Plans unveiled to return iconic hotel to its Imperial best

Multi-million-pound plans have been unveiled to restore Torquay’s iconic Imperial Hotel back to its former five-star glory.

Owners Andrew Brownsword Hotels want to transform the Imperial into a luxury hotel and spa destination.

An online public exhibition showing the emerging plans has opened and will run for two weeks.

The original building of the Imperial dates from 1866, but successive waves of redevelopment since the 1940s have seen the original building added to and modified.

Post-war modernisations to its Jubilee Wing first altered the original façade, while from 1969 a radical period of remodelling created much of the modernist style that can be seen in the building today.

Plans include remodelling the sea facing façade to offer a new exterior and injecting new life into the hotel’s key original period spaces that still remain, including the impressive entrance lobby, the 1935 Ballroom and Sun Lounge, the two main staircases and Corridor Lounge.

Plans also include reducing the number of bedrooms and consolidating the hotel accommodation within the historic core of the building, with 111 new guest rooms as opposed to the current 152 number.

A new restaurant to seat 135 and a separate events space is planned. A Beach Club terrace over the pool could offer an alfresco dining and lounging space, linked to the historic Corridor Lounge, and plans also show a feature Champagne Bar added to the main lounge.

Meeting rooms, a sun deck and new external terracing are proposed, while a new single level accessible spa would include an indoor pool overlooking the Bay, as well as an outdoor pool.

The extensive hotel redevelopment is supported by a proposal for residential development on the site, with plans including the creation of up to 51 dwellings on underutilised brownfield land and within the existing built envelope.

Local residents, friends of the Imperial Torquay and those interested are invited to view the exhibition which runs until November 25 by going to www.ImperialHotelExhibition.co.uk

The Andrew Brownsword Hotels is a collection of 13 privately owned hotels and is owned by Christina and Andrew Brownsword.