THE eagerly-awaited £30 million hotel which is set to boost the local tourist economoy opened its doors to the public on Friday and the Whitby Gazette got a sneak preview.
With 45 bedrooms, a pool, spa, bar and restaurant, Raithwaite Hall, formerley a private residence, has undergone a complete tranformation – but one which has stayed sympatehtic to the character and surrounding of the building.
A floor to ceiling marble and glass reception greets visitors, deep carpets, oak floors and gardens that are perfectley manicured all suggest that no expense has been spared on this redevelopment.
But the Skelwith Group, which is behind the project is keen to impress that this level of luxury, is accessible to all.
Head chef Darren Iddon was so passionate about his role in the venture that it convinced him to leave his job in Singapore and come to Sandsend.
He said: “I want you to come for your lunch with a client, bring your missus on a Friday night and the kids for Sunday lunch. One lady challenged me on the pricing but I said it is the quality of the product. I am not here to rip anybody off.”
Ben Pilgrim, looking after the hotel’s PR, added: “We want to be part of the community, very inclusive, the hub of things and encourage people into the bar and the spa and the restaurant.”
And people were already in the restaurant on Friday night for the first official function on the first day of opening – so no pressure then.
A total of 110 guests were booked in for Gerard Brophy’s testimonial dinner which was followed by a do for Whitby Yacht Club on Saturday night.
Nigel Brunt, Director of Sales and Marketing, said: “We were really pleased with how the opening event went and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. All the feedback from guests, Gerard and Steve Harmison has been really positive and they said they are looking forward to coming back to the hotel and area soon.
“We look forward to many more successful events and welcoming local organisations, businesses and the community to the hotel.”