Located at the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, near Ripon, Grantley Hall is tipped to be one of the UK’s most remarkable luxury hotels following its opening in early summer.
The historic Grade II* listed property, complete with a lake and English heritage Japanese garden, underwent a full restoration and extension prior to its opening.
The multimillion pound restoration project, overseen by owners the Yorkshire-based Sykes family, has seen Grantley Hall return to its former glory, offering a relaxed luxury hotel and wellness retreat with 47 exquisite rooms and suites, as well as an extensive and diverse range of dining options.
A number of local companies were actively involved in the project including; architects Bowman Riley, project managers Lucas Lee, building contractors R N Wooler & Co Ltd and HACS, food and beverage consultants Escapade Bars, spa consultants Clever Associations, garden and landscape architects Alistair W Baldwin and printers Spellman Walker.
Juliet Stott, Business Development, Marketing & Sales Manager at R N Wooler & Company Ltd told PREMIER HOPSITLAITY MAGAZINE: “The original brief was the outline design of the scheme. However, the detailed design evolved throughout the project allowing R N Wooler to have input into the buildability, aesthetics and function of the hotel and wellness retreat.”
Steeped in over 300 years of heritage, Grantley Hall was built by Thomas Norton and his son Fletcher Norton, first Baron Grantley, in the 17th century, based on Palladian design by English architect Isaac Ware. Over the years, the property became firmly established on the British country retreat scene, welcoming high profile guests including Queen Mary and the Princess Royal, prominent international businessmen, politicians and society families.
The project included the restoration of the Grade II listed hall which now encompasses restaurants, bars, lounges, private dining and exquisite bedrooms.
Juliet added: “A Grade II listed building offers heritage and beautiful existing character features, which we have been able to refurbish and preserve. The bedrooms are adorned with stunning bespoke features and intricate joinery. The bridal suite is really a masterpiece; designed over two levels with vast ceilings and the original refurbished character windows.”
The whole refurbishment project has been project managed by Lucas Lee, Chartered Building Surveyors, Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors based in Yorkshire. Speaking to PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE about the project, Chris Lee said:
“Originally, the site was a training college so when we arrived on site, the college residential buildings were still there [in a separate building]. They had to be demolished and the hall had been unoccupied for the best part of a decade and had never been touched. The hall has now gone back to how it used to be, rather than an institutional building with a brand new spa building on the back.
“For a project of this size, things have gone relatively smoothly. Our first job was to bring together a design team that would be able to deliver the project in terms of architecture and engineering. The project is the largest engineering project in the North of England in the last five years by some scale and that is to do with minimising the impact of the new building on the old building.
“A third of the site is also underground so all of the back of house aspects are sunk underground, connecting to the old building via tunnel. When we did the ground condition report we found that the water chamber was very high so the buildings underground are about four metres underground with around half of that under water so we were effectively building under water.
“We also sunk several bore holes into the site. The building itself, including the original building, is carbon neutral which we have achieved by using Ground Source Heat Pumps. This was accomplished through over a million pounds worth of investment, which will be paid back through the use of the Ground Source Heat Pumps.”
Located in Grantley’s East Lodge is the Grantley Academy, an accredited learning and development facility for Grantley Hall employees, with dedicated learning zones. All staff have bespoke personal development plans offering opportunities for growth and progression, as well as comprehensive individual training and wellbeing programmes delivered using accelerated learning techniques. Dedicated staff accommodation is available in the new Courtyard Building featuring 47 en-suite bedrooms, several kitchens, informal lounge areas, a fully-equipped gymnasium, laundry facilities and an outdoor seating area.
Grantley Hall is also set to make an impact on the gourmet scene in North Yorkshire with seven stylish drinking and dining venues, all using the finest local seasonal ingredients, handpicked from around the world. Culinary highlights include an elegant fine dining restaurant; bar and Restaurant Eighty-Eight, offering an experiential Pan-Asian experience with creative cocktails and live music; Fletchers Restaurant for relaxed all-day dining, serving inspiring British and European dishes; Valeria’s named after the owner, a glamorous late night Champagne and cocktail bar and The Drawing Room, the ideal setting for quintessentially British afternoon tea.
Acting as Director of F&B at Grantley Hall, with a responsibility for overseeing the sites collection of culinary outlets, is Simon Crannage. Born in Leeds, Simon has over 21 years’ experience working in some of Britain’s top hotels and restaurants. During his career, Simon has gained a number of high profile awards and accolades including; featuring in the 2014 Times Top 100 Restaurants of Great Britain whilst at Swinton Park; being crowned Yorkshire Life Chef of the Year 2011-2012 and being the recipient of Visit Britain’s Gold Winner Award for the Best Use of British Produce in 2013. Crannage has also appeared as a finalist on ITV’s Britain’s best Dish in 2011 and as the Yorkshire food expert in the Good Food Channel’s Market Kitchen programme.
