The £4 million make-over of the hotel at Shaw Ridge Leisure Park is now complete with the opening of the Buca di Beppo Italian family restaurant, and reaction has been extremely positive according to general manager Andrew Spinks.
Since October all 147 bedrooms have been completely refurbished but the major changes are to be found in the public areas where the village concept has been introduced to promote the idea that the De Vere is now a lot more than a hotel.
The lobby has been opened up into a huge comfortable lounge complemented by Starbucks. Further into the building is the Victory pub and kitchen decorated with photographs of high achievers, from Winston Churchill to Mohammed Ali, with all the ingredients you expect from a pub: a range of ales and wines, themed nights and of course big screens showing all the sports channels.
Closeby is Buca di Beppo, a new type of restaurant to Swindon, where food is served in family style which means sharing dishes designed around the best in Italian cuisine.
Downstairs Village Health and Fitness Gym is now much larger and completely refitted with 50 pieces of TechnoGym equipment to complement the Perfect Fit programme designed by double Olympic gold medalist, Dame Kelly Holmes. The system of exercises, combined with motivational instruction, is available to any level of fitness and age through individual programmes and classes. There’s also a blend of sport, games, dance activities and fun classes for children. The leisure pool is also an attraction and there is a wide range of beauty therapies and treatments.
Andrew Spinks said the transition to the new look DeVere had gone smoothly, including recruiting over 20 full and part time staff. “We’ve done all we can to achieve the changes quickly and with minimum inconvenience to visitors. There’s been a really positive response to what we offer with lots of people dropping by for a coffee during the day and making the Victory their local. Customers in the Village Health & Fitness Club are really impressed by the new look and the equipment on offer.”
Top and centre, Andrew with staff in The Victory pub and Buca di Beppo. Bottom, three generations of the Dean family from West Swindon and Abbey Meads enjoying the Buca di Beppo dining experience, from left, Neil and Maria, Terry, Olivia, Audrey and Sandra, with Andrew and restaurant colleagues