Norfolk Mead at Coltishall unveils spa vision

Garden Room

Garden Room - Credit: Archant

The owners of a Broadland hotel have unveiled plans for a £100,000-plus investment in new treatment rooms as part of their long-term ambition to develop a spa complex.

James Holliday and his wife Anna Duttson have already spent nearly £2m refurbishing Norfolk Mead Hotel in Coltishall and building a thriving Garden Room wedding and corporate event venue since their arrival in February last year.

The couple, who also run an independent catering business, are proud that their rapid success in achieving an 85pc occupancy even at quiet times of the year has also benefited other local businesses including pubs and restaurants in the neighbouring villages of Coltishall and Horstead.

Mr Holliday said: 'The Garden Room includes part of the original 1740s garden wall in its construction, which guests love, and it has become incredibly popular - we have already taken nearly 50 bookings for next year.'

The airy space, which can accommodate 120 people seated or 220 standing, has rapidly become a leading wedding venue - the hotel has its own wedding licence - and Mr Holliday is keen to build on that by generating more bookings for corporate events, parties and team-building events.

He said: 'Looking over the hotel's landscaped garden, it is really perfect for corporate events during the week; the venue has wi-fi, a projector, even break-out rooms. It is also a good location for Christmas parties.'

Meanwhile, the hotel's restaurant has made huge strides under his wife, trained at the acclaimed Tante Marie Culinary Academy in London, who, as executive chef, now leads a team of five chefs.

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'Over half our restaurant bookings are from local people and we also do well with the Broads boat trade over the summer,' said Mr Holliday.

'Sunday lunches have become so popular people are advised to book; afternoon teas have also become popular.'

Developing treatment rooms was part of the couple's vision to increase the all-year-round appeal of the hotel as a 'place for people to come any time for a warm, friendly stay'.

'Architects are working up plans for an extension on the side of the hotel and we will be submitting plans in the near future,' he said.

The spa facilities are likely to bring new jobs to the hotel whose workforce has already risen from four to 19 since the couple took over.

Mr Holliday said: 'We have used local tradesmen on all the building work and we use local suppliers such as Swannington Farm and Norton's Dairy for the restaurant.'

The majority of hotel guests are currently leisure travellers although there is a growing corporate trade, which includes engineers working at Bacton gas terminal.

The couple are delighted with their TripAdvisor ratings which now flag up Norfolk Mead as one of the region's top hotels.

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