Derby hotel made famous on TV plots bid to attract long-stay guests
A TROUBLED hotel which was once given help on TV by Gordon Ramsay may be partially demolished so an adjoining apartment block can be built.
Plans have been put forward to knock down part of La Gondola, in Osmaston Road, to make way for 20 apartments, to be used by the hotel as long-stay rooms.
The mixture of a hotel and apartment block is referred to in the plans as an "apart-hotel".
Owner Daniela Bayfield has applied to Derby City Council to make the changes.
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At the moment, the two-storey building is a 20-room hotel, with a 70-cover restaurant, two function rooms, conference rooms and parking spaces.
But Mrs Bayfield wants to knock down 10 of those bedrooms, a rear storage area and kitchen to build the 20 apartment-style rooms, which would be booked like hotel rooms but available for much longer periods of time, determined by guests.
In the proposals, prepared by Nottingham firm Apple Design Consultants, it states: "It is considered that the development of the proposed "apart-hotel" would provide La Gondola Hotel with an increased income stream.
"The development would also provide further local employment in staffing and maintaining the development."
The finished apartment block would be three storeys high.
The documents state: "The majority of the surrounding properties are two-storey, including La Gondola Hotel itself. However, the storey heights are substantially higher than those associated with modern construction heights.
"It is therefore considered that a three-storey modern building would equal an equivalent building height to the aforementioned buildings."
La Gondola was once a popular venue with the city's rich and famous. In 2005, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay worked with Mrs Bayfield to help the hotel's ailing restaurant.
He filmed an episode for his Kitchen Nightmares programme there but his help did not stop the hotel temporarily going into administration.
In 2009 it was relaunched as a wedding venue but customers had mixed experiences.
In 2010, groom Simon Ashford, of Alvaston, told the Derby Telegraph he was "brought to tears" after experiencing several problems at his wedding reception there.
A decision on the proposals is expected from Derby City Council in June.