown and yellow palettes with velvets and a leather-studded bar.
“The Signature Lounge is open from 8am until 11pm, and it has complimentary tea and coffee making facilities and pastries in the morning, acting as a great spot to read the paper and enjoy a coffee. It is a serene area where guests can relax and enjoy the wonderful views; at night time it looks spectacular with the lights twinkling in the dark sky.”
The lounge acts not only as a tranquil place for guests to unwind in the day, but also as a bar later in the evening. Signature cocktails are available from the bar, for a taste of something innovative. Also included in the Signature Experience for guests on arrival are a complimentary bottle of wine and hand-made chocolates, as well as an invite to the lounge between 5pm and 6pm to enjoy a complimentary glass of prosecco.
The restaurant Steak on Six offers the perfect place for guests who wish to indulge in a special dining experience, located on the Signature sixth floor. Having opened in December 2015 just in time for Christmas bookings, Steak on Six features a small menu – with a focus on quality – including one tasty starter of Ibérico ham, which is carved at the table for a show-stopping touch of theatre.
“It was our culinary director who came up with the name Steak on Six, based on the type of food that was being served – as it is primarily a steak restaurant. All steaks are of high quality and sourced from around the British Isles where possible.
“A terrific atmosphere is created by the show kitchen, and lots of natural daylight enters the restaurant, beaming onto rich oak flooring and solid oak table tops, complemented by a copper strip through the centre adding an industrial feel. Leather wrap-around chairs with cowhide, and the furniture and artwork all match the theme.”
Another restaurant within Celtic Manor Resort is CEN, serving up Asian fusion cuisine, created by 2013 finalist of BBC’s MasterChef UK, Larkin Cen. The refurbishment on this particular eatery came to fruition in January 2016, and within a three week period it had reopened, been refurbished and rebranded.
“We have had some great feedback for CEN, it has all been very positive! It is great that we have something that is very different not only for the resort, but also for the area.
“Interestingly, just after MasterChef we actually ran a pop-up within the same restaurant that CEN is now in – it was a pop-up named Hokkei, which we did in conjunction with Larkin Cen. We held it over a five day period – and now it has taken shape on a full time basis.”
Dark wooden floors, solid oak table tops and rattan make up the interiors of CEN, presenting a British colonial feel. This is also emphasized by shutters at the windows, subdued lighting and a large fan in the heart of the room. Attractive green planting gives the venue a fresh lift of colour, as well as contributing to the Asian theme.
“We also have a private dining room attached, with mullion doors and windows; we removed the drapery and curtains to expose all of those great windows. There has always been a traditional fireplace with lots of wood from floor to ceiling; it’s just fantastic how the contemporary elements of what we have done have blended with the traditional elements that we already had in place.
“For me it is really exciting to be part of these new restaurants, from talking about them to working on them, to seeing them come to life on their opening nights – it’s all very exciting and a great challenge, making the work extremely fulfilling.”