The best views in the hotel will be enjoyed from the very top floor of the building, where guests and visitors will be able to visit the bar and rooftop terrace.
The bar is accessed from the main hotel lobby and by lift or stair from guestroom floors. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by the view stretching out beyond the gardens below. The internal bar space will have an atmosphere distinct from the ground floor lobby bar, to give guests a choice of experience to suit their tastes.
The bar will open up onto two external seating areas, located such as to allow guests to enjoy views across to Lyme Bay on the eastern terrace before catching the last rays of sun on a summer evening at the southern end of the bar. During summer months, the bar will be able to open up fully onto these terraces, generating a true feeling of openness.
A striking opening within the roof profile with retractable shading will allow guests to enjoy the external terraces come rain or shine. For a personalised dining experience, private dining rooms are also located at this level, each with their own dedicated sea view terrace.
Inclusive access underscores every aspect of the design approach, with the needs of all visitors considered within the development of each public area, providing an enhanced experience for guests and visitors.
Approach to the building is step-free both from the parking areas and pavements, with wide entrance doors into the building. The building approach and interior design will be legible with clear signage and contrasting surfaces, taking into account the needs of visitors with visual impairments.
Internal circulation routes at each floor are level throughout and generous in width. All external terraces will have step-free access, including private guestroom balconies. Reception desks and bar counters will include a lowered section accessible to wheelchair users. Reception desks and the hotel function room(s) will include a hearing loop for hearing-impaired guests Within the spa treatment suite, there is a room suitable for couples and sized to accommodate wheelchair users. Accessible hotel bedrooms will be provided in a variety of locations to provide an equivalent level of accommodation across room types
The lobby lounge will act as the hotel’s living room
The main lobby will be a hub of activity at the heart of the building. The main reception, concierge and a selection of boutique shops are located within this main space, from which guests can glimpse a view through the atmospheric lobby lounge into the hotel grounds beyond. The lounge will act as the hotel’s living room, where guests and visitors can relax, meet for a chat or just soak up the atmosphere of the vibrant public spaces all around.
From the lounge, a three storey void drops away to the landscaped gardens below. Guests can then choose to stay and sample a drink in the hotel bar or treat
themselves to a meal in the selection of dining experiences on offer in the restaurant with its garden facing terraces.
After dinner, guests are able to take a stroll in the hotel gardens by descending a grand stair which sweeps through a glass atrium down to the lowest level of the building, where paths lead out underneath a colonnade and into the landscaped parkland. The lobby is laid out to combine comfort and convenience with delight and visual drama. A key intention when arriving at the proposed layouts was to provide visitors to the building with straightforward and legible access to all hotel facilities. Three groups of lifts and two main public stairs allow guests to easily access all public and guestroom areas. A dedicated lift and stair will serve the
spa in the basement, while the main hotel lifts serve all floors, including guestrooms, leisure areas and the rooftop bar and sunset roof terrace. A pair of conference lifts drop to the lower two levels for direct access to the function areas.
The design uses the prevailing site levels to integrate different uses and mitigate the scale of the development.
At the lowest level of the building, extensive leisure facilities and function rooms look out over the hotel gardens. Arranged along the southern end of the building, the spa will include treatment suite, relaxation rooms, sauna and steam rooms and look out over the spa garden – including an external pool, relaxation spaces and water rills trickling between tranquil terraces – inspired by the historic pattern of the original Italianate terraces. Leisure facilities at this level also include the fitness suite and a 25m indoor pool.
Function spaces face out towards the parkland gardens and include the main ballroom, a dedicated event space capable of holding up to 500 guests. The central atrium connects to the hotel reception above and allows direct access into the landscaped grounds.
Energy and Environment
As part of the delivery of a high-quality destination resort, best practice principles of sustainability will be adopted from the onset. In addition to the delivery of substantial economic and social benefits outlined on the adjacent panel, environmental sustainability has been considered in the siting, massing, envelope design and initial servicing strategy for the building.
A centralised energy centre is located at the garden level, allowing an efficient servicing strategy to be developed – consideration will be given to combined heat and power (CHP) systems as well as the use of air source heat pumps and heat recovery to reduce primary energy demand. The building services strategy and design will be in accordance with Torbay’s planning and environmental policies with a view to delivering a thermally efficient, low carbon development.
The strategic approach to the development of the hotel will be to reduce the demand for energy consumption in the first instance prior to the consideration of integrating low / zero carbon (LZC) energy sources.The development proposals will look to minimise CO2 emissions in accordance with the following energy hierarchy:
Be Lean – The energy strategy aims to firstly implement passive design and energy efficiency measures to reduce energy demand and CO2 emissions.
Be Clean – The strategy will be to consider the use of clean energy source using a combined heat and power plant and/or heat pump technologies for space heating and cooling.
Be Green – Significant CO2 savings are expected through the Be Lean and Be Clean measures. However, to maximise CO2 reduction, the potential for renewable energy sources will be assessed.
The building will be serviced from the current north entrance to the hotel along Babbacombe Road. A dedicated delivery bay will be largely screened from the surface level car park but will allow the majority of “back of house” operations to take place out of public view. This will also allow for a more pedestrian- friendly forecourt, with generous pathways passing beneath the
impressive Corsican Pines which tower above the rocky outcrop flanking the western boundary of the site. Staff will access the building also via the northern entrance, with a number of designated staff parking bays and a staff entrance which is accessed via the kitchen gardens.
A number of sustainable measures have been considered and will be adopted into the proposals, including the following:
- Balconies along the east and south-east facing façades of the guestroom block, providing solar shading to limit diurnal temperature fluctuation and reduce summer cooling load
- Large glazed openings, particularly along the south elevation, reducing lighting loads
- Extensive landscaping to maintain and where viable improve the ecological value of the site
- Robust materials and corner protection within high- traffic areas to reduce the requirements for ongoing repair and refurbishment during the lifespan of the building
- Lightweight construction for non-loadbearing elements, reducing construction traffic and the overall embodied carbon of the development Specification of key materials and products for internal fit-out from responsibly and sustainably managed sources