Wedding bookings boom at popular resort as £500k transformation continues

Orchard Terrace

Around £500,000 of investment has been made at the Stoke-by-Nayland Resort - Credit: Stoke by Nayland resort

A leading Suffolk resort has invested around £500,000 to transform its facilities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic - and has seen a boom in wedding bookings. 

The family-owned Boxford Group, who own the Stoke-by-Nayland Resort, said the business "has not stood still" during the coronavirus pandemic and has been working to "diversify" its offering to customers. 

Peter Osborne, group commercial director, said the company had to consider what life would look like post-Covid when it was planning improvements. 

Peter Osborne, Group Commercial Director of the Boxford group

Peter Osborne, group commercial director, said wedding bookings have been "phenomenal" - Credit: SbN Resort

"We've not stood still during the past 18 months," he said. "We've been diversifying and investing, and in particular we've been investing in the Stoke-by-Nayland Resort over the past few months. 

"Purely because our customers' needs changed, and the guest profile changed slightly as well but also because we weren't sure if certain things would be there or not when we came out the other side from Covid. 

"As it happens, it all seems to be there, which is great, but we've managed to build a business and change in a way that we can service all parts of the business and diversify the product.

"Weddings, as you can imagine, have been phenomenal this year, we're steaming ahead with weddings.

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"Everyone has been waiting to get married for the past two years. We've invested in our wedding areas, and we are also launching a teepee site for outdoor weddings and events." 

The pool in the Peake Spa at Stoke-by-Nayland Resort 

The pool in the Peake Spa at Stoke-by-Nayland Resort - Credit: Stoke-by-Nayland Resort

An extensive room refurbishment at the hotel, spa and golf complex on the Suffolk/Essex border, costing around £250,000, has been complemented by work to the outside terracing space as well as improvements to kitchen facilities. 

The hotel has also looked at its restaurant offering, and now has three distinct choices - The Lakes Restaurant, for fine dining, the Gallery Restaurant, with locally sourced produce, and a Sports Bar. 

Lakes Restaurant

The Lakes Restaurant at Stoke by Nayland has been given a new modern look. - Credit: Stoke by Nayland resort

"We recognise that corporate and meetings probably won't bounce back in the same way they were before, but we are seeing a number of groups and businesses that are having their annual dinners, lunches or conferences coming back rapidly, which is great," Mr Osborne said. 

"In place of the four or five people boardroom meetings, is the coming away for the night and having a more informal meeting in the lounge." 

A deluxe twin room at the Stoke-by-Nayland Resort

A deluxe twin room at the Stoke-by-Nayland Resort - Credit: Stoke-by-Nayland Resort

Mr Osborne added that the investment plan at the resort will continue over the next few months as the hotel also gets ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. 

A host of events, including 70s-themed dinner dances and family fun days, are expected to take place during 2022.