Rooms with a view: Seafront hotel unveils contemporary makeover

Paul Garrod, left, and his wife Lisa, owners of the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, which they ha

Paul Garrod, left, and his wife Lisa, owners of the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, which they have refurbished ready for their May 17th reopening. With them is their son William, and Paul's mum, Doreen Garrod, front, who bought the hotel in 1959. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

It's out with the heavy drapes and in with airy blinds and a seaside palette of sandy yellows and deep sea blues at a prominent seafront hotel.

The Furzedown Hotel on Great Yarmouth's North Drive is coming out of lockdown with a new look aimed at making the most of sunrises over the sea.

The refurbished resident's lounge in the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th r

The refurbished resident's lounge in the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

It means that ten of its 26 rooms have been fully refurbished back to the plaster with walls moved and spaces remodelled to let in light and take in all that is on their doorstep - including the refurbished Venetian Waterways.

The bay window with the sea view in the refurbished Garrods Bar room at the Furzedown Hotel in Great

The bay window with the sea view in the refurbished Garrods Bar room at the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Come May 17, when the Government's roadmap allows hotels to re-open, the Garrod family are looking forward to showing off the changes to their guests.

Paul Garrod, who has been at the helm with wife Lisa since 1990, said it had been a tough year with he and son William working alternate 24-hour shifts with almost all other staff on furlough.

One of the refurbished bedrooms in the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reo

One of the refurbished bedrooms in the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


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During the lockdown they had used the time to make a raft of improvements, while still  hosting some keyworker guests.

Single bedrooms at the front had been merged to form bright spaces flooded with light and decorated in modern, grey tones and featuring pictures of local scenes.

One of the refurbished bedrooms in the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reo

One of the refurbished bedrooms in the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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The refurbished rooms all now had smart TVs and charging points, and in time all 26 will be transformed following the same formula.

In the public spaces the residents' lounge and Garrods bar are all about looking out to sea with raised seating enabling everyone to enjoy the views.

The sea view from one of the bedroom windows in the refurbished Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, r

The sea view from one of the bedroom windows in the refurbished Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Mr Garrod said re-opening in July last year after the first lockdown was stressful given the myriad of rules needed to keep everyone safe.

This time he expected the transition to be easier as everyone knew what was expected of them.

Doreen Garrod, now 93, who took on the hotel with her husband more than 60  years ago said she approved of the changes.

The refurbished Garrods Bar room at the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th re

The refurbished Garrods Bar room at the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"It has been very hard," Mr Garrod said.

"In July last year it was like running a new hotel, it was very, very stressful.

"Customers were nervous about procedures and we were trying to keep our guests and staff safe while also trying to provide an enjoyable time for people.

William Garrod, left, behind the bar, with his grandmother, Doreen, at the Furzedown Hotel in Great

William Garrod, left, behind the bar, with his grandmother, Doreen, at the Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth, which has been refurbished ready for their May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"But we are excited for people to come back and see what we have done.

"Hopefully they will feel safer now the vaccination programme is underway and will respect the rules because they are going to be here in some form for a while."

The Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth which has been refurbished ready for the May 17th reopening. P

The Furzedown Hotel in Great Yarmouth which has been refurbished ready for the May 17th reopening. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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