Hotel wants to create spa

LAVENHAM’S Swan Hotel has applied for planning permission to change an art gallery next door to the hotel into a state-of-the-art spa, writes Anne Wise.

The hotel has recently completed a multi-million pound ground-floor refurbishment, including updating its bedrooms, and is planning a preview event this week to showcase the work carried out during the last 18 months.

The latest plan comes as an investment to provide “a gap in the market” for a spa hotel in the area.

The hotel, which dates from the 1400s, has purchased the gallery in order to provide the facility.

Swan general manager Ingo Wiangke, who joined the hotel in April, said a feasibility study had been carried out and a large-scale scheme for a spa had been submitted to Babergh District Council.

He said: “We identified a gap in the market and decided that The Swan was a great place to have a spa hotel as it lends itself beautifully to this type of addition. It’s going to be lovely.

“We purchased the art gallery and have applied for permission to change it and add to it. The gallery is a great asset because it has got access to the High Street.

“We held a meeting to explain our plans to the public and the feedback was positive. People often say that if the Swan does well the whole village benefits so the vast majority are very much in favour.”

He said the hotel had not yet decided how the interior would look and details about the type of facilities provided but it would be open to day spa guests as well as residents of the hotel.

“I cannot say at this moment anything about costs but, if it is approved, it will not be cheap – it will be done very well,” he said.

“We must wait for planning permission before deciding any interior details.”

Mr Wiangke said he was planning a celebration preview party on Thursday for “movers and shakers” and his staff who have worked hard during the hotel refurbishment.

“When I arrived in April, I had never been to Suffolk before but it is such a hidden gem – as is Lavenham,” he added.