Lee Bay Hotel, North Devon

Design, planning and heritage consultancy for a proposed luxury spa hotel

Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Coastal Preservation Area, Heritage Coast and Lee Bay Conservation Area, our designs were developed with these sensitivities in mind. We used these attributes to capture the spirit of the place in this new hotel and its emerging brand values.

Balancing constraints and opportunities

The regeneration and extension of a former Arts and Crafts inspired hotel required proactive collaboration to agree a strategy that balanced the many constraints and opportunities of the development in a beautiful location. The 1.5HA site located in Lee Bay in North Devon has limited access via a winding coastal road. This can be part of its attraction, giving a sense of exclusivity – but a sensitive design and approach to the construction process was needed to consider the impact on the immediate site, the village and surrounding bays to realise any design put forward from a logistical and cost perspective.

Our work involved drawing up designs to extend the hotel into a luxury ‘apart-hotel’ with eco-garden apartments set in the side of the valley, a spa and well-being facility, outdoor pool and new separate pool house under a floating grass roof, a sauna tree house, bar and bistro, fine dining and local produce kiosk. An important part of our role was to help evolve the brand, which we did by working collaboratively and dynamically with other specialists and consultants involved during the design development.

The building design, interior development and even the products to be sold in the spa were all developed concurrently. There was a clear narrative to what these proposals were capturing and brought a strong sense of place to this unique and intriguing site. Also known as ‘Fuscia Valley’, designs incorporated elements of this in the décor, right through to fragrances in the spa products.

Proactive engagement

We undertook a series of pre-application engagement events and various presentations with North Devon Council, Ilfracombe Town Council, the Lee Residents Association and local councillors. Our final designs reflected sensitive proposals and an appropriate public realm for this beautiful location. A resolution to grant planning permission was given. The client is currently assessing options for the site.