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  • 10 February 2014

    2014 and all that

    Well it has been a busy start to the year for everyone at The BEST WESTERN PLUS Castle Green and Pinewood hotels.

    We completed the resurfacing of the car parks and driveways in Kendal while in Cheshire we are in week six of our £1.5M hotel development.

    The arrival experience has been significantly enhanced at Castle Green by the upgrade and despite the logistical challenges of getting people in and out of the hotel during the work (expertly managed by Maintenance Manager Pete Crane and his team) the project has been a great success. We have used the opportunity to improve access and our new signage goes up today…who would have thought that tarmac could be so exciting.

    At The Pinewood we have transformed the building site that was the hotel throughout January (while we were closed) to a fully serviced hotel once again during the remainder of the work until we reopen with additional bedrooms, a new restaurant and kitchen, enhanced functions rooms and landscaping at the end of April. We found a restaurant chit in a redundant safe during the strip out written by Restaurant Manager Gio in 1993…fortunately the guests were not still waiting for the food to arrive.

    In the meantime the sun is shining (unlike those unlucky people down south) and we are looking forward to the year ahead.

  • Caption: Dave Simm - number 457!

    Dave Simm one of our Reception Supervisors has caught the Charity bug along with most of our PULSE Health & Fitness Team.  Not happy that he missed out on their Total Warrior Challenge in August he branched out on his own for a recent Half Marathon in Lancaster. 

    He chose to run for the Childrens Liver Foundation as his nephew suffers from a rare form of the disease.  Sponsored by family, friends and a host of the Castle Green team he raised £300 - well done Dave!

  • 13 November 2013

    A week of Celebrities

    What a week we're having at the Hotel for famous faces.  

    Sunday saw us welcome The One Show Children in Need Team as part of their Rickshaw Challenge cycling around the country.  They arrived in Kendal very late on after negiotiating Shap Summit, but we were all ready for them with a great buffet and log fire to refuel them ready for their 3.30am alarm call!

    Adopted Castle Greener Fiona Hanlon was asked to play the guitar for them to keep their spirits high and went the extra mile raising £500 in 48 hours.  As the picture shows Matt Baker was chuffed.

    This weekend we move on to the Kendal Mountain Festival which welcomes the likes of Sir Chris Bonnington, Leo Houlding, Kenton Cool and many more famous faces, quite a few of them staying at Castle Green.  The film judges have been locked away in our Conference Centre all week making their deliberations for the award ceremony.

    To finish off a fantastic week we have Kendal Christmas Lights Switch On, which we've sponsored for the very first time.  With dance troupes and the Search for a Star 2013 winners performing too it promises to be a great afternoon.  There is a Santa Dash in aid of Cancer Care, Market Food Stalls and Santa with his reindeer of course. The Council have even reduced the car parking charges so there's no excuse for not popping down.

    Visit http://www.kendalchristmaslights.co.uk for more information.


  • 30 September 2013

    Award winners again!

    We hosted the 4th Westmorland Gazette Tourism & Business Awards on Friday night. Always an honour to be the venue for such prestigious awards but we were also looking forward to seeing if we could win the Team & Hotel of the Year Awards we'd been nominated for.

    Well the night certainly didn't disappoint! Firstly we were welcomed by the usual glamorous hostesses and guided out onto the Kendal Suite terrace to enjoy our pre-dinner drinks. As we were moving down to the Function House for dinner we were also welcomed by a rather 'dishy' Italian looking gentleman who seemed to be collecting glasses. 'Who's he?' asked Finance Director Julie, 'I don't know', exclaimed MD Tim, 'but he needs to get a tray!' It turns out that they were singing waiters complete with 'assistant banqueting manager' and 'executive chef'. They entertained with 'O sole mio', 'Nessun Dorma' and a conga themed 'Is this the way to Amarillo' What a surprise - and we work here! Can't believe it got passed us!

    After a fantastic meal as always from Executive Chef Justin and the team, we settled down for the awards and we were first up for Team of the Year - which we won!

    As the night wore on we were getting closer and closer to the Hotel of the Year category. This is a category that we have entered every year since the awards started, been shorlisted twice but never won. Given the success we've already achieved this year we thought we had a great chance, but there was that nagging doubt - nobody wins TWO awards on the same night.

    Tim was adamant we'd get it and sure enough as the winner was announced it was our name read out! Now winning awards is fantastic, but winning awards in your own hotel is unbelievable!

    So we're all buzzing this morning and there's still the prospect of picking up another award next month for Lakeland Hotel of the Year with Lancashire Life Magazine. We need a bigger trophy cabinet!

  • 19 July 2013

    A Welcome Return

    A couple of months ago I got a call from Mr Philip Guy Burton who was planning to visit Kendal to attend a school reunion at Heversham Grammar School. 

    Mr Burton explained that he was the son of Barbara Jefferys and grandson of Mary Agnes Jefferys who had bought the original house at Castle Green from Thomas Bindloss in the 1900’s.

    Could he book a room at Castle Green and have a look around?

    ‘Yes of course, I will ensure you get a room in the old house and make sure that I am here to give you a tour.’

    June 15th came and Mr Burton arrived as promised at 2pm having travelled by train from Essex.

    What a pleasure it was to show him around and hear about the house as it was:

    Room 137 used to be the billiard room and the layout and features had hardly changed.

    Room 144 was Grandmother Agnes’ domain – ‘I never went in there’.

    Mr Burton’s room for the night on this visit was next door to the room he used to stay in while on school holidays with his brother Richard (now Room 143)

    The Garden Room (now a conference room) used to be the dining room while next door (The Castle Room) was the kitchen.

    ‘The conference lounge was where we had a sink that we used to wash the parrot in’.

    We sat outside and had a cup of tea at exactly the spot where Philip had a photograph of the two gardeners mowing the lawn (John Walmsley and Shepherd Greenbank) – one pushing and one pulling.

    The conclusion of the tour was a trip to Alexanders the Pub (the old stables) where we have a collection of photographs and memorabilia from the original house. There is a picture of Mary Agnes Jefferys with a small boy (unnamed) circa 1935. ‘That will be my brother Richard. No hang on a minute. Could you get it down? That is me aged eight. Fancy that, a picture of me in a Pub. I haven’t been able to drink for 50 years since I had some snake soup in the Far East and got liver disease. Who would have thought it?’

    Who would have thought it indeed…

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