New restaurant Atelier final piece of Bath Hilton Hotel jigsaw
Bosses at a city-centre hotel are hoping a major refurbishment will help put it on the map for Bath diners.
The Hilton Hotel has launched its 156-seat French-style restaurant Atelier, replacing its former restaurant chain Zukota.
The restaurant is the final stage of a £2.7 million refurbishment, which has taken in the entire hotel including its 173 bedrooms, reception, bar and lounge areas.
The refurbishment started last year with the bedrooms, which were refurbished on a rolling basis so as not to disrupt business.
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All of the hotel's bedrooms now have air-conditioning.
PJ Kenny, general manager, said the hotel had not had a refurbishment for more than ten years and needed a freshen up.
He said: "Business in Bath is leisure, tourism and corporate visitors and we have to keep up with that.
"We win on location because we are so central for people to stay but we also lose on location because there are lots of good restaurants in Bath."
According to Mr Kenny the new restaurant is a break away from the old way of things at the Hilton when the menu at the hotel's restaurant would be repeated at Hiltons across the country.
He said: "Hilton used to have a copy and paste menu but now our chef has free rein. Head chef Hugh Woods can come up with his own dishes and menus and he is enjoying the new challenge."
Mr Kenny said so far the new French-style restaurant was proving a hit with locals and visitors to the city.
He said: "We've already had a lot of positive feed back. So far it's been received really well and we've seen a footfall increase in the restaurant by 20 per cent. We use the restaurant as a breakfast area for our guests, so now when they see it at breakfast they want to come back and try the menu, which was a reaction we weren't getting before."