Brimstone at Langdale
“This spectacular new ‘beyond-boutique’ hotel in the Lake District has ripped up the rule book and reinvented the luxury stay.
Brimstone on the Langdale Estate, the only development of its kind in Cumbria, opened in June 2013 and has originated from a completely blank canvas with no regard for conventional hotel traditions, making it refreshingly different.
At this exclusive retreat there is no formality, check-ins, doffing of caps, queuing for breakfast, hushed tones at dinner; instead Brimstone will offer a personalised ‘couture’ experience which will leave guests nurtured, surprised, excited and lavished with tender loving care.
16 vast suites with exceptional style, huge glass walls, expansive balconies, innovative technology, real wood burning stoves, indulgent in-room spa therapies and sexy bathing experiences are complemented by wine, beer, nibbles and treats on tap at zero charge in Brimstone’s chic Reading Room, 24/7.
A dedicated Brimstone ‘host’ will see to guests’ every need, from valet parking, laying the stove, mixing a perfect cocktail and serving an intimate in-room dinner for two, to sorting electric car hire, arranging outdoor kit, booking adventure activities and organising on-balcony relaxation treatments.”
INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF
Brimstone at Langdale is the first development of its kind in the Lake District offering “beyond-boutique” luxury hotel rooms and suites. The contemporary and innovative design blends seamlessly with the stunning Lakeland landscape and the extensive spa and restaurant facilities on the Estate.
Opened in June 2013, Brimstone offers a new experience in the Lake District with generous spaces, contemporary designs, boutique environment and service.
Housed in their own building with private garage and each with a large balcony the Brimstone luxury hotel suites will offer something not found at other Lake District hotels.
Brimstone at Langdale features the following:-
• 16 “huge” rooms / suites – individually designed
• Private undercroft parking
• Private entrance lobby with wood burning stove
• Boot and drying room
• Generous circulation spaces
• The Reading Room – a private lounge with complimentary bar and refreshments throughout the day
• Dedicated kitchen / pantry for preparation of room service
• Housekeeping and laundry rooms
• Brimstone “Hosts” offering personal service to guests throughout their stay
• An external material palette of stone, slate, timber and render that is sympathetic to the Lake District vernacular but that has a very contemporary feel
Rooms and suites are equipped with:-
• “Sexy” bathing experiences! – with feature baths throughout
• Large walk-in showers
• Built in wood burning stoves and log stores
• Lutron mood lighting systems
• 2m wide beds
• 40” LED TVs
• Underfloor heating to shower rooms
• Local slate vanity tops
• Heated mirrors
• The latest GHD hair dryers and straightners
• Minibars and fully equipped armoire units
• Extensive oak timber panelling – with a contemporary edge
• A selection of beautiful furniture, soft furnishings, finishes and equipment
• Large private covered balcony with views through the trees, across the tarn and beyond
• Sliding folding glass screens that open to link the indoor and outdoor spaces
• Structural glass balustrades to maximise views out and light in
The combination of the above features has resulted in a product that has met the key elements of The Langdale Estate brief
• A hotel development of a quality not found elsewhere in the Lake District, setting new standards in design and service
• A highly innovative development that significantly raises the quality of accommodation on the Estate in a sustainable manner
• Create 16 amazing hotel rooms that make you smile……….
HISTORY OF THE LANGDALE ESTATE
The Estate began life in the 17th Century as a small woollen mill where wool from local flocks was processed on machinery driven by the fast-flowing water of the Great Langdale Beck.
In 1823 a local entrepreneur with an interest in quarrying, saw the potential for the manufacture of gunpowder on the site. The seclusion, natural waterpower and a growing demand from the Lakeland mines and quarries ensured success. Within a few years the Elterwater Gunpowder Works was not only supplying the domestic industry, but also exporting to North America and South Africa.
The powder works closed in 1930, a victim of the depression and the development of more modern explosives, such as dynamite.
In the early 1930’s a local landowner, recognising the potential of the unique location, bought and developed the site as a holiday resort. By the late 1930's, accommodation consisted of a small hotel, several furnished cottages, dormitories and a guest house. There were also a number of rustic sleeping cabins scattered around the idyllic 35-acre Estate.
In 1981, when the Estate came up for sale again, it was bought by a group of local businessmen who established the Langdale Partnership. The idea was to create a high-quality time ownership resort in an area of outstanding natural beauty, where self-catering accommodation was in high demand and short supply. Scandinavian-type lodges were carefully sited over an area of 35 acres and the small hotel was converted into a luxury Hotel & Country Club.
The Estate was sold to Matthew Brown, a northern-based brewing company, in 1987. Some months later in 1988 the business was acquired by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries who had bought Matthew Brown. In 1996 Langdale was purchased by Langdale Owners plc, the shareholders of which are all Langdale timeshare owners, who thus have effective control of the entire resort.
