Preston architects lead on new £1m extension to North West aparthotel

Three Preston businesses are teaming up for the £1m second phase of the five-star The Hotel Chester development .

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 20th December 2021, 3:30 pm

Designed by Frank Whittle Partnership, the project will see the transformation of the former Plumbers Arms pub on Newgate Street into a modern restaurant and additional accommodation for the award-winning aparthotel, which opened its doors to visitors in April.

FWP has produced designs for Preston-based family-run hotel business Walker & Williams that will see the old city centre pub converted into four apartments and a modern restaurant with glass walls that open out onto a secluded walled courtyard.

In keeping with the current accommodation, the four new apartments will be uniquely styled and themed. It will bring the number of apartments available to guests up to 16.

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A computer generated image of how the extension to the Chester hotel will look

Preston’s Fino Tapas, which serves Spanish cuisine, will operate the restaurant.

Work on this second phase of the development has started and is set to be completed in early spring next year. FWP led the restoration of the main, adjoining building which dates to around 1782 and its transformation into a £4.6m luxury boutique aparthotel.

That building was previously used as offices and was vacant for around 15 years. Each of its uniquely styled apartment has a theme, including the Money Penny, a James Bond-themed penthouse apartment made up of two large living spaces connected by a floating bridge.

The tree house family apartment is built from recycled wood. Other apartments have names including Secret Garden, Flamingo and Zoo.

Preston Artchitects Frank Whittle Partnership and hotels firm Walker & Williams are behind the Chester hotel plan

The Hotel Chester is one of several Walker & Williams upmarket hospitality projects that FWP has led including £2.8m The Winckley Square Hotel in Preston.

FWP is also currently working on the redevelopment of Ormskirk’s former magistrates court building for the hotelier. Brent Clayton, partner at FWP, said: “We worked closely with Walker & Williams on the first phase of their Chester hotel plan which completely transformed an historic old building that had stood empty for some time.

“The Hotel Chester is now a thriving, award-winning venue and this second phase, which represents more significant investment in Chester’s city centre, will build on this success.

“In this phase we have again worked closely with the Walker & Williams team to bring forward more quality accommodation and a stylish restaurant setting. And again, we have utilised every part of the old pub building through good design.

“We’ve built up a good relationship with the client and we understand their vision and ethos. It is about creating a real sense of stand-out luxury and destination.”

The Walker & Williams Group is a family business created by Max and Laura Walker-Williams. The hotelier has plans to expand its portfolio of five-star boutique aparthotels across the North West.

Operations director Max Williams said: “This is the second of three phases we have planned for The Hotel Chester, which is our finest aparthotel to date and has been a massive hit with guests since it opened in April this year.

“FWP has once again played a major role in design and delivery as we look to offer guests even more and breathe new life into another building in the centre of this historic city.”

He added: “We continue to look forward to working with the FWP team long into the future as we look to grow and expand the business.”

FWP has a wealth of experience in the hospitality and tourism sector. It is the architect behind The Sands Venue Resort Hotel on Blackpool’s famous Golden Mile, which is currently under construction and is a member of the team looking to restore the former Victorian Park Hotel in Preston to its former glory.

Its designers are also spearheading the ongoing upgrade of Lake District Hotels’ flagship properties in Cumbria - delivering contemporary bedrooms and public spaces through its interior design expertise.

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