Exclusive by Jodie Nesling
The owners of the Nayland Rock Hotel say they want to renovate the building to include a state-of-the-art spa and facilities, The Isle of Thanet News can reveal.
The iconic building on Royal Crescent was bought in 2016 by Town Pension Trustees Ltd for £1.75m. The company followed up by buying the outside fronting area from Kent County Council last year.
Nayland Rock Hotel Margate Ltd is a leaseholder. Director Nick Conington, who also owns Sands Hotel on Marine Drive, says the company wants to renovate the building to provide quality accommodation for visitors and the burgeoning arts tourism sector.
He said: “We want to offer a spa and quality rooms but at the same time do something a bit different to fit with the artistic aesthetic.”
Architect Guy Holloway, who designed the nearby beachfront houses, has been tasked with the design, with a planning application to Thanet council imminent.
Mr Conington has commissioned renowned artist and sculptor Matthew Penn to exhibit some of his work on the site during the Turner Prize, which is currently running in Margate until January.
The artist, who lives and works in Margate and grew up in Dover, creates sculptures that pay homage to his grandfather’s framing craft and include DNA of his subjects within his paintings.
Matthew said: “I think some of modern art is quite conceptual now and I wanted to celebrate the masters in an innovative way.”
The drive to incorporate local artists and celebrate the scene will be a big part of the Nayland Rock’s future as the owners seek to tap into the arts culture.
The Nayland Rock is a key Margate landmark and has a rich history with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger using it to celebrate his parents golden wedding anniversary in the 1990s.
Built in 1895 the Grade II listed building also hosted Charlie Chaplin and was the go-to hotel for the country’s wealthy, Victorian holidaymakers.