Inside former wildman Pete Doherty’s ‘truly awful’ Fawlty Towers-style Margate hotel transformed from one of the country’s worst guesthouses with a £500k facelift
- Pete Doherty and his The Libertines bandmates bought the rundown hotel for £500k early last year
- Formerly known as The Palm Court Hotel, the Fawlty Towers style guesthouse was considered the worst in Margate, Kent, if not the whole of the UK
- One guest described it as ‘truly awful’ on TripAdviser while another said they’d rather sleep outside
- But former hellraiser Doherty has spent months revamping it, spending a further £500k transforming the hotel
- Doherty, 39, has become an astute businessman recently, with his firm Arcadian Endeavours making £353k profit last year
These are the first photos of the brand new hotel given a £500,000 facelift by hell-raising rocker Pete Doherty and his band The Libertines.
Doherty and his band bought one of Britain’s worst hotels in the seaside town of Margate, Kent, where guests described it a ‘truly ghastly’ – and planned to turn it into a three-story guesthouse with music playing all day long.
Famous for his wild days of drug taking and dating Kate Moss, Doherty has now turned his attention to revamping a hotel that was once considered worse than Fawlty Towers.
These are the first photos of the brand new hotel given a £1million facelift by hell-raising rocker Pete Doherty and his band The Libertines
Doherty and his band bought one of the UK’s worst hotels in Margate where guests described it a ‘truly ghastly’. The band has been uploading YouTube videos of their building work
They have transformed the once shabby seaside hotel and have ambitious plans to turn it into a trendy music-themed guesthouse with recording studios in the basement (pictured)
Doherty and his bandmates including Carl Barat, 40 (pictured red hooded top) are pictured at the hotel where they have been revamping it for several months ahead of opening next year
The Palm Court Hotel, which closed last year, was one of the country’s worst guesthouses with shocking reviews.
Before being purchased for £500,000 by The Libertines last year, the hotel earned just one star out of five on TripAdviser from unhappy guests.
Put off by the garish decor and distasteful patterned bedspreads, one guest complained about bedbugs while another blasted: ‘This is a ‘truly ghastly place to stay… we would have had better facilities if we had camped out.’
Another holidaymaker complained: ‘I would rather of slept on the beach!’
Since then Doherty and his bandmates including Carl Borat, 40, have spectacularly revamped the hotel’s exterior giving it a trendy black and gold look, and renamed it The Albion Rooms.
Building work was estimated to have been finished by the end of the summer – but seems some way to go before the renovation is completed.
The Palm Court Hotel, which closed last year, was one of the country’s worst guesthouses with shocking reviews by unhappy guests on TripAdviser
Before being purchased for £500,000 by The Libertines last year, the hotel, with its badly patterned bedspreads, earned just one star out of five on TripAdviser
Put off by the garish decor, one guest complained about bedbugs while another blasted: ‘This is a ‘truly ghastly place to stay… we would have had better facilities if we had camped out’
A friend of the band has posted a series of YouTube videos of the building work in April, July and September showing how far the project has got to go.
A recording studio being built in the basement and bars throughout look almost finished while other areas look some way off completion.
The group bought the five-storey hotel early last year and needed at least the same amount for extensive renovation work, which has been ongoing since the start of the year.
According to approved plans submitted to Thanet District Council, the first, second and third floor will remain and the hotel will have seven en-suite rooms.
The biggest difference is on the ground floor and basement, where there used to be hotel rooms and a dingy restaurant area for serving breakfast and evening meals.
Now the ground floor will have one large and one small recording studio, both with control rooms, an isolation booth and a reception area.
A new ground floor, single storey extension will house a bar with seats and tables.
The band have also been given permission to use the site for music from 8am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, and until 9pm on Sundays, which may concern some of the neighbours.
A council environmental health report stated as such, saying: ‘This appears to be a change of use from a building connected to a hotel to a music studio.
My immediate concerns over this transfer are around noise transfer to surrounding residential.’ Despite noise fears, planning consent was still given.
Councillor for Cliftonville West, Emma Dawson, says that people shouldn’t be scared of the band taking over the hotel.
She says: ‘It’s really a good thing that artists who are famous are calling Margate their home. We’re pretty tolerant in this area, people don’t mind who they are, we need to have the new energy.
‘Property is cheaper down here, it’s right by the sea, they’ve got a lovely outlook – what better setting to write songs? They have that freedom, the weather is better than anywhere else.
‘People shouldn’t be scared, obviously, we don’t want to hear them until two or three in the morning. But I understand recording studios are cushioned and you can’t hear anything on the outside. There’s a few studios now in the area, it’s becoming trendy and acceptable.
Since purchasing the guesthouse, Doherty has spectacularly revamped its grotty exterior (pictured) giving it a trendy black and gold look, and renamed it The Albion Rooms
Gone is the tired, old look and fans have been kept updated with their progress with a series of videos. According to approved plans submitted to Thanet District Council, the first, second and third floor will remain and the hotel will have seven en-suite rooms
The band have also been given permission to use the site for music from 8am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, and until 9pm on Sundays, which may concern some of the neighbours
‘My only fear is that the roads won’t be able to handle all the traffic, that’s what makes residents really angry. And we have more fans coming down to try and see the band, we’re going to get jams, there needs more space for car parks.
‘The Thanet area is on the up and up. We already have the Turner prize exhibition and, when they announce the winner in 2019, then there’s going to be 250,000 extra people come to the area.’
The Libertines along with their long term associate Jai Stanley have set up a real estate company called Spaniel, Spaniel, Lombard & Rowntree Ltd.
Although Doherty made the headlines for his wild beahviour in the past, he has proved himself to be an astute businessman in the last few years, making over half a million in the past 12 months.
His company Arcadian Endeavours turned a profit of £353,421 in 2017 while the Libertines Touring partnership was in the black by £265,107.
His bandmate Barat also did well, his company Warbenghast Ltd made £149,991 last year.
When the group initially announced their plans in a press release in January, it stated that the rooms were to be ‘inspired by the celluloid cohabitation antics of the Beatles and the Monkees.’
Before adding: ‘Carl, Gary, John and Peter had been looking for a creative home: a living art space, a Warholian factory, with guest rooms, a bar and studio.
Although originally the plan was to open in the summer, Barat says that it’ll ‘hopefully all be ready by the beginning of the New Year.’
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