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Ben Cohen, England winner in the 2003 Rugby World Cup, opens £1 million spa at Dover Marina Hotel

By Sam Lennon

One of England's most successful rugby team has opened a £1 million-plus health spa.

The ribbon was cut by Ben Cohen, a player from the 2003 Rugby World Cup win.

He opened the Waterfront Spa & Health Club at the Dover Marina Hotel.

Rugby hero Ben Cohen at the opening ceremony. Picture: Ian Scammell, courtesy of Oyster Bar Photography
Rugby hero Ben Cohen at the opening ceremony. Picture: Ian Scammell, courtesy of Oyster Bar Photography

Mr Cohen joined other VIP guests at last Friday'sceremony at the Best Western Plus hotel at Waterloo Crescent.

He said: “Like many other people I have perhaps travelled through Dover on my way to Europe not realising just how much the area has to offer visitors.

"The hotel’s position on the seafront is fabulous while the spa and health club offer facilities which are second to none. I can’t wait to return."

Mr Cohen was part of the team that achieved the only Rugby World Cup win for England and the country's first World Cup victory since 1966.

He is also the nephew of one of players from that footballing triumph, George Cohen.

Ben Cohen also won new admirers when he appeared on BBC TV's Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.

Another special guest was Indian singer Vijay Prakash.

He is one of the artists credited for the Academy Award-winning song ‘Jai Ho’, which featured in the hit movie Slumdog Millionaire.

Mr Prakash performed an impromptu song at the ceremony.

Ben Cohen at a candle lighting for the opening with healing specialist Dr Deepa Patwal.Picture: Ian Scammell, courtesy of Oyster Bar Photography
Ben Cohen at a candle lighting for the opening with healing specialist Dr Deepa Patwal.Picture: Ian Scammell, courtesy of Oyster Bar Photography

Also there was Dr Deepa Patwal, from India.

She is a qualified practitioner of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system for both physical and mental well-being that is now available in Dover.

The hotel now has seven treatment rooms, a new sauna, steam room and jacuzzi and a bigger and more luxurious relaxation area.

The investment has created around 25 jobs, including therapists, gym instructors and receptionists.

The 85-bedroomed Dover Marina Hotel & Spa re-opened in 2011 after a multi-million-pound renovation.

The five-storey building dates back to the 1830s and was previously the White Cliffs Hotel and then the Churchill Hotel.

Past visitors include Prince Edward, Sir Winston Churchill, actors James Bolam and Tamsin Outhwaite and author Bill Bryson.

For more information call the hotel on 01304 203633, email reservations@dovermarinahotel.co.uk or visit www.dovermarinahotel.co.uk

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