Work to transform The Park Hotel into one of the most modern hotels in the whole of North Devon is under way in Barnstaple. Owners Brend Hotels have revealed an ambitious project for the hotel that includes an elegant redesign, the creation of luxurious new staterooms, contemporary apartments and a brand new conference room. Diners will be able to enjoy a pan-to-plate experience at a new brassiere restaurant featuring an open-plan kitchen. Managing director John Brend said: As a family business, our philosophy has always been to keep improving our hotels to their full potential. With this latest project, we will be taking that approach to a whole new level, with one of the most ambitious development programmes we have ever undertaken. We are aiming to create a stylish contemporary hotel which will become a vibrant hub for the local community, as well as the perfect choice for business people staying in the area. The Park Hotel was built by the Brend family and opened in 1970, originally called The North Devon Motel. In 1988, the motel was extended following the purchase of two adjacent properties, Drake House and Fortescue House. A year later, following major refurbishments, it was renamed The Park Hotel. Today, it is the headquarters of the Brend Hotels group, named Hotel Group of the Year for 2015-16 at the prestigious AA Hospitality Awards in October.Luxury hotelsThe family-owned group was founded by Percy Brend in 1955 and now employs more than 1,300 people at 11 luxury hotels, 18 restaurants, five spas and a championship golf course around the south west. The new-look Park Hotel will also feature landscaped gardens; high speed WiFi; electronic check-in; a new lift; a new fitness suite; and a completely redesigned terrace bar and lounge. The luxury bedrooms will all be equipped with state-of-the art air conditioning; 40-inch Smart TVs with Sky; power showers; smartphone entry; and the latest in-room technology. John Brend continued: We are extremely excited at the prospect of being able to offer our guests these outstanding facilities. While the work is in progress, The Park will remain open as usual and we will minimise any inconvenience for guests of the hotel. We also hope that a project of this scale will provide a welcome boost for suppliers and contractors in our local area. Meanwhile, Steve Ashford has been appointed general manager of the Park Hotel after 12 years with the company.InnovationHotel director Justin Brend said The Park Hotel would be the first Brend hotel to showcase a range of ideas recently developed at the groups flagship Saunton Sands Hotel and Carlyon Bay Hotel, as well as the newly refurbished Devon Hotel in Exeter. He said: The hotel industry is highly competitive and to stay at the forefront, it is vital to keep innovating. At the Park we will be bringing completely new thinking to every part of the guest experience, including in-room technology, design, menus, and even new kinds of luxurious bedding. We want to deliver world class experiences our customers will love, consolidating our position as the leading hotel group in the UK.