PROJECT BRIEF & LOCATION
Subtle opulence and a devotion to period detail underpin the conversion of an English listed manor house into a luxury hotel and restaurant. Exmouth, UK.
When acclaimed British chef Michael Caines bought this historic Georgian house in 2014 to create a 21-bedroom luxury hotel and fine-dining restaurant, he engaged Rud Sawers Architects to design the $11m refurbishment and extension of the buildings. Meraki Interior Designs handled the interiors.
Lympstone Manor stands in 11 hectares of rolling Devon countryside with breathtaking views over the Exe River. The Grade II listed main house, which dates back to the 1760s, served as a private home for two centuries, and more recently was in use as a wedding venue.
Listed buildings, protected for their historical or architectural qualities, are no easy do-up. Special permission and sensitive execution are essential, particularly in guest rooms that demand acoustic privacy and fire separation while also offering the last word in comfort and style. Work to the building also included new Michelin star quality kitchens, staff accommodation and offices, and designing the surrounding landscape.
Inside, a sensitive touch from Meraki has accentuated the original qualities of the rooms, with their high ceilings, sash windows, original mouldings and panelled walls. Though tastes varied greatly through the Georgian period, muted colours were a constant theme, and so the designers have chosen understated greys and creams, given lustre from metallic touches. Havwoods parquet floors of engineered and oiled European oak help to unify the whole interior while also adding subtle texture through the herringbone patterning.
On beginning work, RSA found the building fabric needed far more restoration than was originally envisaged, but the results of the 17-month collaborative project are nothing short of spectacular and won them The Times Best New Hotel of 2017.