The Grange Hotel in York is delighted by the support over the last 25 years as it celebrates this landmark anniversary.
The Grange Hotel remains as one of York's few independent hotels to achieve a 4 star rating and also have a two-rosette standard restaurant. 25 years after first opening as a hotel, the business has celebrated its landmark anniversary this March and shows no signs of slowing down.
Sitting proudly on Bootham, the Hotel is a privately owned regency townhouse built in 1829. Purchased in 1989 by Jeremy and Vivien Cassel, they enlisted Celebrated Swiss designer, Christophe Gollut, who previously designed the dining room at the House of Lords, to help restore the building to its former glory and convert it into one of York's finest hotels.
Owner, Jeremy Cassel is a true hotelier, having worked since the age of 19 at prestige hotels like The Savoy, Brown's Hotel and the Compleat Angle. He also set up nightclub Regine's in Kensington and has acted as a restaurant consultant. With deteriorating eyesight, Mr Cassel felt that future employment opportunities would become limited and decided to become his own boss. His wife Vivien is from a long line of artists; her great uncle, George Halter, was a court painter for Queen Victoria. Many paintings adorning the hotel are ancestors of hers so it was natural that she take an active role in the ongoing design and renovation of the hotel. To make it a real family affair, their daughter, a photographer, ensures the hotel is supplied with excellent imagery.
The Cassel's had always loved York, so the decision to buy in this historic city was an easy one. Mrs Cassel said "York is a stunning city, a romantic city, a historic city; we were beguiled by its beauty in 1989 and are still under its spell in 2015. Even with the recent influx of 'chain' hotels to York, we feel there is still a place for characterful surroundings, personalised service and memorable dining."
The hotel opened in late March 1990 and was soon awarded the AA 'Newcomer of the Year' for the North. The hotel moved up from 3 stars to 4 stars in 2008, in recognition of the ongoing investment made with additional recognition coming from the Michelin Guide and the AA. One of the first customers was actress Jean Alexander (Coronation Street's Hilda Ogden), who originally lived in the building (top floor flat) in the 50's, long before it was converted to a hotel. Mr Cassel said "You can never stand still. Even after 25 years of welcoming guests from all over the world, you must roll with the times and continue to invest. York is a jewel in England's crown and we like to think that The Grange Hotel makes it sparkle that little bit brighter."
To celebrate Jeremy and Vivien played host to a lavish cocktail party, with entertainment, cheese tastings and a cake modelled on The Grange Hotel it's self. Amongst the 160 guests were supporters of the hotel past and present, long reigning staff and regular guests, and even a family who resided in the flats in the 80's.