Thursday, October 27, 2016

News: Rotherham hotel commemorates 35 years

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Carlton Park, Rotherham's largest independently owned hotel will celebrate its 35th anniversary next month.

Built on the edge of the town centre site of Moorgate House, an imposing Georgian building once home to John Oxley, a founding partner of law firm Oxley & Coward, the building later housed a children's home, run by the Rotherham Council from 1955-70.

Planning permission was granted in 1978, and three years later under the leadership of Emil Malak who joined as general manager, the hotel opened its doors, creating 50 new jobs on the site. 35 years later, some of those first members of staff continue to work at the hotel today.

Dubbed "the North of England's most luxurious venue" back in 1981, the hotel gave residents the chance to savour a range of delicacies of the day including Hawaiian cocktails and melon served in port. Its popular Pavilion Bar was adorned with exotic palm trees and even a parrot cage was installed. Reputedly costing more than £2,000 to build - the bar was home to a blue and yellow Macaw, aptly called Carlton!

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Just two years after opening, a fourth floor was added, creating additional bedrooms. By 1999, the hotel had been granted its own Civil Marriage licence; however, trouble loomed just two years later when parent company Queens Moat House collapsed. The hotel was sold twice before being acquired by family-run Skyland Hotels. The new owners invested more than £2m refurbishing many areas of the hotel as well as expanding its function room facilities.

All was going well until 2008, when disaster struck. A fire which started in the kitchen saw the hotel close for nine months, leaving both staff and the hotel facing an uncertain future. The hotel's owners ignored advice from its insurers and succeeded in retaining the services of all its full-time and many part-time staff in the interim period before re-opened to much acclaim in March 2009.

Today, the hotel now hosts many popular events such as its tribute nights, ladies nights and disco nights as well as providing highly rated accommodation for business and leisure clients alike.

Jason Gossop, sales manager at Carlton Park Hotel, said: "It's hard to imagine the excitement there must have been on that first opening night as Rotherham gained its first luxury hotel. Today we employ more than 100 people and the hotel has firmly established itself as a prominent local landmark.

"Over the past 35 years, the hotel has had a very colourful history. During our research we unearthed some incredible stories about some of the people who have worked and visited here. We were recently awarded a Salute to Business by the Chamber in recognition of the contribution the hotel has made to the local economy is a tremendous honour."

Carlton Park website

Images: Carlton Park


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