Posted: 21 November 2017
Plans for significant investment are being unveiled for the luxury Elms Hotel in Malvern.
The quintessentially English country house hotel and spa in Abberley was purchased by local entrepreneur and business owner Tim Hopkins CEO of Gemini Group in June this year. The new owner is now looking to make vast accessibility improvements with proposals now going forward to a public consultation.
Recent research has now dated the house to at least 1713, under the guardianship of Thomas Bury, however, the architect remains a mystery. The Elms has served as a grand home for many years and was converted to a hotel in 1946. However, after struggling financially in recent times, was put up for sale and had been on the market for four years before being purchased.
Whilst the hotel is well loved locally it does not currently cater sufficiently for large functions and is in desperate need of investment. However, the emerging plans would address this and secure its future, by creating a world class facility, with over 40 fully accessible guest bedrooms.
Proposals to make the hotel completely accessible to disabled visitors are driving the designs. This is in line with the ambition for Worcestershire to be the most inclusive County in the UK with the University of Worcester hosting the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships and the proposal for the International Centre of Inclusive Sport.
The proposed plans for the Elms have already been assessed by national disability charity Revitalise, who boast Dame Judi Dench CH DBE as one of their Vice Presidents and Samantha Cameron as Patron. Revitalise is keen to provide a high-quality hotel experience to its guests and could potentially be in the frame as a future operator.
Worcester’s fully integrated design business, One Creative Environments Ltd., has created the designs for this multi-million pound regeneration project. One Creative Environments, which also provides masterplanning, architecture and engineering services, will deliver the project whilst ensuring that all aspects of the design are fully accessible to meet the needs of the future visitors of the hotel.
Tim Hopkins, new owner of The Elms Hotel and CEO of Gemini Group, said: “Everyone should have access to all of life’s opportunities, whether they have an impairment or not. There appears to be a serious gap in high quality, fully accessible, affordable hotel rooms in the market at the moment in Britain, in what we see as an area of growth, especially with all the wonderful things the University of Worcester is leading on in terms of inclusive sport and wellbeing.”
He added; “We, therefore, want to develop The Elms as a hotel that helps both able people and those living with disabilities to enjoy the luxuries of more independent lives equally.”
Mark Martin, Director at One Creative Environments Ltd, comments: “We’re delighted to be involved with this fantastic luxury hotel and superb grounds. As a company we have vast experience in the commercial and health and care sectors and we utilise the latest technology to ensure our designs meet our clients’ needs.”
“This multi-million pound cash injection will secure local jobs and create a viable and sustainable business at The Elms for its long-term future. We’re looking forward to unveiling the plans with Tim and getting vital feedback from the community on what we believe could be a world class facility.”
Consultation will start during November with events held on the 28th November at Abberley Village Hall 1pm-5pm and The Elms Hotel, 6pm-8pm. If approved by planning it is intended that the spa facility and part of the dining facility will remain open throughout the construction period.