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Beach Retreats expands aparthotel concept

Watergate Bay Hotel.

The development will be in line with the company’s existing ESG strategy. The group is currently being assessed for B Corp status, which it hopes to achieve in the new year.

Watergate Bay Hotel has acquired a 72-room hotel, the Sands Resort, one mile from its award-winning hotel in Cornwall. The multi-million pound development will transform the site into a new lifestyle aparthotel, to be operated under the group’s self-catering brand, Beach Retreats.

The property will remain open during 2023, with work on the 72-unit aparthotel due to get underway in late 2023/early 2024. The project will include the addition of 24 lodges on the 10-acre site.

Ben Harper, group managing director at Watergate Bay Hotel, Beach Retreats and Another Place, said: “This is a big moment for Beach Retreats. Sites with development potential of this kind are rare and, three years after developing our strategy to expand the Beach Retreats business into developing and managing coastal aparthotels, we’re thrilled to acquire this property and deliver our vision to blend the best of self catering with hotel hospitality.

“The past few years have taught us that the sector is ripe for a strong brand which offers the lifestyle-led, leisure-driven outdoor offerings guests are looking for.

“The market in the UK has not kept pace with the needs of leisure travellers who are now holidaying within its shores, and this addition to the Beach Retreats portfolio is the next step for us as we diversify into operations in addition to our agency business.

"The aparthotel concept is now proven in urban environments and I have always believed, that this will translate well to the leisure sector. This acquisition will fuel our ambition to create a leading lifestyle self-catering brand.”

Guests at the aparthotel and lodges will be able to enjoy a range of different F&B offerings, delivered by hand-selected, trusted local partners, creating a sense of community and atmosphere. The proximity to Watergate Bay means guests will also have access to the destination’s established leisure and F&B facilities.

The development will be in line with the company’s existing ESG strategy. The group is currently being assessed for B Corp status, which it hopes to achieve in the new year.

The project will be supported by Barclays. Jim Turner, director, hospitality & leisure, Barclays Corporate, said: “Given our longstanding commitment to the UK Hospitality sector, it was a natural fit for Barclays to support Beach Retreats with funding for this innovative concept.  As the home leisure market continues to evolve to compete with the best of global hospitality and as consumers become ever more demanding, the financing will help Beach Retreats deliver a high quality development to complement the Cornish coastline.” 

The site will include a wide choice of accommodation, with apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, all including generous living space with entertaining in mind. The communal areas will include restaurants, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts and outdoor cooking and pop-up spaces.

The new aparthotel will target couples, groups and families. In addition to the leisure market, the group will be targeting corporate retreats and events business, along with the emerging work-from-anywhere/relocation segments.

The group is planning further growth for the Beach Retreats brand, including a development in Hayle, due to open in 2024. The brand has a strong pipeline and the team is working with investors and developers to add to its portfolio.

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