Plans have been submitted for a substantial extension to the Alton Towers Hotel including a new restaurant and 74 new bedrooms.
Situated to the rear of the current Alton Towers Hotel Gardens, behind the Alton Towers Spa, the new extension will comprise of 4 storeys. Guests will enter on the lower ground floor of the building via a dedicated reception area which will include the usual luggage storage facilities alongside a retail outlet and seating area. Beyond this a new restaurant catering for 200 covers using a buffet style similar to that seen at Flambo’s Exotic Feast in the Splash Landings Hotel, as well as a café and bar area for use both during the daytime and for evening seating. An entertainment space is also indicated suggesting that guests will be able to enjoy a programme of entertainment similar to that enjoyed currently in the Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel. Indoor play areas and arts and crafts areas will also be provided ensuring a wide range of entertainment is available throughout the day for all the family.
Accommodation will be located on the ground, first, and second floors and will be able to accommodate up to six guests. Of the 74 rooms proposed, 63 will be standard rooms, 3 will be accessible, 6 will be standard suites and 2 will be accessible suites. Each room will feature a main area consisting of a double bed and small seating area, a separate sleeping area for children containing a bunk bed and pull out truckle bed, and a bathroom with bath and shower.
Guests will enter the new hotel area through a new entrance garden to the east of the extension which will include a central theming structure, similar to the features outside Alton Towers Hotel and Splash Landings Hotel. The exterior of the new extension will include a walled sunken garden to create a more private area for guests to enjoy. Some of the existing walling and fencing in the current hotel gardenswill also be refreshed, the most notable being the existing pond which will receive a new waterfall to channel water away from the pond, replacing the existing stream towards the Woodland Walk which will be lost to the new extension. In order to keep the new accommodation in-keeping with the existing buildings the external appearance will maintain the ‘English Colonial’ theme of the current Alton Towers Hotel. The entrance to the Woodland Walk will be able to be accessed via the ground floor café. An additional 88 car parking spaces will be created on what is currently grass between the Alton Towers Hotel and Enchanted Village to accommodate the increased accommodation capacity and will include 5 accessible parking bays. Accessed from the north via the existing internal road network, the car park will include a one way system and will be landscaped to lessen the visual impact it has on the area, including a roundabout at the far end with a central themed feature.
In order to allow these new proposals to be implemented the current conservatory on the south west side of the hotel will be demolished and the doorways bricked up and replaced with high level glazing. Two smaller ancillary buildings to the Spa will also be demolished.
If granted, construction on the new extension will commence in the first quarter of 2016 and last for approximately 67 weeks (1 year and 4 months), followed by a 10 week period for the facilities to be tested and staff to be trained in preparation for opening. This would mean a potential opening date of mid-late 2017.
Alton Towers Resort originally received planning permission for a 74 bedroom extension back in 2006 and an extension to this permission was granted in 2011. However after a meeting with Staffordshire Moorlands Council to discuss the current proposals it was agreed that due to the number of changes to the plans a fresh application would be required. The resort had also previously submitted plans for an extension to the Alton Towers Spa, although it is now thought that these plans will be replaced by this most recent application. These latest plans represent a further development of the resort’s strategy to encourage more multi-day short breaks and would be the second major development of the accommodation offering following the addition of the Enchanted Village earlier this year.