Dover hotel investment to ‘boost town’s tourism appeal’

Expansion at the Best Western Premier Dover Marina Hotel and Spa, a four-star hotel on Dover seafront, will help the town become a leading tourist destination, planners have been told.

The Best Western Premier Dover Marina Hotel and Spa has put forward plans to add a new conference facility and function room alongside 24 new bedrooms and a bistro bar by expanding into the Protea House building to the east of the hotel.

The ambitious expansion plans follow last September’s unveiling of 13 new luxury rooms and a Presidential Suite in an adjacent building to the west of the hotel. 

The unveiling was part of a celebration evening that also saw the hotel receive the ‘Best Western Premier’ accolade, which puts it firmly in the top rank of the brand’s flagship hotels nationwide.

Hotel managing director Kanagaratnam Rajaseelan (known as Seelan) said the planned expansion would allow the hotel to expand its wedding venue offering, attract more visitors to Dover and fill a gap in the market.

It would also add to the town’s conference facilities, with the new venue capable of holding 140 seated delegates and up to 200 at less formal events.

The expansion plans reflect the hotel’s increasing popularity, with the new rooms pressed into service the day after they were unveiled in September’s ceremony. That expansion, plus the new rooms planned for Protea House will, if approved, take the hotel’s capacity from 85 to 122.

The application submitted to planners points out that Dover “does not have a four-star, high-quality venue that can cater for weddings, meetings and functions, for between 80 and 200 people”.

It goes on: “This means people will go to Folkestone, Canterbury and surrounding areas if they want a wedding function or conference if they need this capacity. The development of this additional facility for Dover Town would add to its tourism portfolio.”

Planning permission was previously given for the enlarged venue, with the revised submission reflecting a number of changes in the detailed application. The aim is to complete the work by this summer. 

The proposed development will make the Dover Marina Hotel the only facility within the town centre with a spa, gym, accommodation and conference facilities under one roof, allowing both public and commercial users to use one location rather than having to travel to different venues for different facilities.

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