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Historic Ilkley hotel looking to the future
The historic Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley is looking forward to a new era with the arrival of a new manager.
Mark Toole, 34, pictured right, took over the role at the Cowpasture Road hotel this week, and will be at the heart of efforts to promote the hotel as a banqueting, weddings and conferences venue.
Mr Toole, who has been working in Leeds hotels for the last 15 years, is also keen to maintain the hotel’s ties with the local community, including the societies and charities which meet and hold functions there.
“It’s a next stage for the Craiglands and a new era,” he said.
The former hydropathic centre was built in the 1850s, at the height of the fashion for Ilkley’s ‘water cure’. The Craiglands is the only former hydro in the town to remain a hotel today.
Set within its own grounds, close to Ilkley Grammar School and the edge of Ilkley Moor, the three-star Victorian hotel has 62 bedrooms and seven conference and banqueting suites, as well as a restaurant which is open to non-residents.
The Craiglands has for many years been one of the venues for Ilkley Literature Festival events each autumn, and Mr Toole sees there being a boost in trade next summer, when the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France visits Ilkley.
The business is owned by hotel entrepreneur Mike Chawla, who is confident the hotel will gain a four-star rating in future.