Grace Leo outside The Cooden Beach Hotel. SUS-210518-125419001Grace Leo outside The Cooden Beach Hotel. SUS-210518-125419001
Grace Leo outside The Cooden Beach Hotel. SUS-210518-125419001

Phase 1 of multi-million pound revamp of Bexhill’s Cooden Beach Hotel nearing completion

The first phase of a major revamp of the Cooden Beach Hotel is nearing completion, its owners have announced.

Last year international hotelier Grace Leo bought the hotel, alongside her Singapore-based partner, shipping entrepreneur and hotel investor Tim Hartnoll, for £6.9 million on a freehold basis.

At the time she bought it, Ms Leo said she was hoping to use her experience of developing resorts in the Caribbean and the south of France to make the destination the ‘best beach hotel on the English coast’.

The hotel closed in the winter so the full renovation could start.

On its website, the owners said: “The Cooden Beach Hotel has begun a full-scale phased renovation that is transforming this unique property into a stylish, restorative destination for all seasons, emerging as The Relais Cooden Beach.

“We are delighted that Phase 1 of the project is nearing completion and the first nine rooms and one suite are now available for guests to book and gain early access to experience. Phase 2 has now begun, with the next set of bedrooms underdoing their re-design.

“As part of the reinvention process, a new wellness experience will be introduced. The previous hotel and members ‘leisure centre’ will be replaced with a new wellness escape – offering treatments and therapies to restore mind, body, and soul. Key features include state-of-the-art treatment facilities, a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, and a modern gym.”

Speaking to the Observer in May last year, Ms Leo said: “I was immediately in awe of the location of The Cooden Beach Hotel and could see the possibilities for creating an upscale, full-service resort right here in Sussex.

“I have developed many beautiful resorts in far off destinations such as St Barth’s, Mustique and St Jean-Cap-Ferrat in the South of France and I see no reason why we can’t recreate that idyllic resort experience on the English coast – despite the weather.

“The future vision for The Cooden Beach Hotel is to become the best beach hotel on the English Coast – one that becomes a full-service lifestyle resort with a focus on well-being relaxation and fun.”

Ms Leo and Mr Hartnoll bought the Cooden Beach Hotel from entrepreneur James Kimber, who owned it alongside his wife Lesley for 16 years.

The hotel was built in 1928 and has been a landmark feature of the coastline since, with its sea views and beachside restaurant.