The existing facilities on the main Langdale Estate comprise:-
• 81 no. time ownership units
• A 56 bed hotel
• Purdeys Restaurant and Bar
• The Terrace Restaurant
• Hobson’s Bar
• Leisure Club and Spa
• Staff Accommodation and Facilities
• Housekeeping and Maintenance Facilities
• Timeshare Sales and Administration
• Biomass Heating Plant
South of the main estate is Elterwater Hall which comprises:-
• 7 no. time ownership apartments
• “The Cottage” timeshare unit
• “The Barn” timeshare unit
West of the main estate is Wainwright’s Inn which comprises:-
• Wainwright’s Inn Public House
• 10 no. time ownership units (“Chapel Stile” apartments)
• Staff accommodation and Manager’s House
The facilities on the main estate sit among the tarns, mill streams and remains of the former gunpowder works. The site is undulating with rock outcrops and is heavily wooded. Buildings have been carefully sited to preserve the unique character of the environment taking advantage of views whilst remaining virtually unseen from outside the site.
• Client The Langdale Estate
• Architect / Project Manager Unwin Jones Partnership
• Interior Designer Greyline Design
• Quantity Surveyor GMG Associates
• Building Services Engineer Davies Partnership
• Structural Engineer Bingham Yates and Partners
• Building Control Approved Inspector Morgan Wolff
• CDM Coordinator PHSM
• Landscape Architect Westwood Landscape
• Planning Consultant Taylor and Hardy
• Transport Consultant Royal Haskoning
• Main Contractor Thomas Armstrong Construction Ltd
• Enabling Works Contractor Esh Construction
FACTS AND FIGURES
• The overall project budget was £3.2m including build costs, FF&E and fees
• The project involved the excavation of 1000 tonnes of rock. This was carried out as a separate enabling works contract which commenced in February 2012.
• The main contract works commenced in June 2012. The building was handed over in sections and completed on 7 June 2013.
• The works were undertaken whilst the estate was in full operation. The site area was very restricted and vehicle access was via narrow lanes. Staff and guest access was required around the building at all times with a strictly defined contractor zone. A combination of tower and mobile cranes were used during construction for the lifting of steelwork, precast concrete floor planks, timber and general building materials. The construction process was described as ‘like building in the centre of London – in the middle of the Lake District”
• 90% of sub-contractors were local, Cumbrian companies.
• Where possible building materials were sourced locally – all stone walling, roofing slates, slate copings and internal slate finishes are from Burlington’s Elterwater quarry, less that half a mile from the site.
Every effort has been made to ensure that Brimstone is as sustainable and energy efficient as possible. The building incorporates the following:-
• High levels of insulation (Walls - 0.19W/m2K, Roof – 0.1W/m2K, Floor - 0.09 W/m2K, Windows – 0.15W/m2K)
• Heat recovery on ventilation systems
• VRV heating / cooling system (with auto switch off linked to windows)
• LED lighting throughout
• PIR lighting controls where appropriate
• Provision for future connection to new Biomass boiler
• All timber sourced from sustainable sources
• Rooms incorporate wood burning stoves (linked by sensors to heating systems)
• All stone and roofing slate is sourced locally from Burlington’s Elterwater quarry
• 90% of contractors and labour force from the Cumbria area
• Large full width windows maximise natural light into the rooms
• Large overhanging balconies / roofs to limit solar gain on main south elevation
• Low water use fittings where appropriate
• High levels of acoustic insulation
• Laundry chute incorporated to minimise use of lift
• The majority of building materials are recyclable
• All rainwater and is collected to feed tarn adjacent Country Club
• Waste management and recycling processes during construction
• Considerate Constructors scheme principles utilised during construction
• Rock removed from the site was crushed for use as road stone
The main elements of the building are
• Undercroft car park
• Plant rooms
• Housekeeping and Linen Rooms
• Entrance Lobby with access to Boot Room, Lift and Stair
• Lobby and Corridor Area
• Reading Room and WC
• Kitchen / Pantry
• Bedrooms 1-8
• Lobby and Corridor Area
• Bedrooms 9-16
• Plant rooms and store
Undercroft Car Park
Each room has a dedicated parking bay in the undercroft area (with valet parking available if required). The undercroft provides direct covered access to the main entrance lobby.
The formation of the parking area required the excavation of 1000 tonnes of rock. The bedrooms are situated above the car park lifting them a full storey height above the surrounding rooms to ensure greater privacy and better views.
The water pressurisation and electrical plant rooms and a number of storage areas (for logs etc.) are accessed off the car park
The linen room at undercroft level allows dirty linen to be removed easily via a linen chute serving both bedroom levels.
The main entrance lobby is fully glazed with a welcoming roof canopy giving weather protection. A freestanding wood burning stove sits against the natural stone walling which extends into the building in this area. A slate tiled floor extends throughout the entrance area.
