It will be a taste of things to come when a spy-themed bar is launched later this month at Blackpool’s £30m Sands Venue Resort Hotel being built on the Promenade.
The £600,000 Spyglass Bar on the ground floor of the hotel on Central Promenade is set to welcome its first customers on August 26.
While guests will have to wait another year before they can check into rooms at what aims to be Blackpool’s first five star hotel, developer Peter Swann says the bar will showcase the luxury the whole venue will eventually offer.
An artist’s impression of the inside of the Spyglass Bar
The main hotel is still just a frame – but a tour of the upper floors reveals the stunning views bedrooms will boast.
Peter has pledged his investment will rival anything London can offer, with floor to ceiling windows providing panoramic vistas over the Irish Sea.
The 91-room hotel will not open until Autumn 2022, but is ready for fitting out to start in September or October, which will take around 52 weeks.
But people will be able to step into the Spyglass Bar from August 26 – where no doubt a martini, shaken but not stirred, will quickly become a favourite tipple.
Peter said: “This will be the first five star hotel in Blackpool and we want quality. I think it will rival anything London can offer.”
The total investment of £30m includes £8.6m from Blackpool Council’s business loans fund.
Customers at the Spyglass Bar will be greeted by high ceilings, a feature wall displaying espionage gadgetry and spy films rolling in the background.
Blackpool-based designer Amy Murray said the inspiration ranges from James Bond movies to The Kingsman Secret Service.
Inside the framwork of the Sands Hotel
She said: “It’s a great theme to work with as you can go anywhere with it.
“I wanted to bring in the luxury aspect, with marble floors and using velvet and faux leather for the furniture.
“Hopefully it’s where you might imagine a spy would come on their night off!”
Peter added: “The Spyglass Bar will offer cocktails and tapas and be spy-themed. It will be family orientated during the day, and be a quality destination venue into the evening.
“It was going to be a hotel bar, but we decided to open it a year early. We felt we needed a quality bar to go along with everything else we are doing.
“This mirrors everything we are doing in the hotel which is five star.”
There will be capacity for up to 100 people seated inside, and it is hoped to secure a pavement licence for 40 seats outside.
It is next door to the Wild West Diner, which opened in 2017 and also represents investment of around £600,000.
While the interior of the hotel is still a shell – from a first look round its potential is clear.
Guests will arrive via a vast lobby with some bedrooms arranged around an inner atrium and larger rooms and suites overlooking the seafront.
The space is unrecognisable from the old Palace nightclub and Sands cabaret venue which once operated there.
Other elements of the Sands Hotel, which will be managed by the same company running the five star Lowery Hotel in Salford, will be a luxury spa, bistro and penthouse suite.
The inner atrium will boast a tree extending towards the ceiling onto which will be projected images of the sky – including the stars after dark, and clouds and sun during the day.
The building will also house the £13m Blackpool Museum, a council-led project, which had been due to open this summer, but is now not expected to launch until spring 2023.
Meanwhile the extensive glazing, whose black colour came in for criticism when it was first unveiled, has been designed to offer privacy to guests.
Peter said: “The colour is reflected black so when the sun is out it reflects the blue sky. It provides privacy for the bedrooms and for the bars and public areas in a place where we have millions of people passing by each day.
“It’s all marine grade paint, and cleaning the building will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.”
However measures will be taken to keep seagulls away in a bid to reduce potential mess from the birds – with inquiries ongoing into a laser system to harmlessly scare them off.
Sounds like something from a James Bond movie!
Outline planning permission was granted for the Sands hotel redevelopment in 2015, with reserved matters approved in 2016.
A revised planning application, submitted at the end of 2018, reduced the height of the building with the number of bedrooms changing from 96 to 91.
There was controversy in 2019 when the colour of the hotel was altered from bronze to black, with town hall planners eventually agreeing to the new scheme.