£26m is a lot of money. Well, that goes without saying. In footballing terms, it could buy one-sixth of Lionel Messi. In the hospitality industry however, this sum can turn a tired Midlands resort into one of the UK’s most luxurious properties. Just ask The Belfry.
Owners of the 319-room West Midlands property, which sits less than ten miles from Birmingham International Airport and Birmingham city centre, decided to invest heavily to restore the luxury hotel and golf resort that has hosted the Ryder Cup more times than any other venue in the world, and in doing so closing its doors to guests for more than a year.
So, where’s the money gone? A full refurbishment of the 319 guestrooms and the 21 conference and event spaces, a new restaurant, an impressive lobby bar, a £1m spa and a restoration to the exterior of the building. The hotel is almost unrecognisable to the property that stood prior to 2013.
Since reopening, The Ryder Grill has become extremely popular amongst non-guests coming from the Midlands and beyond and both wine and food menus make for great reading. For meat lovers will inevitably throw their eyes straight onto the restaurant’s impressive grill section. Despite not having reached its first birthday yet, The Ryder Grill’s Surf And Turf (that’s steak, lobster, chips and cauliflower cheese!!! ) has all but been written into West Midlands folklore.
Both a perfect pre and post venue to the restaurant is the Brabazon champagne bar, located opposite the lobby and, with its hypnotic mint green decor and glass ceiling pouring light on its vast collection of spirits, an instant draw for arriving guests. A glass of Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky is the perfect follower to anything off the Grill’s menu.
The bar is arguably just as popular for its afternoon tea service, where sandwiches, cakes, scones and pastries are racked up so high they’re almost out of reach. The service used to run three days a week until paying customers decided that this simply wouldn’t do and it now runs all week long, keeping renowned in-house pastry chef Dean Cole very busy.
Guests will be forgiven for having their eye on one thing and one thing only. Even after a multi-million pound refurbishment, the main attraction remains its three 18-hole golf courses, in particular the world renowned Brabazon. Although unofficially being termed the ‘spiritual home of the Ryder Cup,’ a trickier course is the PGA National and The Derby is just as testing.
Golfers will enjoy staying in one of The Belfry’s 11 renovated Signature Suites as each room looks out onto the PGA Championship and The Brabazon golf courses. The three Manor House Suites are the ultimate in luxury at The Belfry and also have views directly onto the putting green.
After only one night’s stay in The new-look Belfry, it is clear to see what £26m affords and all will agree that the return to form of a golfing and luxury hotel behemoth is a fantastic triumph for C&I industry.