With an extension to the Alton Towers Hotel having been in the pipeline for several years, the plans were finally realised when the Resort opened the first ever CBeebies Land Hotel in July 2017, after over a year’s worth of construction.
After years in development, the first signs of construction on the extension to Alton Towers Hotel were seen in early-mid May 2016 with the erection of fences around the area’s perimeter. The Woodland Walk was also closed as its entrance would no longer be accessible once construction was fully underway, and play equipment was removed from the existing hotel’s gardens.
Construction for the hotel extension is now well underway with work beginning on the digging of trenches which will form the foundations of the building. Fences now surround the construction site which extends from the side of the Enchanted Village Luxury Treehouses and around the bottom end of the Alton Towers Hotel gardens, the installation of which has also meant some pathways have had to be redirected. New drainage channels have also been installed in the hotel’s pond.
Following the official announcement of the CBeebies Land Hotel at the end of July, construction has started to pick up pace with Tarmac laid for what will eventually become the car park and concrete blocks delivered ready for use across the construction site. Concrete has been poured into trenches forming the majority of the outline of the building and what appear to be anchor points have been installed ready for when vertical construction commences. The Spa conservatory has now been demolished along with the outdoor sauna and Spa garden area. Some minor landscaping has also taken place with the stone edging to the side of the lake nearest the Spa being further built up.
Vertical construction has now commenced with steel girders being erected to form the skeleton of the hotel with it appearing that the majority of the concrete foundations are now complete. In the Spa Conservatory’s former location the ground has been excavated and will eventually form part of the new landscaped garden area. From the terrace of the Alton Towers Hotel the overall impact of the new building has begun to become apparent with some people likely dismayed at the loss of the view over the gardens and woodland.
Over on the side of the development nearest the Enchanted Village the building’s skeleton can clearly be seen to be connecting with the existing Alton Towers Hotel next to the Spa. The structure for the main entrance is also in place with a metal arc above where the main entrance to the hotel will be. Significant progress has been made on the side of the building facing the Alton Towers Hotel with the insulation now fully covering the walls and openings being cut into this insulation indicating where each of the rooms will be. On the lower level the exterior red brick cladding is being added giving the first glimpse of what the finished exterior wall will look like. The roof beams are in the process of being added with approximately two thirds already in place. Inside the building, work has commenced on shaping the internal structure of the hotel with the ground level flooring now installed and the first interior walls being constructed.
On the side of the development nearest the Enchanted Village work has been progressing on adding the main structure and insulation to the upper levels. Work has been continuing on the interior of the building with several more dividing walls having now been installed, including what would appear to be the openings for the Hotel’s lifts. The bank of earth between the Tree Houses and what will eventually be the car park for the new hotel has been further built up and landscaped providing a barrier between the Enchanted Village and CBeebies Land Hotel. Over on the side facing the Alton Towers Hotel, the red brick cladding has now been installed on the ground and first floors, whilst the roof is nearing completion on the first half of the building with the tiles having now been installed. Where the Alton Towers Spa conservatory used to be concrete slabs have now been installed and the former doorways and windows have now been blocked up. Along the wooden walls separating the Hotel Gardens from the construction site a number of posters have been added advertising the new hotel.
The only area where scaffolding now remains is on the elevation nearest the Enchanted Village, where the main entrance to the Hotel will be located. Work is still ongoing on the construction of the Hotel entrance on the ground floor with the apertures yet to receive the supporting frames for the doors and windows. At the opposite end of the building an external fire escape is under construction with the main framework and half the stairway installed. At the rear of the building, the specialist soundproof cladding for the area of the Hotel which will house the plant equipment has been installed. The external brickwork has now been completed, and on the lower ground floor all that appears to remain to be installed are the main door between the interior and exterior. Work is now underway on the external landscaping outside the Alton Towers Spa with paving being laid to create one of the renewed pathways.
On either side of each of the windows on the front façade, themed shutters have now been added, and the automatic glass entrance doors have now also been installed. Around the back of the hotel significant progress has been made on the paving and landscaping for the outdoor areas with many of the paths now laid, and rocks and planting being put in place. Work is continuing on the fire escape with all of the staircase now installed and metal barriers being added. Inside the building, many of the guest bedrooms appear to either be complete or nearing completion. Merlin Magic Making are also now on site, suggesting that installation is underway of the main interior theming elements, as well as set up for the entertainment areas.
At what will be the main entrance to the hotel, work is underway on the framework for the entrance signage and feature to prepare for the installation of the sign in the very near future. To the side of the arched framework, wires and tubing can be seen which it is thought will supply power to the entrance lighting. Just in front of the main doorway, work has begun on the installation of the paving for the front entry area with the paving edges in place showing the outline of the area. Over on the far side of what will be the hotel car park, the large mound has now been turfed to give it a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Around the side of the accommodation facing the Alton Towers Hotel, work has been continuing on the landscaping of the exterior with turf and low wooden fencing being added, and further work being done on the paving in the area. The small roof area by the Alton Towers Spa has also been turfed.
With just a few days to go until its opening, MI7 took flight over the CBeebies Land Hotel to get one last look at progress on the Resort’s newest accommodation. At the main entrance to the Hotel, the colourful rainbow arch has now been installed, along with the entrance theming feature. The Hotel car park has now been fully tarmacked and marked with just some final planting needed to finish the area.