Boasting a rich history that dates back to the 18th century, Close House is currently one of the leading golf destinations in the country.
Home to two Lee Westwood Championship courses, a restaurant and high quality accommodation, Close House has been the subject of significant investment to create a leading destination in the north east. It hosted the 2017 British Masters to great success, with over 60,000 people attending over six action-packed days.
Looking to building on this achievement, 2018 has seen an overhaul of the venue’s accommodation thanks to the transformation of two previously underused buildings on site. Taking a lead from the accommodation already on offer in The Courtyard, both The Lodge and The Pavilion consist of two spacious bedrooms with stunning bathrooms, a relaxing lounge area and a small kitchen.
Close House Managing Director Jonathan Lutpton spoke to Premier Hospitality about the work:
“In preparation for 2017 we started to look for additional accommodation. We’d been golf focused for four years and more customers were coming so we wanted to add to our bedroom stock. We looked on site and we had a lodge house as you enter the estate, which we refurbished into a two-bedroom golfers lodge. That’s got an old country house feel and it opened at the start of May 2018.
“Also, going back to the days when the university owned the facility, the golf course had football pitches, rugby pitches and a cricket pitch. So in the middle of the golf course we had a beautiful cricket pavilion. During my time here, it was initially the clubhouse then a sales office. We’ve now converted that to a very luxurious, two-bedroom accommodation. Both the two buildings really enhance what we offer.
“I’ve been here 10 years and I think a lot of the core team have been at Close House for a long time. Our challenge this year has been finding the availability for customers, rather than filling the availability. It’s nice to have a little extra stock.”
The design for the new accommodation has been led by Trevor Erskine-Meade. Having worked with Close House owner Graham Wylie for over ten years, including The Courtyard project, Trevor was well-placed to deliver what was required. He spoke to Premier Hospitality about the unique nature of both The Lodge and The Pavilion:
“The two are very different buildings. The Lodge is the original Georgian gate lodge to the mansion house. It had undergone an extension, probably in the 1960s, but this had been done with poor quality materials and inferior workmanship. With The Lodge there was a certain amount of building work that had to be undertaken to repair a lot of damage that had been done to the stonework. It was completely reroofed, the lead work repaired and the guttering replaced. Also, as a result of the extension the south face of the building was left badly scarred. Previous owners had added poor quality windows and patio doors, which were totally out of keeping with the buildings character. We replaced all the windows, putting in custom Georgian sash windows.
“Internally, we took the property all the way back to its bones. We stripped all the plaster back, excavated the subfloor then poured a new floor with a new damp proof course and drainage. We re-plastered all the way through, re-wired and re-plumbed. From that we were able to build the internal divisions to create the bedroom and bathroom layouts required. We rearranged the bedroom space to make it more practical and to improve the flow through the building. With the building being north facing and at the top of the hill, we wanted to ensure it had a warm, cosy feel to welcome guests on arrival or after a day’s golf. The décor is therefore a modern take on a country house look which further reflects its architectural character and its position on the Estate.
“The Pavilion is a very different building although equally as prominent being positioned at the centre of the original course. It’s a typical Edwardian red brick building with gables, timber cladding and large windows that bring a lot of light in. Internally, the walls and ceilings are covered in wood panelling and we therefore took a different approach and adopted a look more commonly seen on the American east coast with a Hamptons/Nantucket feel. We’ve used a lot of whites and blues and taken great care to ensure the tones retain warmth by using a soft chalky white as opposed to a crisp architectural white. We reconfigured the internal layout to provide two-bedroom suites with a lounge/kitchen area. I am really pleased with the finish; it’s a very bright and airy space with fantastic views that open out 360 degrees over the course.”
To find out more about Close House, please visit www.closehouse.com.
Inside Contracts Ltd
Inside Contracts Ltd – Commercial Design Division are interior designers and soft furnishers who offer a full service from design to installation including flooring solutions. They take projects from concept to completion, on time and in budget and offer a bespoke repose through a knowledgeable and systematic approach, whilst making the process a seamless and enjoyable journey.
Inside Contracts have an eclectic portfolio, covering everything from large scale domestic projects to commercial projects for loyal returning clients from hotels, restaurants and care homes to student accommodation and new build show homes.
The team at Inside Contracts initially worked on the Close House estate in Newcastle where they completed the Terrace and Courtyard rooms. Following the success of this development, they were proud and privileged to be asked to work with Close House and Incognito in redeveloping two of the buildings onsite to offer additional luxury accommodation.
Commenting on the work undertaken at Close House, Diane Clark, General Manager at Inside Contracts – Commercial Design said: “It was an excellent opportunity to be involved with the developments at Close House from a very early stage, with the chance to be given very different briefs, envision where they could go and then make them come alive. It was great to work with the owner, Incognito and the other established teams, with whom we share a common aim of exceeding the brief, to produce a fantastic end product at each of the properties. It was a bonus that the two projects were very different buildings, in very different locations, each with their own style and wonderful features and quirks, all of which have been preserved and enhanced and will contribute to making a stay in them unique and memorable.”