North Wales company redevelops rock legend’s former leisure park and enjoys purple patch

A BOUTIQUE hotel and luxury lodge resort has enjoyed a purple patch following multi-million pound investment and redevelopment.

And the success of The Springs Resort and Golf Club in North Stoke, Wallingford, looks set to continue following its opening last year.

Formerly owned by legendary Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan, the park – part of the Talacre-based Darwin Escapes portfolio – is one of the major employers in the region with more than 70 staff and 500 members.

Sadly, the rock star’s guitar-shaped swimming pool is no more, but manager Ben Scholes says renovations and new facilities – including the 1893 spa and Ridgeway Restaurant – have proven incredibly popular with visitors from across the UK and beyond.

Originally from Cilcain, Flintshire, Ben says the historic former 19th century manor house is one of the local area’s “hidden gems”.

“We are of course recognised for our first-class golfing facilities and are incredibly proud to have one of the best courses in the South-East, but following a period of significant investment the Springs has grown to become a high-quality holiday destination,” he said.

“Our restaurant is exceptionally busy throughout the week and the spa complex, which also features a sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pool, has attracted many visitors to the resort.

“And with more living space now on-site – the 19 luxury self-contained Alder Lodges, in addition to bespoke rooms in our boutique hotel – we are able to accommodate more guests than ever before.”

Ben added: “This in turn has led to us creating jobs, doing more to support the local economy and provide part-time and seasonal jobs in this picturesque rural area.

“The Springs is one of Oxfordshire’s hidden gems, but our reputation is now spreading across the UK, which will have a positive knock-on effect for the region.”

With Sir Michael Caine and renowned contralto Dame Clara Butt among the other famous faces to have graced North Stoke, the village has a reputation for its stunning landscapes and serene environment.

The 140-acre Springs retreat has capitalised on those elements and become a haven of tranquility for members and guests.

“The major USP we have is this beautiful part of the world, and as a result we are now getting more bookings for weddings, corporate events and hospitality packages,” said Ben.

“Even to the locals we are considered remote, so for us to now be bringing in people from across England and other parts of the country is heartening.”

He added: “People come here to get away from it all, on the banks of the River Thames surrounded by wildlife and nature.

“We are thrilled with how things have progressed since the redevelopment and how well our new facilities and luxury offering has been received nationwide and here in the community, but we won’t rest on our laurels – this is just the beginning.”

For more information, visit The Springs Resort & Golf Club | Holidays in Oxfordshire | Darwin Escapes and follow Darwin Escapes on social media. Alternatively, call 01745 858010.

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