INTERVIEW: ANDREW BROWN, GENERAL MANAGER, FAIRMONT WINDSOR PARK
Following the purchase of The Savill Court Hotel & Spa, which is now the site for the Fairmont Windsor Park, the Arora Group commissioned a complete redevelopment of the former building and grounds. We caught up with Andrew Brown, General Manager, prior to the grand opening to find out what we can expect from the transformed hotel.
Located on the edge of historic Windsor Great Park and within an hour of London, Fairmont Windsor Park is surrounded by 40 acres of open green space featuring a tranquil lake. The hotel has been designed to reflect the site’s heritage while offering modern elegance.
Chic but modern, the hotel offers over 200 rooms and suites decorated with a combination of natural stone and soft textures to create a sophisticated and sumptuous environment, each of the rooms radiating comfort in the most luxurious setting.
Leading the team is General Manager Andrew Brown, who brings over 25 years of hospitality experience to the new luxury opening. Who told us about the preparations and challenges of opening a new luxury hotel amid a global pandemic. “The key has been to be flexible and prepare for government guideline changes and roadmap rollouts.” Says Andrew. “The team was fantastic and so dedicated, adapting to every change and making the most of every opportunity. We covered all aspects of a high-profile luxury hotel opening; our planning included selecting the very best furniture, fittings, equipment and operating supplies. We’ve had bespoke products and services created and uniquely designed concepts for our exciting seven restaurants and bars. The recruitment and training plan was developed at the early stages and timelines were kept changeable for opening processes. We are thrilled with the results and cannot wait for the world to see our hotel and all our facilities.”
With the biggest challenges being the unknown – from regular changes to national lockdowns and tier systems, Andrew tells us how changes affected the supply chain and the overall workflow of such a huge project. “Meetings and interview processes took place on Teams and Zoom whilst quality controls were physically completed due to the importance of quality approval within a luxury hotel.”
With the re-design planned and approved prior to the pandemic, we asked Andrew if any changes have since been made to the layout to adapt the property. “The interior layout was in place prior to the pandemic and we are fortunate in that we always had the luxury of space,” he says, “so when it came to incorporating social distancing measures we were able to do this without too much re-design. We reviewed how guests and colleagues would move around the hotel and wellness areas during the pre- and post-opening periods.”
Guests can be assured that Fairmont Windsor Park is accredited with the Accor Allsafe certificate and has been verified by an independent Accor auditor, reflecting enhanced cleaning programmes and assuring guest safety. “We are confident our guests and colleagues will feel in safe hands wherever they are within the retreat.” Adds Andrew.
Having undergone an extensive refurbishment to re-work the hotel’s layout and offer even more luxurious public and accommodation spaces, Andrew describes the finished design as timeless. “We have reimagined what is expected from a country house retreat, Fairmont Windsor Park is elegant by design. Heritage, modernity and wellness converge to create the perfect backdrop for the grandest of experiences. A country-feel with a nod to the Jacobean exterior of the previous building, the hotel is light and bright inside, timeless elegance with a modern twist.”
Commenting on the things he’s most looking forward to from the hotel’s opening, Andrew says he can’t wait to welcome guests into the luxurious haven they’ve created in this magnificent setting. “The most exciting thing about Fairmont Windsor Park is seeing the vision of the owner come to life thanks to our passionate team. Everyone is focussed on delivering unforgettable experiences to our guests in this unique natural environment. I was privileged to be involved in the design process of many of the new food and beverage concepts, which are the are the heart and soul of the hotel. There is also a range of bespoke products, brands and services within the hotel, which are all being brought to life by our creative teams, so I am slightly biased. Watch this space!”
The 2,500sqm Fairmont Spa & Wellness facility is one of its kind in the UK and one of the most striking things about the hotel. It has been curated by experts for the purpose of creating world-class wellness experiences for guests and members and Andrew tells us how he hopes guests will feel a sense of awe and wonderment as they enter the hotel. “Fairmont Windsor Park is a grand and indulgent retreat which puts the wellness of each guest at the heart of the experience. I hope our guests will feel a sense of happy anticipation as they arrive through our tree-lined drive and over the lake to the main arrival entrance. Guests will be warmly greeted by our team when entering the hotel, and they should feel a sense of tranquillity across the retreat. We will always go above and beyond to treat our guests like royalty and to make every moment special.”