Newmarket: Bedford Lodge hotel starts work on conference and banqueting suite refurbishment

Bedford Lodge chief executive Noel Byrne and the hotel's staff celebrating the award for four AA red

Bedford Lodge chief executive Noel Byrne and the hotel's staff celebrating the award for four AA red stars. - Credit: Archant

The conference and banqueting suite at the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa in Newmarket is undergoing a £300,000 facelift.

The hotel, which was recently awarded four AA red stars - an upgrade from its previous four black stars rating – is transforming the suite’s lighting and sound systems, in time for the festive season.

The meeting room is to feature back-lit ceiling coffers plus large, modern crystal chandeliers and remote-controlled spotlights that can be customised to the desired mood. A large, modern mural will adorn the back wall.

On the technology side, the hotel’s audio visual system will be upgraded to include Bose speakers throughout, projectors will be ceiling mounted to assist presentations and the bar will be adapted to make use of natural light.

Bedford Lodge, which also has a two AA rosette restaurant, Squires, can accommodate up to 180 people within its conference and banqueting suite, which attracts a wide range of business and leisure trade, including weddings.

The refurbishment project marks another milestone in the upgrade of the hotel, following the opening of a £5.5million spa and a dance studio as well as a refurbishment of its Edge Health and Fitness Club.

New bedrooms have also been added, bringing the total to 77, with total investment at the hotel over the past three years having reachinged £12million.

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Chief Executive Noel Byrne, who has overseen the whole process along with the Kean family, who own the property, from inception to design said: “We are delighted to announce these major refurbishment plans and look forward to welcoming our Christmas, conference and wedding guests into a completely modern and updated space.

“We are the only four-star hotel in Newmarket and feel this significant investment will continue to make us the Suffolk destination for weddings and conferences.”

The hotel’s upgrade to four AA red stars, gives it a status held by only 67 hotels in the whole of the UK. Speaking at a presentation ceremony in lOndon, Mr Byrne said: “This is an amazing achievement for our team who are focused on delivering exceptional customer service to all our guests.

“The four AA Red Stars is something that everyone at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has been working towards and it is a privilege to accept this award on their behalf.”

Simon Numphud, the AA’s head of hotel services, who manages the hotel inspection process, said: “Red stars, as opposed to black stars, indicate hotels which represent the most outstanding examples in each star category.

“The criteria for AA Red Stars are consistent excellence in all areas of a hotel’s operation, and Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa joins an elite group of top performers within the hotel industry. It is encouraging to see there are still hotels pushing the boundaries and striving for high standards and excellent quality.”

To celebrate, the hotel has released 100 biodegradable balloons with prizes attached to each of them to whoever finds them. Prizes include overnight stays, Champagne spa days for two, spa treatments and ten Sunday lunches.

Melissa Pantano-Gaus, marketing co-ordinator at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, said: “We wanted to do something to celebrate this fantastic award with our neighbours.

“Hopefully 100 of them will find the balloons and will come to visit to enjoy the prizes. In some releases balloons have been known to travel over 1,000 miles, so perhaps it may mean we get to celebrate with some more international guests as well.”

Keith Brown, chief executive of Visit East Anglia, added: “We are thrilled that the Bedford Lodge has been acknowledged as one the country’s finest four-star hotels. To have a hotel and spa of such quality in Suffolk and East Anglia is great news for our visitors as well as for Newmarket itself.”