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Former Savages Hotel owner, Dorothy Savage, returns to open new venture
THE new and old owners of a historic York hotel have celebrated the completion of its refurbishment together.
Dorothy Savage, 83, who owned Savages Hotel – now called The Groves – between 1962 and 1982, cut the ribbon to open the new bar at The Groves.
The bar, named Savages Bar, in which the bar itself was built by Mr Savage from timber salvaged from a bank closure in Selby, marks the completion of a £200,000 three-year refurbishment project.
Mrs Savage said: “So often people say you should never go back, because you won’t like the changes. But there weren’t really many changes, it was lovely.”
The Groves dates back to 1896, when it was commissioned by a Leeds tobacconist who wanted to expand his business in York by using the River Ouse to deliver tobacco to his customers.
During the first and second world wars, it was used to accommodate army staff who worked at what is now the Churchill Hotel on Bootham.
Mrs Savage said they converted the army accommodation from flats and bedsits into double and single hotel rooms and targeted the business trade because there wasn’t enough room for business visitors to stay in the city at the time.
The hotel was a success until the Savages decided to retire and renovate a property in Hessay.
The hotel became an executive languages school until David Barritt and Gordon Hulme, bought the building three years ago and turned it back into a hotel.
David said they had been refurbishing it bit by bit, replacing all the public areas and the 26 bedrooms and bathrooms.
Originally from North Yorkshire, David moved to London, where he was an auctioneer of fine art, before he and Gordon started to rescue hotels. Having sold about five hotels, the pair intend to settle in The Groves.
David said: “The refurbishment has always kept Yorkshire in mind using local traders and manufacturers where possible. For example all our carpets are designed and made in Dewsbury using local wool.”
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