Investment plan as hotel changes hands

The Best Western Carlton has been bought by Starboard Hotels. Below, Kerian Barnes
The Best Western Carlton has been bought by Starboard Hotels. Below, Kerian Barnes
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One of Blackpool’s most prominent seafront hotels has got new owners.

The Best Western Carlton Hotel, which has in the past welcomed guests including Barbara Castle, Tony Blair, Michael Portillo and Les Dawson, has been snapped up for an undisclosed sum by operator Starboard Hotels.

Kerian Barnes

Kerian Barnes

And it means the Carlton, a feature of the resort’s North Shore, is set to undergo a “sympathetically designed, gradual” renovation programme which aims to build on its reputation with families, tourists and business guests.

Bosses at London-based Starboard Hotels say they are delighted with the investment in Blackpool’s tourism industry, coming just days after the announcement of significant new funding for the resort from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

Plans for the 58 bedroomed Best Western Carlton include the creation of new, contemporary styled family rooms, many with inter-connecting doors, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Paul Callingham, Starboard Hotel’s managing director said: “Our acquisition of The Best Western Carlton is a positive step into Blackpool’s hospitality sector.

“It’s very important for the local economy to have new investors who can bring with them a wealth of experience.

“We want to add value to the family accommodation offering in Blackpool, providing excellent quality and service for our guests.”


He said the deal over the Carlton should also have a positive impact on Blackpool’s jobs market as the new owners will be engaging with local colleges and schools, offering apprenticeships and other career opportunities.

Starboard, which was founded in 2006 and is an associated business of the Roselodge Group, also runs hotels under the banners of established industry leaders such as Holiday Inn Express and Days Inn.

They were the team behind award-winning East Lancashire hotel the Holiday Inn Express.

Kerian Barnes, Starboard’s UK operations manager and chairman of the East Lancashire Business In the Community scheme, said: “Just as we have successfully done with our Burnley hotel, we will be seeking to establish apprenticeships and other schemes to encourage people to develop careers within the hospitality industry.”

Under Kerian’s management, Burnley’s Holiday Inn Express recently won a major industry “Oscar” the Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Developing People award, recognising the hotel’s outstanding achievements in encouraging people to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.

“We know The Best Western Carlton is a well respected hotel, loved by many of its guests,” he added.

“We will build and develop that heritage so that our loyal guests and a new generation of visitors can enjoy Blackpool’s unique hospitality in comfort.

“We appreciate there is a shortage of really good, quality family hotel accommodation and we are committed to ensuring The Best Western Carlton meets those needs in a friendly, modern way with a well-trained team and quality offering.”