Here’s to another massive vote of confidence in the English Riviera and Paignton. Yep, Paignton, regarded by some as the kiss-me-quick poor relation of the Bay sandwiched in between the yachty lifestyle of Torquay and the quaintness and uniqueness of Brixham
It is obvious the Mallino Development Group think otherwise. They have just put their hands in their back pocket and come up with a cheque for a cool £4.5millliom to buy the town’s historic Redcliffe Hotel.
The Grade Two listed building, once the grand home of a retired Colonel and Paris Singer, was converted into a hotel in 1903, and has 70 en-suite guest rooms and dining areas with sea views – sea views that would compete with any across the world.
It is the history and location of the Redcliffe that attracted the attention of Mallino.
Now they aim to add a huge dollop of luxury to hopefully attract five-star status. They have a good track record after transforming the old and famous Bodmin Jail in Cornwall into a four-star boutique hotel with a £50million investment.
Managing director Rob Cox says: “Our aim is to put the right amount of investment into the building to bring it back to its former glory
"There are lovely staff here. They are very hospitable and have a great way with customers, and we must give them the building and facilities that they need to take that to the next level of luxury.”
He says the location over the Bay is 'something else'.
He said: "I have been there at breakfast at 5am. To see the sunrise and look across the Bay is phenomenal.”
Both he and his family and the company’s chairman and his family have stayed at the Redcliffe and in Paignton.
He says: “I took my wife and young daughter there for a week and they had a great time. The chairman and his family have also enjoyed a stay. They loved it and were excited for its future.”
Mr Cox says the hotel will stay open during any improvements and new jobs will be created.
He says: “We are not looking to close. We will remain open as far as possible. We are looking to employ more people, create more jobs and be the best place to work.”
He is also quick to point out: “We are not property developers who work on a building and then sell them quickly. This is a business that we are really engaged in and want to see succeed over a longer term.
“The Redcliffe is an amazing building. Imagine that it was once somebody's house. We just want to add that touch of luxury to it and give guests the chance to experience the unique setting.”
He doesn't fear competition from two Fragrance Group hotels quickly rising from the ground just along the promenade.
He says: "They are putting a significant amount of investment into different types of hotel. It is great for the town and lots of people will come to enjoy it. Competition is good and we have seen that demand is very strong.”
He also recognises that you have to cater for all sectors of the market. He believes there is room for both fish and chips on the seafront and luxury hotels. He comes from a town near the seaside and says: "I know seaside towns and the cycles they go through.
“Paignton is a great town for families, waters sports, shopping. It has good visitor attractions and such a stunning position on the Bay. Torquay is lovely. Brixham is just fantastic, there is something for everyone here.”
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