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Cave Hotel near Canterbury hopes to reopen in July with social distancing in place

A luxury hotel wants to reopen in July, with social distancing measures in place.

The Cave Hotel and Golf Resort, on the outskirts of Canterbury, will offer a "restaurant in room" service as well as private pool sessions and complimentary face masks to protect guests during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The luxury lounge at the The Cave
The luxury lounge at the The Cave

The 41-room hotel opened last year on the grounds of the former Boughton Golf Club, off the A2 between Faversham and Canterbury.

With spacious rooms, a lavish pool area and 250 acres of land, it is billed as "an affordable luxury hotel with a five-star feel", but like most hotels it was forced to close in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Now, CEO Johnathan Callister says that if the government gives hotels the go-ahead to reopen in July, The Cave will be ready to offer guests a getaway without face-to-face contact with staff.

"If you come to our hotel, we can offer you complete comfort and social distancing," he explained.

The Cave prides itself on its Firepit restaurant, where international flavours are fused to create an "indulgent, reimagined menu".

Cave Hotel CEO Johnathan Callister
Cave Hotel CEO Johnathan Callister

Mr Callister says the Firepit will stay shut if The Cave reopens in the summer but guests will instead be able to enjoy a restaurant experience in their rooms.

"It's not room service - it's a whole new experience in room dining," he said.

"We have taken out the desks and chairs in every single room and replaced them with a Firepit table and chairs. If the weather's nice we can put those tables outside because every room has a balcony or outside space."

For £65 a couple, guests will be able to enjoy a taster menu comprising eight dishes as well as dessert, with delivery to rooms staggered over an hour-and-a-half.

"So there's minimal contact, and you know you're going to experience a great dinner," said Mr Callister.

Guests will be able to enjoy a restaurant experience in their rooms. Picture: Johnathan Callister
Guests will be able to enjoy a restaurant experience in their rooms. Picture: Johnathan Callister

Guests can also order drinks to their rooms via Whatsapp.

A waiter and a drinks fridge will be stationed on each of the hotel's three floors, so beverages can be delivered "instantly, with a non-contact service".

"They'll put it outside your room, knock on the door, and the waiter stands back and you take your drinks in," said Mr Callister. "So you have got no contact with people whatsoever."

Guests will also be able to book private slots at the hotel's pool, sauna and steam area, where a member of staff will be on hand to open doors and clean the facilities between uses.

Guests will be able to book private slots in the hotel's lavish pool. Picture: Johnathan Callister
Guests will be able to book private slots in the hotel's lavish pool. Picture: Johnathan Callister

One-way walks of various lengths have been planned around the hotel's huge estate and packs of PPE including face masks will be placed in rooms. The Cave's 6,500-yard golf course is also now open, with a limited number of players allowed at a time.

"We're able to deliver not 100% of our normal service but we're able to offer a really good experience with some amazing food in a very different way," said Mr Callister.

"You can have this whole experience, which I believe a lot of hotels won't be able to offer, but we can."

Mr Callister says he hopes there will be a surge in the number of people looking for a domestic break once the lockdown is lifted.

"I think people's travel plans are going to change quite dramatically," he said.

The Cave hopes to reopen in July with social distancing measures in place. Picture: Johnathan Callister (35031000)
The Cave hopes to reopen in July with social distancing measures in place. Picture: Johnathan Callister (35031000)

"Those people who would normally go overseas for their summer holidays are not likely to do that now, therefore we are hopeful there could be a bit of a bounce for UK hotel trade.

"The summer holidays will be back end of July - hopefully we'll be open for then."

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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