State of the art NFC systems provide secure card access and an intercom provides a link to the main hotel reception. Entrance doors are fully automated.
The entrance lobby provides access to the main lift, staircase, housekeeping room and guest boot / drying room
The main stair forms a striking external and internal feature. Externally the curved stair tower is beautifully clad in stone walling and a double height glazed screen gives views in and out. Internally the stair is filled with natural light. The balustrading is made from a combination of solid oak and roughly wrought iron balusters.
Upper Ground Floor Lobby and Corridor
The lift and stair arrive in a deliberately generous lobby area with a curved wall, circular seat and feature chandelier. The dropped ceiling above accentuates the various curves.
The corridor is wide with undulating walls and ceilings to avoid the usual repetitive bedroom corridor “tunnel.” The width allows the placing of consoles and lighting with large mirrors and artwork either side.
The statutory corridor fire doors are carefully recessed into pockets and held back on magnetic hold opens
The Reading Room is a luxurious guest lounge equipped with buffet unit, fridges, coffee machine and ice machine, providing complimentary refreshments 24/7. The feature oak bookcase is stacked with an array of reading material and conceals a large LED TV behind sliding panels. Finishes echo those in the bedroom areas.
The also lounge provides a meeting place for those staying in the building; it is envisaged that the building will be booked in its entirety by groups of friends, wedding parties, extended families and corporate groups.
Kitchen / Pantry
A fully equipped kitchen allows Brimstone to offer a full room service menu throughout the day with freshly cooked food delivered straight to the bedrooms. The pantry also gives a base for the Brimstone Hosts
There are five room types – but even these vary slightly in design and layout………
Spa Suites (around 60m2)
The Spa Suites comprise a generous lobby and desk area, bed zone, living area with two love seats with double doors giving access onto an enormous balcony. A double-sided wood burning stove (with slate hearth and slate tiled chimney breast) sits between the living area and spectacular bathroom area.
The bathroom has a central freestanding bath with ceiling mounted filler, a beautiful double vanity in slate, walk in double shower and separate WC cubicle behind and frosted glass door. A sliding glass screen allows the bathroom to open out onto the balcony where in room treatments / massages can be taken.
Mezzanine Suites (around 63m2)
Mezzanine Suites comprise a lower level with living area, wood burning stove, WC, dining area and a stunning feature bath that can be hidden away between sliding timber panels. Again a large sliding folding screen can be pulled aside to bring the outside covered balcony into the room.
A stair gives access to the sleeping area in the roof space above which has its own wet room shower area.
As with all rooms floor finishes are a mixture of solid oak, carpet and tile. Walls are finished with paint, wall fabrics and feature tiling.
Duet Suites (around 70m2)
The enormous Duet Suites are the size of a good two bedroom apartment! The lobby area gives access to the walk in shower, vanity and WC cubicle and the main bed space. An open porthole allows views through the room to outside.
At the foot of the bed are a pair of feature baths placed side by side – the low wall between houses the taps and provides a handy shelf for champagne glasses (or the TV remote!!).
The living area (with stove and TV) is separated from the bed space by the half height bedhead wall and can be opened up to the expansive balcony beyond.
Fireside Suites (around 48m2)
The Fireside Suites comprise a generous shower room with walk in shower, WC cubicle and slate vanity. There is separate feature bath area within the room.
The bed and living area has wood burning stove and TV housed in a timber panelled wall. As elsewhere there is generous wardrobe provision with individually designed units housing safes, luggage racks, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, straightners etc.
Ultimate Rooms (between 35 and 40m2)
Although the smallest the Ultimate Rooms are bigger than a modern 5* hotel room. They have all the features of the other rooms with the exception of wood burning stoves.
The fully equipped armoire units have a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, nibbles, cocktail making equipment (with recipes and ingredients!) and ice bucket – all beautifully designed.
The Lutron mood lighting system (found in all rooms) enables guests to select from settings such as “sexy”, “perky” and “lazy “ in the living areas and “flatter” and “groom” in bathrooms. There’s even a “tinkle” setting giving just enough light to find your way to the bathroom in the night!
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
• The building is generally of load bearing construction with a partial steel frame in the car park area
• The roof is of traditional timber construction and covered with a local slate
• The lower levels of the building and the main stair tower are clad in local stone walling – the face of the walling is kept mortar free to give the appearance of a dry stone wall with a beautiful texture.
• Stained cedar vertical boarding is used to clad the upper levels of the building along with rendered walls to the rear.
• The limited material palette is sympathetic to the Lake District and the existing buildings on the Estate – but materials are used in a contemporary manner. The result is a building that is both dramatic and appropriate to its setting.
• The covered private balconies are framed in timber with structural glass balustrades. These maximise views out and light into the rooms and accentuate the contemporary edge of the building. The glass also reflects the surrounding treescape and the sky adding a further dimension to the façade.