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Historic hotel to close for refurb

PUBLISHED: 16:47 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:55 12 June 2019

The George Hotel in Colchester High Street is to close for the final stage of a £10m makeover. Picture: FLYING TRADE GROUP

The George Hotel in Colchester High Street is to close for the final stage of a £10m makeover. Picture: FLYING TRADE GROUP

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Colchester's historic George Hotel is to close this month for the final stage of its £10m refurbishment.

Essex businessman Suki Dulai, chief executive of the Flying Trade Group, on a balcony at the new St Nicholas Hotel. The George Hotel is opposite. )
Picture: SURYA HOTELSEssex businessman Suki Dulai, chief executive of the Flying Trade Group, on a balcony at the new St Nicholas Hotel. The George Hotel is opposite. ) Picture: SURYA HOTELS

It has been a hive of activity for more than 500 years but at soon it will be closing its doors for at least three months so the final stages of a £10m renovation can be completed.

In January 2017 Harwich-based developer Flying Trade Group, behind the Surya Hotels brand, revealed plans for refurbishment and expansion of the George Hotel site in High Street.

This included the complete refurbishment of the 47 bedroom George hotel and the conversion of nearby St Nicholas House into a new affiliated 44 bedroom hotel. St Nicholas Hotel opened in December 2018 almost doubling the rooms available.

Work is set to get under way on the historic coaching inn with plans for re-opening in early October 2019.

The Grade II* listed George Hotel is in need of modernisation, according to the owners.

Flying Trade chief executive Suki Dulai said: "We are at a very exciting stage of The George renovation and feel greatly privileged to be tasked with bringing this historic site into the 21st Century while respecting its amazing heritage.

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"We have to ensure that whilst we bring the hotel back up to date with modern comforts and facilities, that we don't lose the historical atmosphere of the building. We are passionate about retaining the charm and ambience of this beautiful hotel.

"As such, there will not be any major changes to the fundamental layout of the property, because we are limited by the building's historic nature, However, we shall certainly be adding a wow factor with décor and furnishings and greatly improving modern comforts and disabled access to the site. A significant part of the project is re-wiring and re-plumbing the entire hotel."

Café George will also be upgraded and relaunched.

He added: "We continue to invest heavily in Colchester with The George project along with St Nicholas House, Claudius Gateway and One Castle Park, with an emphasis on making the most of the town's rich history."

"We want to expose the history within The George, so customers can feel and appreciate the warmth and depth of its past, while also enjoying the comforts and convenience of modern life, whether that be air-conditioning, WiFi or cappuccino."

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