Hotel in Warwick Castle masterplan
A HOTEL could be built at Warwick Castle, the Herald can reveal.
The 60- to 80-room hotel is included in a masterplan that has been drawn up by castle bosses.
They have earmarked a location near to the new Knights Village and said a decision on whether the plan would progress would be made within the next year.
The hotel is one of a series of projects in the masterplan, which sets out how the castle wants to develop over the next five to ten years.
A public consultation will take place in October.
Others ideas are a new glass-fronted café/restaurant on what is known as The Long Walk, near to where the falconry displays are held, and moving the gift shop to a new building outside of The Stables entrance,
Two cottages at the original entrance on Banbury Road, known as Porters Lodge, could be refurbished and rented out to visitors to the castle and the town, and rooms in Guy’s Tower could also be converted into bedrooms, to replicate the two popular luxury overnight stay suites in Caesar’s Tower.
Also in the plan is opening up more areas of the castle that are currently used as office and storage space to the public, new office buildings, upgrading and possibly covering the children’s play area and making it accessible to people not necessarily just visiting the castle, a new timber building to house the shop within the castle walls, and a riverside food and drink kiosk.
Briefings have already been given to key heritage organisations, such as the Warwick Society and the Warwickshire Gardens Trust, and Warwick Town Council.
Concern has been expressed about putting up permanent buildings within the castle’s 64-acres of grounds.
Nick Blofeld, divisional director at Merlin Entertainments, which owns Warwick Castle, said: “The hotel is the more contentious part of the masterplan, but everything in there are aims and some of them might not happen.
“We’ve put 60 to 80 beds in here, but I would have thought it would be more like 25 to 50.
“But we will look at the idea in more detail and see if the numbers stack and up, and will make a decision within the next 12 months as to whether we progress with it.
“Merlin want their sites to be resorts, they make no secret about that, and we would like to add at least 40 bedrooms here.
“We’re thinking that bay nine and ten of the car park are an ideal location because it s sunken and could link in with the facilities at the Knights Village.
“This is an aspiration and is at a very early stage, but I’d rather be honest now and say this is what we want to do.”
Mr Blofeld said he had ruled out suggestions a hotel could be sited on The Stables car park and said he had been asked about the possibility of being involved in the proposed hotel at Warwick Racecourse, but said that was too far away.
A planning application has been submitted for the glamping tents on Foxes Study for another five years, although the number will reduced from 41 to 37.