New manager at Dunston Hall hopes to boost hotel’s profile – and is planning refurb
- Credit: Archant
The new general manager of a Norfolk hotel is eyeing improvements as he looks to boost its profile as a resort for social, business and sporting guests.
Experienced hotelier Andrew Blyth, who began his education in hospitality at City College Norwich, has been brought into manage Dunston Hall just outside Norwich by its new management company RBH.
Mr Blyth hopes that, through a rolling programme of investment in the hotel and its 150-acre estate, he can build its reputation in Norfolk.
He also hopes to attract more blue-chip companies in Norwich out of the city to make use of the hotel's business and leisure facilities.
'I had an opportunity to join what is one of the largest hotels in East Anglia. It is going through a change of ownership so there is a chance to reestablish it,' he said.
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'It has not had the investment recently that it had in previous years but the new owners have committed to investment so there is an opportunity to make Dunston Hall a leading hotel in the region for events, conferences and golf.
'It is a multifaceted business where all the strands contribute.'
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Dunston Hall has 166 bedrooms, event facilities for up to 900 people – including its own marquee – and an 18-hole golf course, with a workforce of around 150.
The hotel runs at around 80% occupancy through the year, with 70,000 guests staying annually.
Mr Blyth said he has been given some free rein over how the parent company's investment in the hotel is spent – with bedroom and meeting room refurbishments and a re-landscaping of the golf club at the top of the list.
He added: 'The vision is to become the leading venue for social banqueting and golf-related business in East Anglia. We have got the size and the capacity, we have got the team, we just need to keep driving the business forward and some of that will be capital investment.'
Mr Blyth has worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years, having started washing plates in a kitchen as a teenager and then training in hotel management at Middlesex University.
He has worked with hotel chains around the country and also gone it alone, running his own eight-bedroom hotel in Thetford, Wareham House, with his wife.
The RBH hospitality management group operates more than 70 hotels around the UK.