Conwy County Council has granted consent for saving one of North Wales’s principal landmark buildings and its conversion into a 5-star hotel for Castell Developments.
Key to the success of the project has been a 50 bedroom extension to the Grade I listed castle. Specialist conservation architects Donald Insall Associates has designed the extension as a terraced garden which was welcomed as a positive addition to the historic Castle and in keeping with the sensitivity of its restoration.
Commenting on the planning application Cadw the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and official guardian of the built heritage of Wales said: “It is Cadw’s view that these proposals would have a long-term beneficial effect … through sympathetic design, restoration and enhancement.”
Castell Developments acquired Gwrych Castle in 2010 and appointed award-winning conservation architects Donald Insall Associates (DIA) to design the development of the ruin into a five star, 75-bedroom Country House Hotel, Conference Centre and Spa. DIA’s proposals include full re-use of the ruinous country house, conversion of the outbuildings, a new service wing and a major extension in the form of a romantic terraced garden.
Tony Barton, Architect and Deputy Chairman of Donald Insall Associates, said “Castell Gwrych is a prominent, impressive and important site. It appears to be a vast fortress, but is in fact a relatively modest house with extensive false battlements and towers. Its limited floor space and topography posed a real challenge especially as the building’s principal value lies in its dramatic relationship with the landscape. We have taken full advantage of the steep slopes to integrate the extensions into the historic setting and to celebrate and enhance Gwrych Castle’s special character.”
The hotel is scheduled to open in 2015.