The owner of an iconic local hotel has announced his retirement after more than half-a-century in hospitality - and revealed plans that could see his premises make way for “environmentally-conscious” homes.
Originally an old Victorian house constructed in 1840, the Rouge Bouillon-based Savoy first became into a hotel in 1968, before Jose Lora (74) and his family took over the 56-room establishment in 1993.
The family previously owned the former Royal Oak hotel, located in nearby Great Union Road which has been turned into the Royal Oak apartments, as well as the Swansons Hotel on the Esplanade, for eight years before selling them in 2000.
After over 50 years in the local hospitality sector, Mr Lora has announced his retirement, marking the “end of an era” not only for his family but also for the well-known hotel.
Pictured: Jose Lora (74) and his family have owned the Savoy Hotel since 1993.
Plans have been submitted for the hotel to be demolished and replaced with “environmentally-conscious family town houses” of two, three and four bedrooms.
Several planning applications have recently submitted for hotels to be redeveloped into accommodation.
Andium Homes put forward plans to demolish 14-28 Kensington Place, which includes the 72-room Stafford and three-star 56-room Revere hotels, as well as Doran's Bistro and Candlelight restaurant, and build 70 one-bedroom, and 36 two-bedroom, flats with ground-floor parking and landscaping.
Proposals have also been submitted to demolish the Mayfair Hotel to make way for 137 one-bedroom and 67 two-bedroom flats.
The owner of the Apollo Hotel in St. Saviour’s Road, the Huggler Group, has also applied to Planning to demolish the hotel to build 91 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom flats.
Pictured: An aerial view of the proposed development.
Mr Lora’s son, Roberto, the Director of the Savoy, said the development of hotel sites “underlies a far greater issue facing Jersey and the lack of new hotel accommodation sites appropriately situated within the island."
"Jersey needs new, modern hotels built urgently to replace its aging bed stock, which, in some cases isn't fit for purpose and reflects poorly on our wonderful island,” he said.
“With operators like Premier Inn now building their second hotel, and the Radisson group with a presence in Jersey, we feel Jersey would be best served attracting proven operators to build new venues in prime locations around Jersey.”
Roberto said the Savoy was “fighting a losing battle” to stay relevant to the ever-changing tourism market.
“Our property would be ideal for new ecological family housing built for Islanders wanting a quality residence that sets a new bar with its eco credentials."
Pictured: A view of the proposed basement entrance.
“We want to raise the standard in various ways, where all residents have access to utilities and great spaces, and offer parking and charging for 112 electric bikes, as well as eight electric Evie cars where residents enjoy subscriptions and will be able to book electric cars, reducing car dependence and our carbon footprint,” Roberto said.
“We’re compassionate about the surroundings in terms of storey heights and screening, minimising traffic impacts and focusing on general well-being of the population. This is a genuine attempt to proactively move toward the zero carbon goals the Island is striving for.”
PF+A Architecture designed the development with the help of advice and early consultation with the Jersey Architecture Commission. It features a number of green innovations to target the island’s environmental ambitions whilst facilitating “harmonious living experiences” for all residents.
The development will include “fluid pathways” for both disabled and bicycle access with a carpark designed around the latter.
There will be dedicated cycle paths for both residents and visitors from the street right the way to the hub as well as a vertically traversing access route that “intertwines rather than segregates” connecting Rousell Mews to Rouge Bouillion, right to a top-level roof community space.
Pictured: The development will include green innovations such as a geothermal heat exchanger and a timber diagrid roof structure, for solar power generation.
“It is an exciting development, and one we feel will work appropriately at the site,” Roberto said.
“We are excited about the amot of interactivity which is encouraged in the plans (and to a high standard), with a community hall, lap swimming pool, gym and large open green spaces suitable for socialising and barbequing - but there are also quiet spaces interspersed for more reflective moments.”
Roberto added that the plans aimed to create “a heart and space for both interaction and much needed respite” in the town centre.
“The varying sized housing modules are adapted to meet these needs internally; but further the ribbons of streams, cross-floor spanning biophilia supporting local biodiversity, a geothermal heat exchanger from natural spring on site and a timber diagrid roof structure, for solar power generation, privacy and passive solar, provide a harmonizing ambience and connectivity between people and place,” he said.
“Although as a family we are sad to be leaving an industry we know and love, and will miss the many, many guests we have welcomed to the Savoy over the years, we feel that this is the right option for the site, and we hope to leave a lasting legacy for islanders.”
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