Kings Court Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
The privately owned Kings Court Hotel is in the heart of Shakespeare country close to Stratford-upon-Avon and dates back to Tudor times. The 65 bedroom hotel houses both a brasserie restaurant and traditional bar area alongside function areas popular for corporate events and weddings.
The hotel’s public areas had not been refurbished for many years. With increased competition locally for eating and drinking destinations, the owners selected Jones architecture + design to assist with a refurbishment which was completed over the course of a year.
Phase one was to refurbish the traditional “Twisted Boot” Pub. Jones AD thought “outside of the box” and rather than focusing purely on a design for the interior they advised that a new patio visible from the highway with new furniture, jumbrellas alongside new signage would benefit to draw in customers for drinks or food who may have previously considered Kings Court as a hotel for guests only.
Once inside the hotel, the entrance now incorporates a digitally printed archive map printed as wallpaper showing local points of interest. Abi Perry-Jones, Creative Director of Jones AD tells us “The Twisted Boot is a really characterful and inviting part of the hotel but over time had become cluttered and looked a little dated and unloved. Our design has brightened up the space and makes the most of the building’s original features”.
The fresh new look included new upholstered booth seats, which are hugely popular with diners, new light fittings and floor finishes. “It made sense to retain some of the existing good quality furniture. Having it reupholstered and refurbished gave it a new lease of life and allowed us to be sensible with our client’s budget”.
The refurbishment of the bar area proved an immediate success with guests choosing to dine and relax at the hotel rather than going elsewhere and non-guests soon became regular visitors. Since the positive results of the refurbishment were clearly evident, the Kings Court team was keen to progress phase two with Jones AD.
Phase two included the reception, lounge and brasserie. As the hotel had grown over the years with various extensions to the building, the team felt that the flow between the spaces didn’t work well particularly since the hotel is used by several types of guests simultaneously – for functions, conferencing, weddings and independent business and leisure stays. Jones AD proposed a small extension to link the buildings and help guests naturally navigate through the spaces.
The buildings at Kings Court are listed so Jones AD consulted closely with the planning department. It was important to the planners that several original architectural features were retained such as the view of an arched window which many years ago used to be a barn door. The resulting scheme is a contemporary bright and airy space with a glazed roof light and doors onto a new patio area. Jones AD designed a bespoke light fitting to fit perfectly within the new roof light which looks fantastic and gives a warm glow from the outside during the evening and a bespoke compass design was incorporated into the vinyl flooring.
Alongside this the reception area, lobby and brasserie were refurbished. Cool blues and golds make up part of the design scheme and feature in fabrics, wall finishes and lighting. Abi Perry-Jones told us “It was important for the design to flow through all of the spaces but for each area to also have it’s own personality”. Patterns included in the bespoke Axminster carpet are echoed in the wall light fittings. New mirrored wall panels feature in the lounge and brasserie and bounce light around and increase the sense of space.
Owner Georgie McGrath tells us “Since the refurbishment more and more guests request to take coffee in the lounge area after dining with us and we’ve seen a transformation of the use of the space which was used very little previously. Local groups now meet in our lounge area and business guests like to work on their laptops there with a coffee. It is great to see the space bought back to life.”
In the brasserie, a new counter and island configuration helps the speed of service and has dramatically helped reduce bottlenecks of customers queuing for the buffet lunch at busy times. A new illuminated wine store is a great storage solution but adds some glamour and encourages up-selling. “Now that our wine selection is on show looking fantastic, we have found that customers are more likely to order a bottle than a glass.” says Manager Matt Bird.
As ever Jones AD delivered a design that looks great but also delivers commercially and operationally. The new design scheme has been hugely successful in attracting new customers for both business and leisure. Within the first month of the refurbishment the hotel reported that the refurbishment sales in the brasserie increased by around 20 per cent and feel that the new public areas have undoubtedly had a positive effect on function bookings.