, senior reporter
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
An historic hotel on the Norfolk-Suffolk border has reopened following an extensive refurbishment, with plans to add a leisure complex, including steam room, sauna and gym.
Award-winning hotelier Brian Keane, 39 and his wife Kelly, 35, have carried out makeovers to eight rooms at the 400-year-old Brome Grange hotel, off the A140, by installing new 32 inch LCD TVs with 100 channels and upgrading the furnishings in the bedrooms and bathrooms, while the hotel bars have also been improved to bring the accommodation to three star standard.
Mr Keane is also providing marquees in the hotel grounds for events, including weddings and conferences and said there was a need for conference facilities in the area as the next nearest place for this kind of venue was Norwich or Ipswich. He added the conference facility at the Brome Grange can hold 1,000 people.
The hotel, which has a general manager Jonathan Perfect, 35, closed suddenly in May 2011, leaving the wedding plans of dozens of couples in tatters after they were informed by letter that the hotel had ceased trading.
Year 11 students at Stradbroke Business and Enterprise College were also affected as they had booked their leaving prom at the hotel.
Jessica Rogers, who owned the building, could no longer afford to keep running the hotel. Everyone with bookings was reimbursed.
Mr Keane, who used to run the Riverside hotel in Mildenhall, received an Acorn Award in 1998 and has previously won the Les Routiers award for the East of England Hotel of the Year. Other holders of the Acorn Award include the chefs Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White.
He also received food awards at the hotel Burnham Beeches in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, prior to moving to Mildenhall.
He said the hotel was also offering Christmas Party lunches and a Sunday carvery, while he was also planning to set up an academy to train young apprentices.
The total cost of the refurbishments done so far to the hotel is £100,000 and Mr Keane said the additional leisure complex was set to cost £350,000.
“We aim to offer a good service, good rooms and food at affordable rates,” Mr Keane added.