Albion House Opens in Kent's Seaside Town Ramsgate
The seaside town of Ramsgate in Kent has another string to its bow - the newly opened Albion House - occupying an elegant Regency building in one of the most prominent positions in town.
Owners Emma and Ben Irvine and John and Gay Haines, stumbled on this Grade II Listed building in 2010, and set about transforming the run down former municipal offices, spending £1.5m along the way, into an elegant fourteen bedroomed boutique hotel with restaurant and bar.
The building takes pride of place on Ramsgate's East Cliff with views over Royal Harbour, and, on a clear day, across to the French coast. Built in 1791 as a private house its fascinating history includes spells as a lodging house and gentleman's club, as well as more recently as the seat of the Mayor. In fact, the young Princess Victoria is known to have spent a particularly poignant time in her early life recovering here from an illness.
The quartet of owners all brought expertise to the table in the renovation project including Emma's architectural eye for detail, Ben's engineering background and Gay's drive to make it the perfect destination for Londoners looking to get away to the great British seaside. They have lovingly brought the interiors back to their original grandeur, collaborating with antique and interiors specialists Fontaine Decorative. Every effort has been made to recreate the Regency features, which would have been found in the house when first built, whilst offering the comforts and luxuries of a hotel.
Rooms and Suites
A sweeping staircase leads to three floors housing 13 rooms and suites. The 14th room is accessible by a lift in the lower ground floor for those not wanting to use the stairs. Expect clever design features such as hidden 'jib' doors which lead to the stunning Carrara marble en suite bathrooms. Other details include French antique furniture, wool and cashmere Naturalmat beds, original 18th century cornices which have all been remoulded where necessary and Lefroy Brooks bathroom fittings.
Twelve of the rooms have sea, harbour or beach views and retain features such as 18th century shutter panelled windows and elegant cornicing and architraves. The Drawing Room Suite is very special with its open fireplace and large wraparound balcony and Little Victoria's Room, where the young Princess Victoria recuperated in 1835 also has access to a sea facing balcony. Both have superking beds and enjoy the last of the setting sun over the harbour. Toiletries are White Company (soon to be Voya).
Up at the bar
The deep sage green Town Bar is located on the ground floor with sea views through floor to ceiling windows and was once the seat for the Mayor and local Councillors. The original council desk has been reworked into an impressive bar unit retaining fun features such as the inkwells, as well as antique chesterfield sofas and chairs upholstered in salvaged French mattress covers. A range of bar snacks, nibbles, cheeses and charcuterie are served with cocktails and wines from a well-stocked cellar. Or, choose the 'Time with Wine' wine tasting experience and listen to experts explaining every aspect of wine production. The baby grand piano, vintage prints and mirror complete the look.
The light and airy deep navy blue and white Dining Rooms on the ground floor have sea views and crisp white tablecloths. Also open to non-residents for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, dishes from the dinner menu including fillet of hake with roasted beetroot, harissa marinated rump of lamb or lime & jerk spiced sea bass.
Guests buffet breakfasts are also taken here and include pastries, croissants, yoghurt, berries and a hot menu such as Eggs Royale.
The next stage of the development will see the basement brought back to life with wine cellar, a private dining room housed in the original Georgian kitchen as well as a Seaweed Spa. Expect a more spit and saw dust approach to this 'below the stairs' area designed for late nights with good friends.
About the Isle of Thanet
The Isle of Thanet sits at Kent's east tip and boasts several resort towns along its stunning coastline, including Ramsgate with its growing creative vibe and its magnificent Royal Harbour. The area's 32 miles of long, wide and empty sandy beaches with stunning white chalk cliffs make for great walks and cycle rides, as well as a wide choice of restaurants and bars and interesting independent shops and galleries.
Rooms start from £145 per night including breakfast with Suites starting from £275 per night. Children are welcome.
Albion House Hotel is located in the seaside town of Ramsgate in Kent. It can be reached in just over an hour from London by train on the Channel Tunnel high speed line and parking is available on Albion Place.
For reservations please go to www.albionhouseramsgate.co.uk or call 01843 606630.
Twitter - @albionhh