Hotel Owner Hotel Owner July 2017 digital - Page 35

FEATURE How long have you run the towards the end of my first year, after 18 Jamaica Inn? months I completed the kitchen. Then after Just over three years. two and a half years I completed farm shop, that was last year. And this year we’re just How did you come to own it? completing these rooms, and then the It was for sale and I replied quickly. It was final part of the development will start next only on the market for a day before I winter, which is building the function suite. became aware it was available. And I went to see it and I decided on the scent of one What do you hope to achieve with the visit lasting two hours to buy the inn. refurbishment that have been done and that are planned? What attracted you to it so quickly? Turnover is already up 80% on what it was It ticked several boxes. One was that it was before I took over, so we should probably in a very unusual location in the middle double [this]. of Bodmin Moor. Secondly, it had very Are you on your way to achieving that? unusual things like a smuggling museum and a Daphne du Maurier connection, a and possibly some really big gigs with well Well, we’ve done 80% so I’m looking at 100% Daphne du Maurier room in which there known top bands. in terms of doubling the turnover with these extra rooms in the current financial year is a lot of Daphne’s memorabilia. It had other development potential which I was Do you currently do any of that now? very keen on and of course it had a lot of No we don’t do very much of that. We history. It was a very unusual hotel and I was can hold small weddings here and small Can you talk me through the history of competing against a lot of other interest, corporate events but nothing like what we’d the hotel? so I made an offer within an hour of my one be able to do with this new function suite. The Inn originally became a hostelry in 1750 which will end next February. when coaches started to travel between and only viewing visit. I negotiated the price within 48 hours and signed the contract How much money was put into the Bodmin and Launceston which are the nine days later. refurbishment? two towns either side of Bodmin Moor. [It’s] I spent about £1.3m which will rise to about halfway between the two so it’s a place £1.8m once the function suite is built. where the coaches could change horses. How much did you acquire it for? In 1760, they built large stables which are The figure is around £2 million. How long has it taken overall? where the museum is now. It’s remained a What have you brought to the hotel in My first year was spent deciding what hostelry of one sort or another since that your time there? we needed to build here and getting the time. So it’s been looking after people for We have built a large new kitchen; the planning permission and then that was some 270 years. inn was really in need of that; last year I completed the building of a new farm shop; I’m now currently building 16 additional rooms, which will take the rooms from 20 to 36. They should be in use within about six weeks. Next winter I’ve got my final part of the development to do which is building a big function suite which will overlook the moors. It’s a round building based on the ancient roundhouse of the area. And it will hold up to 250 people and will be one of the biggest venues in Cornwall. What do you hope to achieve with the function suite? What kind of events do you want to hold there? It will be for weddings, corporate events July 2017 35