I made my way carefully down the corridor. I excused myself as I got in the way of joiners, electricians, plumbers, plasterers and painters. Ahead Jason was telling me about how the rooms would be when they were finished and how he envisaged the pictures would look on the website. Well, I presume that’s what he was saying. Sanders, drills, radios, hammers, saws and workmen shouting over the cacophony drowned out what he was saying.
This was my introduction to the Bosville Hotel. It was in the course of a very extensive renovation and as well as the building it’s website was about to undergo a comprehensive upgrade. Jason was in charge of, amongst other things, designing the website.
The renovation had to finish very soon. There were guests booked on a certain date and the workmen had to be out before the guests arrived. We had to have the photographs done before the rooms were occupied. That created an exceedingly narrow window of opportunity.
I’m building up tension here but sadly for our dramatic narrative the work was completed on time. The tradesmen did a wonderful job and the guests arrived none the wiser.
We photographed the restaurant and kitchen while the rooms approached completion. Occasionally various plumbers would come in and tinker with a radiator then mutter and leave again. Everything went smoothly. The food looked great and tasted even better. Highly photogenic members of staff were used as models. We like highly photogenic members of staff. They look…photogenic… and being members of staff you can be more authoritative and demanding than you can with common or garden volunteers (it also means that Jason and I got first dibs on the food after it was photographed, normally volunteers get first dibs).
We returned a few weeks later to an almost silent hotel. The noise of drills and sanders has been replaced by the subtle drone and whine of vacuum cleaners. There were still tradesmen around but they were outnumbered by the hotels staff who were preparing the rooms for the soon to arrive guests. They were under the careful supervision of the interior designer who was finally getting to see her plans come to fruition.
To see the transformation from dusty building site to sophisticated, smart, stylish and relaxed hotel was remarkable.