North Cornwall is to receive a boost to its luxury hotel market, with the launch next month of a locally designed development, St Moritz.
The £13.5m hotel and leisure facility is the conception of Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways, and his brother Hugh.
A swathe of South West designers and architects has been working on the development, including interiors consultancy Absolute Design, and architects Alan Leather and Owen Davies.
Absolute was appointed to the project a year ago, following a creative pitch against Birmingham group Harrison Design. It was briefed to create interiors for the hotel and its leisure facilities, which include a bar, restaurant, pool, gym and an independent Cowshed spa.
‘Using the connection that Steve had with Cowshed through Virgin Atlantic, we asked Nick Jones [director of Soho House Group, the company behind Cowshed] if we could do a Cowshed that fits North Cornwall and, with Absolute, pitched the concept and design to him. It’s only the second time that he has given approval for an independently run Cowshed spa,’ explains St Moritz project manager Hugh Ridgway.
The concept for both the spa and hotel was to make the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside the most prominent feature.
‘The visitors here come from cities across the South East, where design is thrust in their faces all the time, with trendy bars and restaurants. We don’t want to be the destination. The destination is North Cornwall,’ says Ridgway.
The ‘undesign’ concept features a mix of restored cane and newly built furniture, with natural materials that take their cue from the beach, says Helen Blake, managing director of Absolute Design.
Other design features include an Art Deco-inspired atrium, curved façades and skylights.
The first phase of the hotel is due to open on 10 September, with phase two following in November.