Old Post Atlantic House Hotel, Polzeath 2013

A Community Hotel for Polzeath

Atlantic House Hotel & Bar

Project Overview – Updated May 2013

The Vision

A high quality, community hotel next to Polzeath’s famous surfing beach. Providing comfortable, good value accommodation for families, couples and individuals. With a strong community ethos and open all year it will, in addition to being a fantastic holiday destination, also be somewhere for local people to enjoy, a great place to work and will provide financial support to the local area. We believe this will be the first community hotel of its type in the UK.

Celebrating the best of Cornish beach holidays, be it surfing, rock-pooling, walking the coast path or simply splashing in the waves, The Atlantic will once again become a much loved hotel for locals and visitors alike.

The style of the hotel will embrace the nostalgia of Cornish surfing with wooden surfboards, stripy deck chairs and vintage swimming hats whilst also providing all necessary mod-cons such as free wifi, outdoor showers and surfboard storage. From an early morning dip in the sea to enjoying sun downers on the terrace, The Atlantic will be a place of great memories for all.

The Property

The Atlantic House Hotel overlooks Polzeath beach and has long been a successful 30 room family-run hotel. It was sold in 2008 and the new owner planed to turn it into an 18 bedroom hotel with 9 luxury apartments. It was gutted and asbestos removed but then the project ran out of funds and for the past two years the property has been empty and boarded up. We have been in direct contact with the current owner and he is willing to sell the property. The property has since gone on to the open market with property agent, GVA – no asking price has been specified.

What Do We Mean by a ‘Community Hotel’?

Our vision for the hotel is that, in addition to being a great place for family holidays, a friendly place for local people to meet and a profitable business, it will also benefit the community in the following ways:

·        The hotel will support local causes with a share of its profits

·        Staff will own a stake in the business

·        Members of the wider community will be included on the hotel’s advisory board

·        Space in the hotel will be available for community groups and initiatives

·        The hotel will be open all year, providing year round jobs and training

·        The hotel will use pioneering construction techniques to minimise energy use

The Plan for the New Community Hotel


30-40 new rooms will be clean, simple and well designed with comfy beds and good showers. The aim is that the hotel is fully booked for as much of the year as possible and hence priced in the region of £70-150 per night with a mix of double, twin and family rooms.

Food & Drink

A bar/café area with terrace looking out to sea, will be open throughout the day serving food and drinks. For relaxation after a day in the surf we will take inspiration from the best Australian beach bars. And in the cooler months, following a bracing beach walk, we’ll light the fires and provide piles of blankets, taking inspiration from bars on the Stockholm archipelago.

The offering will be good quality and reasonably priced. It will include great coffee, local beers and simple dishes made from scratch, e.g. fresh pizzas, mussels and chips, handmade burgers. Main courses priced at about £8-11.


The main aim for this community hotel is that it is open and full throughout the year. This will then provide year-round jobs for staff and create a central, regular meeting point for the community.

Attracting and retaining high quality staff will be a key consideration for the business and a regular programme of training will be established alongside carefully considered staff benefits which will make The Atlantic a great place to work for employees and their families.

Staff will own a stake in the business (along the lines of John Lewis). As a result, in addition to a regular wage, every member of staff will be paid an annual bonus that will be a percentage of their salary depending on the hotel’s performance that year. The percentage will be the same for all staff.

Proposed management structure

The hotel will be registered at Companies House as a Limited Company.

A Board of Directors led by an experienced Chair will be responsible for running the company on behalf of the owners.

The executive team responsible for the day to day management of the business will report to the Board of Directors and will include the General Manager and his or her management team, including the Front of House Manager (bar, restaurant, reception), Head Housekeeper, Sales / Reservations Manager.

An advisory board of individuals with relevant skills/expertise and an enthusiasm for the Polzeath community will be appointed to advise the Board on the development of the business in a way which is of benefit to the local community. This advisory board will be responsible for determining the use of the share of profits allocated by the company to support local causes.

An employee benefit trust (EBT) will be established, to enable staff to own a small but significant stake in the business. In addition to a regular wage, staff will be paid an annual bonus, based on a percentage of their salary depending on the hotel’s performance that year. The percentage will be the same for all staff. This payment may be via a Dividend received and distributed by the EBT or directly by the company.

Sustainable on every level: social, environmental and financial

The hotel’s greatest asset is its location and the people that live nearby, hence developing and supporting local projects such as beach cleans, Polzeath Marine Centre, RNLI lifeguards, local school initiatives etc will be a key part of day to day operations. This may be by providing resources and/or by establishing a community trust to which a percentage of profits from the hotel are donated each year.

The hotel and bar will be designed to minimise environmental impact through efficient construction methods, energy conservation and minimising waste.

However, we are under no illusion that regardless of the best intentions, no project can be truly sustainable unless it is also financially viable.

Proposed funding model

To fund the purchase (sold in 2008 for £2m for property + £1.5m for business) and refurbishment of the hotel and bar, we propose a shareholding model of investment. Investors will purchase shares in the limited company, proportional to their investment, and will receive annual dividend payments from the hotels profits, where these are available for distribution.

Shareholders may be individuals, consortiums, organisations, or companies. [A suggestion has been made that contractors such as surveyors, construction etc may wish to work for a shareholding in lieu of receiving a fee].

Separately, in return for a contribution of £1,000, individuals can become ‘friends’ of the hotel. Their names will appear on a wall of fame / roll of honour; receive discounts on food and accommodation and be invited to attend a launch party when the hotel opens and annual events exclusively for ‘friends’ of the hotel.

The Site

The title plan for Atlantic House is attached below (Appendix 1).

The sq footage of the existing hotel is 16-17,000 sq ft. The plot size (excluding the grass across the road) is 975 sq metres with the building occupying 700 sq metres.


A fully costed business plan with projections is currently being developed.

The Team

To bring specialist knowledge to the project we have established a working group that includes industry experts and community representatives.

Contact details