The boutique hotel is family run and officially opened on the 23 July, having been purchased a year before. The St James has 87 guest rooms which range from less expensive ‘Crash Pads’ to the 650sq.ft penthouse at the top of the building, in an aim to cater to a range of guests.
The hotel has a number of events and conference spaces, the largest of which has a capacity for 200 guests, and offers catering for weddings and other events. St James’ lounge and bar, No6, serves ‘hearty home food’ such as shepherd’s pie and curries, as well as snacks and light bites. It also features a library wall with a choice of 400 books.
BigHospitality talked to Harjeet Johal, the hotel’s interior designer and part of the family who owns the business, about the design and rebranding of the building.
The public areas of the hotels have a design that is grand as well as contemporary, featuring chandeliers and restored pink marble floors. St James also places emphasis on its art collection which includes work from young, local artists. It has its own gallery where it intends to host events.
Johal said: “What will make the hotel stand out is the thoughtfulness we’ve taken throughout the whole design. It’s what would normally only be expected in a London five star at astronomical prices. We’ve put the same amount of thought and care into this property at prices that are highly competitive for the area.
“The brief was to create a truly unique hotel which would stand apart from the local competitors as a property of character, style, service and value. I am confident that this has been achieved. I wanted to reintroduce the wonder of travelling and make the hotel a place of both delight and sanctuary.”
The St James hotel has been designed as a ‘value boutique’, offering five different types of rooms that range in prices so as to appeal to all areas of the market. ‘Crash Pad’ rooms can start from £45, while ‘Classic Rooms’ are about £55, and ‘Premier Rooms’ cost about £65 to £70, with the Penthouse being the most expensive.
“I think the thing that we pride ourselves most on is the hotel being a true value boutique in both elements of the phrase,” explained Johal. “Firstly, our room rates are very reasonable, but also St James has been designed as a boutique hotel, we haven’t scrimped on anything and we’ve made the guests the most important part of it.
“I think that is what’s unique about it, you’re getting a designed boutique hotel but a room rate that’s suitable for all. We have crash pads which are great for people who just need a place for the night, through to the penthouse which is, as far as I’m concerned, the best room in the town.”