Premier Hospitality

Grosvenor Hotel Stockbridge

Written by Roma Publications

The Grosvenor Stockbridge

Taking pride of place on the high street, The Grosvenor Hotel in Stockbridge is now under new management, heralding an exciting period ahead for this iconic Georgian building with 200 years of sporting heritage.

The vision of new owners, Simon and Teresa Henderson and General Manager, Lucy Townsend, is to bring the hotel back to being a “high class country hotel” and “home from home” for those that enjoy the finer things the Test Valley has to offer; be that of a sporting, culinary or medicinal nature.

A major renovation is already underway and will be completed in phases over the coming months, aiming to be relaunched completely in April 2020, to create a vibrant, contemporary environment that proudly celebrates the hotel’s sporting past.

Located on the most prestigious fishing river in the world, The River Test, The Grosvenor is described as a mecca for any keen fisherman and a central hub in high season (April – Oct). Once the fishing season is over, The Grosvenor quickly welcomes in the shooting and hunting season (September – February).

PREMIER HOSPITALITY MAGAZINE spoke to Lucy Townsend, manager of The Grosvenor Stockbridge.

She has enjoyed a highly successful career in hospitality, cutting her teeth at Hotel du Vin and The Millers Collection, before running her own destination venues including the Peat Spade at Longstock and the Greyhound on the Test, which is also in Stockbridge.

As Head of Operations at The Millers Collection, she transformed a number of high-end pubs with rooms into go-to destinations which graced the hot lists of the leading travel guides. The Greyhound on the Test has been her most recent venture up until The Grosvenor Hotel. Lucy said:

“We’re still doing the renovations at The Grosvenor, and we had to keep the hotel open this summer as it is fly fishing season. It was a Greene King site previously , so we had to honour their 3-6 months of bookings made prior to new ownership and that was a challenge; honouring all of these bookings whilst also running the renovations. So what we’re doing currently, are renovations in areas that don’t affect the guests right now.

“This is my first time working with this hotel, and I’ve got The Greyhound also in this area. I saw that this is a site that just sat in the middle of Stockbridge not really doing anything, so I came here, whilst still retaining my other sites. I’m here to get through the refurbishment and get it up and running again. I saw the hotel’s potential; it just needed a lot of love. It goes from 26-38 bedrooms and every room hasn’t had a refurb done in about 35 years, which explains why it needs a refurb.

“The work is being done in phases. At present there are areas that the staff used to live, that weren’t ever open to the public anyway. We’ve just done a lovely suite and a couple of the other bedrooms and we’ve got a lovely 3 bedroom cottage that’s been in for a full refurbishment. Then, there’s the whole top floor (which again the public don’t see) and we’re adding 4 new suites there. So we’re doing all that behind the scenes work whilst it’s the fishing season, and then afterwards we will close it down in phases and do the rest of it.

“As for my design vision as a whole, it’s a very iconic building and I don’t want it to change, or be overly modern as such- but my husband, the designer, has done a sort of Scandinavian minimalist design, so there’s charcoal, and earth tones, and there is old and traditional within that design .

“The building has surprised me. I thought because it was run down it would have a lot of problems, but it has surprised me. For example, we’ve been rolling back carpets and finding beautiful hardwood floors.”

Lucy reflected on the true aims of the renovations taking place:

“Stockbridge is the home of fly fishing and there’s a massive history there for shooting. That’s my clientele for 6 months a year then we do lots of weddings and parties, but it is the home of fly fishing, so it’s just trying to bring that sporting twist back into the hotel.”

The hotel remains open whilst these renovations are ongoing, but it is on track to be fully finished by spring 2020.

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Bakhtiyar specialises in the trade and retail supply of Persian and Oriental hand-knotted carpets, Runners and flat weave Kilims. The company also provides carpet cleaning, repairing and restoration services.

The family-run business has been trading in the UK since 1993. Managing Director Masoud Mazaheri-Asadi is the third generation of the family in the trade from Isfahan, Iran.

Recently, the company supplied hand-knotted carpets for various guest rooms and public areas at the newly refurbished Grosvenor Hotel, Stockbridge. Previous projects include The Dunstane Houses, Edinburgh; The National Trust Mottisfont Abbey, Hampshire; and Exeter College at Oxford University.

Masoud Mazaheri-Asadi said:

“It has been a pleasure to be a part of the refurbishment and elevation of this historic building right in the heart of Stockbridge. Our retail business has been based in Stockbridge for over 24 years so we’re very much part of the business community here.

“It’s important to us that Stockbridge maintains its high standard of independent businesses so we are delighted Lucy and Alex have taken on The Grosvenor Hotel, as their other venture The Greyhound pub has been a great asset to the high street.

“We pride ourselves in meeting our Clients specifications and advising on each project, which can vary wildly from the use of antique carpets to modern contemporary carpets that have just come off the looms.”

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