The Royal Yacht is believed to be one of the oldest hotels in St Helier, Jersey, having first been established in the 1820s (Lillie Langtree [mistress of Edward VII] had her wedding reception there in 1870). Before becoming the Royal Yacht Club hotel, it was known as the London and Yacht Hotel and the Hotel de Paris.
The hotel has recently undergone a total refurbishment and reopened in July 2007 as one of the most modern and luxury four-star hotels in Jersey. Situated in the capital of St Helier, it provides two penthouses (Mooncatcher and Stargazer Suites) and 108 rooms with excellent views of St Aubins Bay and the Elizabeth Marina.
The hotel is owned and operated by the Lodestar Group Ltd. The project required an estimated investment of £30m.
The hotel has all of the expected facilities including the Spa Sirène, which provides a range of spa treatments, sauna, steam room, aromatherapy steam room, a monsoon shower and ice-cold bucket shower and popular therapies (spa uses Phytomer products). There is also a fully equipped gym (cardiovascular equipment) and an indoor heated swimming pool (vitality pool).
The hotel also features a choice of several bars, including the Drift Bar, the P.O.S.H bar (Champagne bar) and the Cabin with different atmospheres. The restaurant choices include: Restaurant Sirocco (more formal and with international cuisine), Café Zephyr (brasserie menu) and The Grill (steak and chop house).
There is also a fully equipped business centre with a range of conference and meeting rooms. The conference facilities include The Celestial Hall with space for 300 delegates and equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, sound and projection systems (10ft 16:9 projector screens, Bose sound system, DVD system, 2 × 50in plasma screens, 2 x NEC 4000 Lumen XGA projectors (16:9) with remote control and radio microphones).
There are also the Longitude/Latitude/Vista meeting and boardrooms. The Vista can seat 35 and the Longitude and Latitude can each seat ten. These three have a 46in LCD screen available and a Bose sound system. Finally, the conference centre has The Lazyjack, which is a smaller room attached to The Celestial Hall.
The Royal Yacht’s two penthouse suites include a range of luxury facilities. There are Jacuzzis on the terrace in both suites and also the facility for ten guests to dine. There is also a Mercedes courtesy car to and from the airport, special breakfast menu, four-poster bed, lounging area on the terrace, double sinks in the bathroom, flat-screen TV with surround sound and also personal music.
All of the hotel’s interiors were designed by IDP Design of Dorking in Surrey. The lighting systems were supplied and installed by Neoz Lighting of Australia. The architect for the hotel refurbishment and new sections of construction was Naish Waddington.
There are 34 restored rooms at the hotel and an extension with 76 new rooms. The modern extension is separated from the original hotel by a dramatic five-storey glass atrium.
The spa and wellbeing centre, treatment rooms, gymnasium and the swimming pool are all located in the basement. On the ground-floor level there are new bars and a restaurant and brasserie. On the first floor there are the flexible conference suites. Staff accommodation is provided at the rear of the site.
The design uses modern materials such as steel and glass, combined with hardwood balcony decks. The steel colonnade, balconies and handrails have as would be expected a nautical flavour.