West Suffolk: Latest phase completed in hotel expansion creating 65 jobs

A WEST Suffolk hotel has completed the latest phase of a �1.5million expansion and renovation project.

The bar and restaurant area of the four-star Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket has undergone a �175,000 transformation as part of a wider programme of work which also involves the creation of 22 new bedrooms.

Bedford Lodge chief executive Noel Byrne said: “We have undergone a total decorative refurbishment, with all furniture, carpets and lighting replaced.

“As a result, there is a much more contemporary feel, although sympathy has been shown to the heritage and age of the building, parts of which date back to the 19th century.”

He added: “We ensured that our guests were not inconvenienced during the works by setting up an alternative bar and restaurant for use during the project.”

As part of the improvements, the two AA Rosette restaurant has changed its name from The Orangery to Squire’s – named after the infamous original owner of Bedford Lodge, Alexander Baird who was known as the Squire due to his excessive lifestyle.

Mr Byrne added: “Our customers are now benefiting from a much more relaxed atmosphere, with a focus on very good food at reasonable prices. We also offer some great value wines, as well as those special occasion wines that you would expect to see on a good list.”

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The new bedrooms will be available to guests in July and will lead to the creation of at least 25 jobs. In addition, the hotel is currently developing the Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel at neighbouring Rockfield House. Forty job roles are to be introduced once the spa is complete in the autumn.

In recent years, the hotel has benefited from the renovation of its reception area as well as that of its health and fitness club The Edge. Its seven conference and banqueting rooms were also enhanced with state of the art audio-visual systems, while �60,000 was invested in digital television equipment in all the existing bedrooms.

“It’s an extremely exciting time in the development of Bedford Lodge,” said Mr Byrne. “With each improvement, the hotel grows as a leisure, conference and wedding venue. This is great news for the economy of Newmarket, as well as the future of our business.”