La Barbarie Hotel
In the country parish of St Martins, Guernsey, sits La Barbarie hotel which has recently undergone a part refurbishment of its facilities. The hotel is close to cliff walks, Saint’s Bay, the coves of south Guernsey and Icart Point.
The hotel is a 16th century farmhouse build that was converted into a hotel in 1950. Set on an old agricultural area the hotel offers old charm that has never left. However with the new refurbishments made, it is now modernised whilst still true to the hotel atmosphere it has always had.
Andrew Coleman, Managing Director of La Barbarie talked about the recent refurbishment.
Was there a need for refurbishment?
“It’s subjective isn’t it? Some people said ‘don’t do anything, we love it as it is!’, so whether there’s a need or not it is subjective but I believed that it was something we needed to do to move the hotel forward. We started to plan the project two years before we embarked on the job. We closed the hotel on the 28th October 2018 and we opened on 11th March 2019 with brand new reception area, restaurant, bar area, pool side landscaping and a new terrace outside the bar overlooking the pool.
“We didn’t want to lose the ethos of La Barbarie. It’s a 16th century Guernsey granite farmhouse which was converted into a hotel many moons ago. When I came to it, it was a 13 bedroom Hotel with some self-catering units. We now have 37 bedrooms and following the refurbishment we have been awarded Visit Guernsey Four Star Gold status with a 92% quality rating.
“It was really about keeping the feel but modernising it somewhat. It’s not minimalistic or overly boutique, and still has the old French country house feel, but with a slightly more modern twist.
Were there any challenges with the refurbishment?
“It’s an old building so when you strip back the walls and floors there were always going to be some challenges. We needed more steel than we thought possible and had to make good walls and floors that were not to modern standards. There were more challenges on the outside, as it’s an old agriculture area, and we found quite a few of what we think were water retention pits, so it wasn’t challenge free, that’s for sure. Obviously when you come up against things like that, it’s an extra burden on the costs but we overcame those challenges on time.”
What has feedback been like?
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive! When you’re a hotel with a lot of regular repeat business; whether that’s people coming on holiday to the island or our local guests using the bar & restaurant, when you change everything fairly drastically, there’s always that element of doubt on how it’ll be received. But I am delighted to say that the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re delighted with that. We’ve kept the feel of La Barbarie, and our wonderful team, many of whom have been with us here for a long time, create that special ambiance.
Yes it might look different but we’re still about giving quality service and value for money, caring about what we do and making it a home from home for all our guests.”
Was this an important venture for you?
“This has been crucial. I’ve been here 28 years and we’ve always reinvested into the property and the product, this was another example of our commitment to our guests and the tourism industry in Guernsey.”
La Barabrie Hotel is located on Saints Road, St Marin, Guernsey, GY4 6ES.
To book your stay visit: www.labarbariehotel.com , or alternatively ring: 01481235217