The hotel entrance is approached from Babbacombe Road with an open and welcoming landscaped forecourt with high-quality hard landscaping and a reflection pool.
The wide covered entrance will shelter guests from the elements while framing the generous floor-to-ceiling glazing of the hotel lobby and the views beyond.
A ramped drive will sweep down beneath the building and into a 220 space subterranean car park providing guests with direct access to the public spaces within the hotel.
A further surface level car park of approximately 80 spaces will provide additional parking for day visitors, with landscaped pathways leading to the main hotel entrance.
There will be cycle parking, plus designated parking for disabled guests both at surface level and within the internal car park. All public entrance doors into the development will have level access from either the basement car park or main entrance lobby. Doors at these locations will have power assisted opening, with push pads at an accessible height.
The proposals are for a new, 5 star destination spa hotel including:
248 generously sized guest rooms
including a mix of suites, family rooms and sea view rooms
250 seat restaurant
including private dining rooms and al fresco garden terraces providing guests with a choice of dining experiences
Spacious and welcoming public spaces
with large guest lounge & bar, boutique lobby shops and spectacular rooftop bar
Luxury spa and leisure facilities
including treatment suite, relaxation and refreshment areas, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, steam rooms and fitness studio
Modern conference and event venue
capable of hosting 500 attendees
If approved, this would be the most significant hotel built in Torbay for over 100 years and will bring huge benefits to the local community.
The British Hospitality Association has calculated that the wider hospitality industry is the fourth biggest employer in the UK, employing 3.2 million people directly and a further 2.8 million people indirectly. The proposals will:
- Create around 300 new full-time jobs in Torbay
- Support the ambitions set out in Torbay’s Destination Management Plan 2017-2021 by providing a high-quality destination hotel that will attract guests year round.
- Generate around £400k for the council through the Community Infrastructure Levy of which £60k will be directly available for local projects.
The proposed hotel replaces the low sprawling proportions of the existing hotel with a compact elegantly shaped building.
By reducing the footprint of the hotel and by rotating the building away from both Babbacombe Road and Anstey’s Cove Road, a visual impact assessment has shown that the new hotel, which will be 4 storeys taller than the existing, will be no more visible from most key public vantage points.
This assessment has not taken into account the approved 2 storey rooftop extensions to the existing hotel which would have had a significant bearing on the appearance of the existing hotel from Babbacombe Road and Anstey’s Cove.
A consequence of the taller guest room wing is that the views from the top storeys of the hotel are substantially improved in relation to the existing hotel.
In order to take advantage of this, and rather than continuing guest rooms all the way to the top floor, a publicly accessible rooftop bar and terrace has been placed on the top storey. In doing so this will allow visitors and guests the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views over Lyme Bay.
The new hotel blends simple, classical proportions, high-quality materials and modern design.
The vertical proportions of the proposed elevations have been inspired by those found in classical architecture and in the original Bishopstowe villa.
The simple elevational grid incorporates floor to ceiling windows to provide framed views from guest rooms. Open corners add a feeling of lightness and provide panoramic views from the corner suites.
A penthouse level, incorporating the roof top bar and terrace, features a spectacular cantilevered roof which creates a horizontal counterpoint that embraces the wider landscape.
The external appearance of the hotel celebrates the unique geology of Torbay through its selection of building materials:
Gold copper alloy
Hopes Nose, located a mile to the south of the site, is one of only a few locations where English gold can still be found. Samples of which can be seen at Torquay Museum and the Natural History Museum.
The gold copper alloy is used to line the inside edges of the elevational grid, revealing itself and reflecting light in different ways as you move around the building.
From reefs formed during the late Devonian period 400 million years ago Devon Limestone has been quarried in the area for over 300 years.
Devon Limestone is proposed for the ‘plinth’ areas of the elevation, facing the spa garden terraces and retaining walls along Anstey’s Cove Road.
Honed from Devonian limestone, ‘Ashburton Marble’ was once an important industry for Torbay and a celebrated building material. It can be found in the vestibule of the existing hotel and in many fine buildings around the world, including Melbourne Cathedral.
‘Ashburton Marble’ is proposed as the principal flooring material in the new hotel lobby and as a large wall panel with the hotel entrance.
White etched concrete
Proposed for the main building grid and colonnade, pre-cast white etched concrete echoes the render used in large modernist buildings in Torbay and provides a high quality, robust and clean finish that will stand the test of time.