Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Sleeping Giant Wakes Up!

The Oakeley Arms Hotel has been reborn, redeveloped and totally transformed!

This much loved local landmark was nicknamed the “Sleeping Giant” by its owners and patrons due to its rundown appearance, and because the rambling historic building seemed to have a stubborn mindset of its own!

But finally, this beautiful hotel has finally been shaken up, woken up and allowed to realise its potential.

The Oakeley Arms has recently undergone a schedule of total renovation. It's owners Ann-Marie and Chris Vanstone are delighted to announce that the works are now nearing completion.

The historic grade II listed building has seen its fortunes rise and fall over the centuries. It was once part of the vast Oakeley Estate, owned by the Oakeley family of nearby Plas Tan y Bwlch, who were responsible for the large scale slate mining that revolutionised the fortunes of the area in the 19th century.

Some of the building dates back to the 1600’s and over the years it has been used as a coaching inn, meeting house, courthouse and police station. In 1954 was given a Grade II listing because of its historical importance to the area.

Ann-Marie and Chris Vanstone acquired the building in 2003 when it was in a sorry state of repair. The near crumbling buildings suffered with problems from damp, decay and rot and had not been renovated for almost 50 years.

Over the past eight years Ann-Marie and Chris have dedicated their working lives to restoring and refurbishing the grand hotel to its former glory. The programme of works have included complete renovation of the 12 guests bedrooms to include modern and en-suite facilities and total restoration and redecoration of the bar, restaurant and toilets. All the renovations at the Oakeley Arms have been completed in a manner in-keeping with the hotel’s traditional style and history; there’s no flat-pack furniture to be found here!

The works have also included completely transforming the derelict buildings at the rear of the hotel, which are thought to have been barns and stables. These have now been converted into six charming self-catering holiday cottages, all of which boast traditional features alongside modern fixtures and fittings to give a highly desirable country cottage style.

The final stages of the project include further renovation of the guest rooms in a bid to achieve 4* rating, as well as completion of the last derelict barn building, which Ann-Marie and Chris are currently remodelling into further cottage accommodation with a gym and facilities block.

“It has involved a lot of hard work and dedication over the years” says Ann-Marie, “not just from us, but from the whole team. We have had some fantastic staff and trades-people that have helped us to make it happen.”

“We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve all achieved so far, and we’re delighted that the Oakeley Arms has been given a new lease of life. It’s time for this fabulous historic building to shine”.

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