Standout facilities at Grantley Hall include a contemporary and well-equipped wedding and banqueting suite, as well as a number of incredible private events spaces; a tranquil spa and pioneering ELITE executive gym and wellness space.
Juliet said: “The Wellness Centre boasts a magnificent curved glass canopy. The retreat offers thermal experiences in the mud room, snow room, sauna and steam room. Furthermore, there is both a main swimming pool, with a coral render ceiling imported from Barbados, and a vitality pool, providing guests an opportunity to enjoy swimming in the beautiful outdoor surroundings.”
Andrew McPherson, General Manager commented: “We are very proud of our rich local heritage and believe Grantley Hall will be one of the UK’s most prestigious five star luxury retreat experiences, combining the rich heritage and 17th century splendour of the original Hall with beautiful interior design and an exceptional range of leisure and dining facilities, all set in the picturesque surroundings of the glorious Yorkshire countryside.”
Chris added: “This project is massive in terms of the local economy and for us, it is a once in a lifetime job. You don’t get projects of this size, in this part of the world, very often.”
Juliet concluded: “This is an extremely high-profile scheme for R N Wooler & Co Ltd. In terms of the hotel and leisure industry, the opening of Grantley Hall is of national importance and it has been described as a ‘jewel in Yorkshire’s crown.’ The feedback that we have received thus far has been very positive and guests that have experienced the hotel have really been in awe of such a unique and magnificent project.”
Aire Valley Architectural Aluminium
Aire Valley Architectural Aluminium specialises in the manufacture, design and installation of high-performance bespoke aluminium glazed facades for the commercial sector of the construction industry.
This year Aire Valley is celebrating their 25th anniversary. It boasts a wealth of experience as a leading commercial glazing contractor and has built an enviable reputation in the construction industry for delivering the highest quality work; first time, on time, every time.
Aire Valley Architectural Aluminium was recently involved with the renovation of Grantley Hall, manufacturing, designing and installing the aluminium curtain walling, doors and windows. The company has worked on a number of other standout projects, including Red House Extra Care in Ripon, and Indigo Hotel in York.
Commenting on the work at Grantley Hall, Aire Valley Architectural Aluminium Sales Director Chris Kilvington said:
“This is an exciting, challenging, prestigious and architecturally attractive building to be involved in. We were delighted our products were chosen on such a project, which shows the depth of our product range.
“As a company we take great pride in our repeat business and low staff turnover.”
To find out more about Aire Valley Architectural Aluminium, please visit www.aire-valley.com.
BusinessWatch Group is the fastest growing independent fire and security company in the UK. Starting as Homewatch in 1993, the company quickly grew to provide fire and security installations and services to commercial businesses across the Cambridgeshire areas.
It now specialises in providing high-end bespoke systems designed specifically to fit a client’s individual needs.
BusinessWatch has previously worked with a number of big name clients in the hospitality sector including Best Western, Marriott, Holiday Inn and Bierkeller. Most recently the company completed work at the newly refurbished Grantley Hall where it was responsible for designing and installing bespoke access control and surveillance systems.
A spokesperson for BusinessWatch said:
“It was an honour to be involved in such a prestigious project. Grantley Hall is an amazing building and it’s been fantastic to see it transformed into a luxury hotel and retreat.
“We pride ourselves on being a forward thinking company. Our shareholders are always pushing the boundaries which allows us to come up with innovative solutions, and a way of doing things differently. This really helps when working on projects that require expert knowledge and specialist capabilities than standard fire and security system installations.”
Formed in 1993, BusinessWatch has steadily grown overtime, partly due to a major investment buyout in 2015 which included the acquisition of eight complimentary fire and security businesses, leading to the formation of BusinessWatch Group.
Johnsons of Whixley
Johnsons of Whixley Ltd is a family-run plant nursery business based in Whixley, North Yorkshire, first established in 1921 by Eric Johnson. The company was taken over by John Richardson in 1964 and became known as Johnsons of Whixley Ltd in 1993.
Johnsons of Whixley is one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in the UK, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to the amenity sector.
The company was responsible for supplying a significant amount of plants to Grantley Hall. Johnsons supplied many of the plants used to help restore the grounds with large topiary including Fagus (Beech) domes and Buxus (Box) balls, 1000’s of herbaceous, shrubs and grasses for borders and large hedging elements including a large amount of Hedera Hibernica (Ivy) screens that will be used to create partitions in the Hall’s gardens.
