SIX beautiful boutique rooms are now open for business thanks to £1m investment into a Southsea restaurant.
Jason Parker, and his wife Soraya, from Old Portsmouth, took over Becketts in Bellevue Terrace in January 2016 when the previous owner retired after 30 years.
As well as making their mark on the restaurant, revamping its menu and carrying out a high-end refurbishment, when the derelict building next door came up for auction they saw its potential and snapped it up.
The building, formerly the Bellevue B&B but empty for more than a decade, was in horrendous state, with ceilings falling down, water pouring through the roof, an overgrown garden and a crumbling unsafe extension.
Jason, who also owns Bernards Estate Agents and runs Altavia Developments, took on the challenge and has created a boutique hotel, also allowing Becketts to also expand with a bigger bar and basement. Becketts now also sells breakfasts, catering for the hotel guests.
He said: ‘We’re really proud that we have saved two Grade II listed buildings that were both in horrendous states of repair.
‘It has cost a lot of money to get them into a usable state.
‘It has certainly been a journey, that’s for sure, but we do genuinely love what we have created.
‘It is something special. Portsmouth was in need of something over and above the chains.
‘We wanted to bring a little slice of London to the city. We felt that Portsmouth was ready for something a little bit out there, with high end interior design and premium casual dining.’
The hotel, called Bedrooms at Becketts, opened in July and Jason said they’ve been incredibly busy, and were delighted to host the organisers of Victorious music festival last weekend.
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The business employs 30 staff. They also hope to expand, taking the brand into Chichester and Winchester.