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roses have been replaced. A specially commissioned modern glass chandelier, created by artist Isabel Hamm, has also been installed to marry the traditional with the contemporary. Flashes of original red glass are retained within the thin cast-iron columns that support the conservatory and this feature has obviously inspired the architects to continue its theme within the new inner extension. The bedrooms in the original part of the house are

the ‘veil’ is a splendid double-height glass wall that circles the courtyard allowing natural daylight into the centre of the hotel... the courtyard can be used as an extension to the restaurant in the warmer months

painted in muted colours and are a little uninspiring as a result, despite the inclusion of a metallic textured feature wall. They are warm and comfortable however and all include original modern art photography on the walls. The new rooms are brighter and more interesting. They have ‘open’ bathrooms positioned within the centres of the galley shaped rooms and the effective use of light stone tiled walls and oak flooring gives the rooms a fresh contemporary feel. Concealed down lights provide a warm watsh of colour to soften the space. The hotel is full of art and the owners appear to have

commissioned graduates and art students for much of it. In the bedrooms, for example, students from St Martin’s College of Art have had their three dimensional work photographed and framed for display. As one would expect, the standard of this photographed work is varied, from amateur in appearance to hugely exciting. In the public spaces there are dozens of pieces of art from sculptures to oils on canvas to unique items of furniture and a majority of this has been commissioned from more established artists. Of note is the round oak block ‘reception desk’, created by sculptress Alison Crowther, that stands alone in the entrance lobby like the discarded shell of a giant snail: check in is a paperless experience so this desk needs to support no more than an electronic notepad. Every effort has been made to create an

environmentally sustainable hotel: solar panels provide heat for the kitchens and a green roof, planted with wild flowers, has been created. In addition ‘green’ guests are invited to make use of the electric car charging points in the underground car park. Additionally the hotel has taken delivery of its own electric car to ferry guests around the city. The zero-emissions Mitsubishi i-MiEV is one of the first to be used in the UK. The Montpellier Chapter hotel will be welcomed in

Cheltenham; it’s pitched at just about the right level for the area and will be popular with local business people who need to entertain clients. Its green credentials are sound and it is a genuinely impressive architectural achievement – the two sections of the hotel, old and new, blend beautifully together to form a unique and inspiring property. Some will consider the interiors are in need of more colour in the form of accented walls, soft furnishings and warm lighting, especially within the older parts of the hotel. That said, hotels are brought to life by warm and friendly staff, not coloured walls, and here the attitude and professionalism of the staff cannot be faulted. • Montpellier Chapter. Bayshill Road, Montpellier, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 3AS Tel: +44 (0)1242 527788 Architects and Designers Make +44 (0)20 7636 5151 If you plan a visit to Cheltenham great deals are available from First Great Western Trains Contact 08457 000 125

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