Town’s newest hotel finally opens its doors after more than four years

Town's newest hotel finally opens its doors after more than four years
Premier Inn opens in Tunbridge Wells

The budget hotel giant had been hoping to open the new 126-bedroom London Road branch before Christmas, but building delays forced it to put back its opening date until Easter.

However, just as it announced its opening date in March, the coronavirus lockdown occurred and the brand new £7million hotel had to be mothballed. Premier Inn owners Whitbread had to furlough around 27,000 staff on full pay.

It is not the first time the project has suffered setbacks. The hotel group first submitted plans to convert the old courthouse in London Road back in 2016.

When the Council granted planning permission early in 2017, it caused opposition from local residents for what they claimed was an ‘unlawful’ sale of Merevale House, the former courthouse.

The group even instigated a judicial review on the planning decision but withdrew their application shortly after.

Now, the new Premier Inn on London Road finally welcomed its first guests on Friday [August 21].

Viv Carr, new openings manager for the hotel chain, said: “It’s a wonderful feeling to open the doors of our brand-new Royal Tunbridge Wells Premier Inn.

“The hotel looks incredible, the team are raring to go, and we’re looking forward to welcoming guests and providing them with the friendly service, high-standards and well-priced bedrooms we are known for.”

She added the 110-bedroom hotel, which features Premier Inn’s in-house Thyme restaurant has created 20 new jobs in a mixture of part and full-time positions.

The new five-storey brick hotel also includes guest car parking spaces in the basement of the building and at ground level, as well as a drop-off taxi bay in front of the hotel.

The hotel also has an ‘enhanced hygiene promise’ in the wake of Covid-19, with new procedures that are in line with both World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Control recommendations, as well as UK government guidance.

Ms Carr continued: “Royal Tunbridge Wells ticks all the boxes for Premier Inn customers.

“The historic town is a wonderful place to spend time, the stunning countryside of the High Weald is close by and London is less than an hour by train.

“We expect our new Premier Inn will be popular with guests looking to soak up the culture and history of Royal Tunbridge Wells on leisure breaks as well as business travellers looking for a convenient jumping off point for the capital. The hotel couldn’t be in a better position for enjoying the historic town.”

Premier Inn, which has more than 815 hotels across the UK, has been expanding strategically in Kent and East Sussex as it responds to increased demand. New Premier Inn hotels have opened in Sevenoaks and Haywards Heath since August 2018 and a new 80-bedroom Premier Inn at Uckfield is due to open later this year.

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