WITH the news that it is to re-open after almost eight years, I was delighted to be offered the chance of a tour of the Imperial Hotel in Henley.
The 20-bedroom hotel in Station Road is being refurbished by Dr Raymond Crockett, who has owned the Grade II-listed building for nearly 20 years.
He told me that once the work has been completed, the Imperial will rival the best. He said: “I would expect it to be as good as any hotel of its size that you could find. It will be a Henley landmark, a high-class, bijou boutique hotel hopefully with an excellent restaurant and a lovely bar.”
As the interior still resembles a building site, Dr Crockett did not want me to take any photographs, so I can only describe what promises to be a very grand place to stay.
The building itself remains physically imposing with its classical Edwardian facade. The pair of blades by the hotel’s name serves as the first reminder to visitors that Henley is a rowing town.