A celebration of history – Nicknamed The Spy House because of its connections with WWII, Grade I listed De Vere Latimer Estate in Buckinghamshire, a part of The Principal Hotel Company, has recently unveiled a £7 million renovation that places the mansion house back at the heart of the estate. Revo was the Main contractor for this impressive scheme.
Situated in Latimer, among Buckinghamshire’s rolling Chiltern Hills just five miles from the M25, the refurbishment uncovered and restored many original features, as well as subtly celebrating the hotel’s connection to a secret history.
De Vere Latimer Estate boasts a rich history that dates back to the 16th century, when the original house held Charles I during his imprisonment. The red brick Tudor-style mansion standing today was completed in 1838 and became the temporary host of captured German U-boat submarine crews and Luftwaffe pilots during the Second World War, before becoming the National Defence College until 2006.
De Vere Latimer Estate’s biggest transformation occurred in the mansion house, where no stone was left unturned. The refurbished original sweeping staircase with stained glass windows leads guests to 31 new deluxe rooms and suites that were previously meeting rooms and offices, bringing the total number of guestrooms to 205.
The new Huntley Bar features stunning views across the Chess Valley and offers both guests and locals a relaxing, stylish environment in which to enjoy a drink whilst taking in the surroundings.
The Library, a fully refurbished space in the mansion house, radiates Victorian charm and features views of the hotel’s grounds. The hotel’s main reception has also moved to the mansion house and has undergone a full transformation.
For those booking a wedding or event at De Vere Latimer Estate, the mansion house provides four new-look spaces; including a traditional grand drawing room, The Cheyne, with original features that can host intimate celebrations for up to 30 guests, to The Cavendish Suite for weddings and events up to 200 guests.
Respectively added to the mansion during the refurbishment, the Cavendish suite offers state-of-the-art facilities that can double in size by the opening of bi-folding doors on to a new terrace that offers views across the countryside.
Antonio Campanile, general manager at De Vere Latimer Estate, commented: “We’re very proud to have restored this remarkable mansion house back to glory; a lot of time and work has gone in to this project, to ensure homage is paid to its important history. The newly refurbished bedrooms are looking fantastic and we’re already receiving excellent feedback from guests. He continued: “As a popular venue for the meetings, conferences and private events market, the renovation was planned and designed to appeal to all our customers, whilst providing a stylish standout venue in stunning surroundings.”
The property also boasts 28 flexible meeting and events spaces, some of which are located in the Cormorant and Mews buildings, which sit adjacent to the mansion house.
The refurbishment has also seen the introduction of De Vere’s first Burr & Co. coffee shop concept, where guests can enjoy high quality ethically sourced coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, artisan cakes and pastries to take away or eat in.
The gardens will also receive investment with the addition of outdoor dining patios and sculptures, making the great outdoors an extension of the hotel itself.
Philip Basford, Managing Director, said:
“Revo are proud to be appointed as the main contractor at this prestigious and historic estate, with its Grade I listed main house. It has provided us with the opportunity to establish ourselves as a high quality contractor to the hotels and leisure sector with proven experience of dealing with English Heritage projects. It also gave us the opportunity to show we can meet the requirements of the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) Code of Considerate Practice.” Philip added: “We aspire to meet the CCS Code of Considerate Practice: Care about Appearance, Respect the Community, Protect the Environment, Secure everyone’s Safety, Value their Workforce.”