Phase two of Salomons Estate’s master plan, which aims to secure the future and conserve the heritage of their listed assets, has been completed as four new holiday lets open to the public. In the bid to promote local tourism, the ‘Garden Cottages’ will produce the necessary funds to restore the main building on the grounds, which has been an important historical site for over 190 years.
Set amongst 36 acres of picturesque gardens and one of Tunbridge Wells’ oldest listed buildings, Salomons Estate has announced it has opened its newly refurbished holiday lets to the public.
The holiday lets, which have been named the ‘Garden Cottages’, are self-catering holiday rentals, ideal for business trips and short and long-term lets. Each of the cottages is named after a plant species that once grew in the gardens when David Salomons occupied the grounds in the 19th century. All four of the cottages are dog friendly and great for couples or small families.
Peony, Lavender, and Rose cottage all sleep up to two guests with prices starting from £219 per night, whilst Honeysuckle Cottage, the largest of the four, can comfortably sleep up to four and is priced from £369 per night.
All four cottages include a fully equipped shaker-style kitchen, a stylish lounge/dining area with a flat-screen TV, a double bedroom and an ensuite bathroom. Whilst modern comforts provide everything for a relaxed stay, the restorations have retained the simple, traditional character of the building’s past. Interiors are open plan and boast contemporary, rustic charm whilst the exposed timber structures, and existing brickwork have been preserved.
Underused for their original purpose for many years, the cottages have been used as storage by Salomons Estate’s maintenance team, and in efforts to conserve their heritage, plans to turn them into holiday accommodation as part of the estate’s master plan were approved in July 2022 to designs by architect Gaby Higgs.
Gaby explained that the cottages have been “renovated for comfortable visitor accommodation and upgraded for thermal efficiency. All original fabric and features have been restored and the utilitarian character of these humble working buildings retained.”
The cottages can be found behind a grand wall that once enclosed an extensive glass house where David Salomons’ gardening staff would use the now holiday lets as potting sheds to nurture seedlings and re-pot plants.
“Most of us are aware of the fascinating buildings there are at Salomons: the house itself, the science theatre, and the splendid stable block. But few will remember the extensive glasshouses and nurseries that were built in the late 1880s,” said Salomons Museum Curator Chris Jones.
Adding, “The restoration of the Garden Cottages as holiday accommodation is a great reminder of the days when peaches, nectarines and melons were grown here.”
The project took almost six months to complete with the assistance of the construction company Dark Projects, who worked closely with gaby and the estate’s team.
Director Martin Wood said, “Whilst we’ve restored and converted the commercial units, we’ve sympathetically honoured the design and layout of the original Victorian buildings.”
“The cottages harmonise with the existing outbuildings and compliment David Salomons’ original vision for the grounds.”
As well as the cottages’ amenities, guests can use the purpose-built utility room complete with a washing machine and tumble dryer located at the end of the holiday lets, making them a great option for those looking for longer-term stays.
Operations Director Nick Moore said this is a trend the hospitality industry sees evolving. “Aparthotels are the future of hospitality. People are staying in one place longer – perhaps to work first and then relax on holiday.”
“The Garden Cottages appeal to a variety of groups for this reason; both leisure and business travellers – they give people the flexibility to cherry-pick between the benefits of both hotels and self-catering accommodation.”
Guests staying at the Garden Cottages can choose between short- or long-term stays with the additional benefit of 24-hour access to the main buildings’ reception desk, housekeeping and an onsite restaurant and bar.
Completed at the start of November, bookings have already been made up until Christmas, when the estate is offering a special discount for the holidays.
On Christmas Day, two guests can enjoy a two-night stay plus a festive dinner at the pub and dining rooms in the main house for £595., and for those eager to visit sooner, they can get their second night half-price throughout November 2022.
Bookings can be made by calling 01892 515 152 or by emailing [email protected].
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