Group Managing Director Graham Richardson, said:
“Working with Grantley Hall has been a real privilege. We have watched the project progress from its inception into something unique to the area. This will undoubtedly attract new discerning visitors to the North Yorkshire area and we are delighted to have played a small part in creating an inspirational first impression.”
To find out more, please visit www.nurserymen.co.uk.
The leading specialists in luxury surfaces, Lapicida supply new and antique natural stone alongside ceramics and new-generation porcelains. From their Head Office and stone workshops in Yorkshire, they work with architects, interior designers, property developers and private clients across the UK, Europe and USA.
Founded more than 30 years ago, Lapicida has worked on many grand projects, from stately homes and luxury villas to hotels and resorts ranging from the ultra-luxurious Franklin Hotel in London (with interior designer Anouska Hempel) to property within Antigua’s premium Jumby Bay development.
Grantley Hall is a perfect example of Lapicida’s capabilities, sourcing and supplying a wide range of surface materials to match the classical grandeur of the restored building. Natural stone, porcelain and ceramic tiles were used throughout the hotel and special fabrications of opulent marbles and limestones were undertaken for the bathrooms, swimming pool and spa. Lapicida’s extensive Harrogate workshops combine traditional stonemasonry with state-of-the art manufacturing, giving the company real flexibility in responding to complex project briefs.
Jason Cherrington, Lapicida’s Director, comments:
“Grantley Hall is a remarkable project and we’re extremely proud of our involvement with its renaissance. The design, the materials and the levels of finish are exceptional throughout.”
Utility Engineering Solutions Ltd.
Utility Engineering Solutions Ltd. specialises in the design and installation of high voltage networks, including substations and cable installation.
The company was incorporated in December 2005 and boasts a wealth of experience that has led it to become one of the preferred ICP’s in the UK. Utility Engineering Solutions Ltd. is fully accredited under the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS).
The company has worked on numerous projects over the years, ranging from distributed generation connections, primary substations through to the detailed design of networks operating up to and including 132kV. One of its most recent projects was the transformation of Grantley Hall. This included the establishment of a new substation and associated high voltage cable infrastructure following a detailed analysis of the electricity distribution network.
Gary Barker, Director, said:
“We are very proud to be associated with the Grantley Hall project, which will be one of the foremost hotels in the United Kingdom. Our involvement in the project will no doubt greatly enhance our standing in the marketplace and we will be making existing and future clients aware of our involvement in the project.
“We pride ourselves in our technical capabilities, our attention to detail and our uncompromising approach to deliver projects on time.”
Core Facility Services
Bringing state of the art IT to Grantley Hall
Yorkshire IT experts at Core Facility Services have taken IT infrastructure design and installation to a new level for luxury hotel and wedding venue Grantley Hall.
The hotel features state of the art technology throughout, all of which has been planned and installed by Huddersfield-based Core.
Core Facility Services is Yorkshire’s premier estates management and compliance provider, offering a 24 hour estates helpdesk, waste management, energy and specialist IT and data services.
The Core brand launched recently following the merger of FM Energy with well-established Orchard Facilities Management, which has been working with local businesses since 2005.
The new brand encompasses Orchard’s principal values, including the importance of strong and enduring business relationships based on trust and transparency.
Justin said: “Grantley Hall has been a hugely exciting project to work on and we have really enjoyed being part of such a forward-thinking project team to create an IT infrastructure that is best in class.
“The network includes cutting edge audio visual equipment, wi-fi, telecoms and security systems and as well as being able to handle the latest technology, it will support future system and software advances to keep the venue at the forefront of the leisure and hospitality industry.”
The HACS Group
The HACS Construction Group was delighted to work alongside the Sykes family to assist with the restoration and transformation of Grantley Hall, preserving and creating a legacy to showcase Yorkshire to the world.
As a leading independent building and construction services contractor, The HACS Group was perfectly suited to the daunting task of renovating Grantley Hall into a world-class destination. The project encompassed a number of elements, including the construction of a 52-bedroom staff accommodation block, unique garden pavilion and staff training academy and administration block.
The HACS Group was also required to carry out repairs to existing structures. All the lakes and rivers had to be dredged while numerous Grade II listed bridges and weirs in two water courses that surround the site were also repaired. Finally, substantial landscaping and remodelling works were undertaken to produce the stunning gardens that now surround the property.
Mark Smith, The HACS Group Managing Director, said:
“Three and a half years later we are delighted with the results and proud to have been part of this stunning development. Projects like Grantley Hall are few and far between so we are delighted to be involved in preserving and creating a legacy. We wish the client every success in the future.”