Family-run Soar Mill Cove Hotel to complete £2m redevelopment

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment

Soar Mill Cove Hotel in the South Hams area of Devon is currently undergoing a £2m refurbishment
Soar Mill Cove Hotel in the South Hams area of Devon is currently undergoing a £2m refurbishment
The family team behind the Soar Mill Cove Hotel in Salcombe are in the final stages of a redevelopment programme to refurbish the Devon venue, a project they have said has already delivered a nine per cent boost in Easter income. 

The Makepeace family, which has owned the hotel in the South Hams district of Devon since 1978, has invested £2m in the project which will be completed at the end of the month. The redevelopment is designed to 'evolve' the hotel so it is more prepared for the 21st century guest.

As part of the refurbishment, a new pool has been built, three new eco-style self-catering villas have been created, the menu available at the hotel's restaurant has been modified and the company's communication and social media strategies have been updated.

Return on investment

The project has been part-funded by a bank loan and Keith Makepeace Jnr, whose father originally purchased the property, has said he expects to wait six years before the return on the investment is fully realised.

“We are constantly thinking about how we can make the hotel equally as fantastic as the location," he said. "We have an extremely strong business with a regular loyal following here.

"Our recent refurbishment and investment in new facilities is a proactive reaction, not only to the trend towards staycations, but also, dare we voice it, to the last few years of bad weather."

The family is hoping turnover will increase by at least 20 per cent as a result of the investment although the refurb is already paying dividends - income increased nine per cent this Easter compared to the same period in 2012.

"This is a significant investment for us, but one that is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to hold and develop our market," Makepeace explained. 

Chef Prepared

Although the hotel features a restaurant with two AA Rosettes, part of the reason for the redevelopment has been to provide facilities for guests looking for self-catering rooms.

The new villas feature a full kitchen, dining and living area, accommodation space and a private hot tub.

However head chef Ian MacDonald has created a 'Chef Prepared' range of partly-cooked meals and picnics for guests to enjoy in their rooms or on the beach.

"Self-catering always used to be seen as the ‘prowling evil’ amongst hotel owners, however as the market is constantly changing our additional self-catering retreats are proving popular and rather than take away from our hotel business, they are adding volume and cash flow, all of which can only be positive in the current climate," said Makepeace.

The family firm has also invested in promotional efforts by developing a new website and social media strategy - both of which will launch next month.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Openings, Hotel

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