New name for revamped hotel

PUBLISHED: 06:15 12 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:35 15 June 2010

A PRIME site in Honiton is to remain a hotel but under a new name. The New Dolphin Hotel, in High Street, has been closed for months, but is to re-open after extensive refurbishment as Montgomery Hotel.

A PRIME site in Honiton is to remain a hotel - but under a new name.The New Dolphin Hotel, in High Street, has been closed for months, but is to re-open after extensive refurbishment as Montgomery Hotel.Local businesswoman Elaine Montgomery is to relocate her coffee shop, opposite Honiton Pottery, to the town centre location - and open a bistro and conference facilities there.Punch Taverns, which owns the building, has agreed to refurbish the hotel's bedrooms.Town councillors have described the move as "very good news for the centre of Honiton".There is a shortage of town centre beds for visitors in Honiton and previous accommodation offered at the hotel was considered in need of significant upgrading.Councillor Ron Farnham, who chaired last week's planning committee meeting in the absence of chairman councillor Michael Teare, said: "It's a shame the name is changing, but it has changed over the years anyway."The Dolphin came from the shield of the Courtenay family, who originally owned the building."Former mayor Councillor Vernon Whitlock said the name change would have little impact on local residents."Honiton people will still call it The Dolphin," he said. "It will be the same as The Pit Club, when it was given other names."The committee, under delegated powers, approved plans for new signage and lighting at the premises, but will ask Mrs Montgomery to give consideration to the presence of other businesses at the location (Dolphin Court).'More upmarket'Montgomery Hotel will open on December 1.Montgomery's cafe, at the top of High Street, will close on November 22 before re-opening in the town centre. It will be closed for a week-long "transition period".Owner Elaine Montgomery says the cafe will operate as a bistro during the evening.The former Liberty's bar, along with the rest of the hotel, is being completely refurbished and will re-open as The Orange Tree.Montgomery Hotel will offer conference facilities for up to 30 people and eight en-suite letting rooms."I want to push it a bit more upmarket," said Elaine."It's going to be a really nice hotel in the centre of Honiton. The town needs it."We've got a really good reputation here and we aim to take it with us to the new premises.


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