Plans have been unveiled for the expansion of the landmark Burgh Island Hotel with 11 new guest rooms, improved staff accommodation and renovation of the historic Pilchard Inn pub. Burgh Island Estate said the development will increase the number of guest rooms at the art deco hotel by 50%.
The expansion plans have been inspired by the demand which the hotel has experienced in 2021, despite the lingering effects of the pandemic. Occupancy did not dip below 97% throughout June-August of this year and, with the hotel all but booked up until 2022.
“Everyone at Burgh Island is extremely excited about this development, which will only serve to further enhance the estate’s unique heritage and expand its offer for guests. We very much look forward to welcoming members of our community to the consultation, and eventually to bringing the first visitors to the newly developed site,” said Giles Fuchs, owner of Burgh Island Hotel.
The expansion will be undertaken in partnership with Jonathan Rhind Architects and Avalon Planning & Heritage, both based in Devon. Burgh Island Estate said the firms were chosen on the basis of their understanding of the local area and their commitment to preserving the heritage of Burgh Island, as well as their expertise.
“This development is the latest and most exciting chapter in the history of Burgh Island’s evolution,” said Penny Brown, managing director of Inntelligence. “The increase in capacity has been carefully devised so that it blends gently into the existing construction, maintaining the intimacy and magic of the guest experience. We will continue to remain faithful to the art deco origins and I am sure that the planned changes will further cement the hotel’s position as one of the most unique and iconic in the UK.”
The hotel was first built in 1929 and includes famous figures from Agatha Christie to the Beatles among its guests. With sustainability to the fore, all new construction work will adopt a “fabric-first approach”, which uses building materials with energy efficiency credentials above regulatory standards. The new staff accommodation, for instance, will consist of timber-frame low-energy housing set behind dry stone earth shelter walls.
The existing building on the island will also undergo sustainability-focused improvements as part of the development. As well as reducing its environmental impact, the development will also enable the hotel to enhance the experience it provides to both staff and guests. Staff will benefit from newly built accommodation, while visitors will be able to enjoy an extended Bay View Restaurant, a restored tea shop, and improved walking routes around the island.