Rock’s St Moritz Hotel & Spa is set to launch the UK’s first purpose-designed and built ‘socially-distanced’ hotel restaurant on 4th July.
Nicknamed ‘The Anti-Social Club’, the new summer restaurant will, according to the hotel, “not only surpass the expected Government requirements on safe and socially distanced dining, it will optimise them at every turn, providing a new and exclusive private dining experience for individuals, couples and groups.”
The brainchild of founders Hugh and Steve Ridgway, and the St Moritz Director of Restaurants Jonathan Domé, the new dining concept will consist of 16 private dining rooms, with a maximum of 96 covers and mix elements of “private members clubs, private dining rooms, cool beach clubs and summer pop-up restaurants”. It will feature multiple dining times and exacting operating measures to ensure two metres social distancing is met at all time. The owners hope this will “usher in a new ‘bubble’ dining ethos as an exclusive dining opportunity.”
The pop-up restaurant has been designed so that all individual dining rooms are accessed from the outside with service provided from a central atrium via a set of hatches. This design along with complementary operational procedures mean that the hotel service team don’t need to go into the dining rooms and staggering dining times mean guests won’t run into each other. The set-up also ensures that each room can be cleared, cleaned and re-set between each dining party.
Co-owner Hugh Ridgway says: “Covid-19 has stopped the industry in its tracks. Like all hotels, bars and restaurants across the globe, the virus has hit our business like an unbelievable sledgehammer. However, as ever, we have dusted ourselves off, and risen to this unpredictable challenge in our own creative, St Moritz way.”
Hugh continues, “Our purposeful architecture allows us to trade our rooms in a safe and socially distanced manner, however we can only sell those hotel rooms if we can feed our guests – and feed them well. Simply reworking our current restaurants and bars, and operating at 30% capacity doesn’t allow that, so our specially-designed summer ‘pop-up’ restaurant, overcomes this obstacle, adding to, rather than detracting from, our stylish VIP guest experience.”
Hugh’s brother, Steve Ridgway, former chairman of Visit Britain and former chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “We are forever talking about the pioneering British spirit and it’s true to say that out of adversity comes creativity. Within Visit Britain we have been encouraging the industry to discover, and unlock, experimental opportunities that provide a silver lining amongst the Covid challenges. With The Anti-Social Club, and other changes to St Moritz Hotel & Spa, I am very much putting my money where my mouth is – and we’re all exceedingly pleased to have landed on a new concept and dining solution that elevates the summer experience there. Thousands of customers do not want to miss their summer holidays and this will mean that they won’t, and that they can holiday in a safe and enjoyable way.”
St Moritz Hotel & Spa intends to re-open all the hotel rooms, self-catering apartments and villas, as well as launch the initial Anti-Social Club summer ‘pop-up’ restaurant, on 4th July 2020.