Friday, 30 May 2008

Opened at last

Friday morning and the hotel swings into it’s final preparation for the opening. Frank is sanding the kitchen ceiling, Heather is hoovering the carpets, Bob is fitting the front door knob, Micaela is preparing the food, Lesley is looking after the rooms, Mary is still hanging pictures, Trevor is fitting the last few electric points and Lorraine is putting the finishing touches to the curtains. Ady is painting the front and the window cleaners arrive and tell me that their pole isn't long enough.

Meanwhile the local florists are making a fortune as bouquet after bouquet arrives from well-wishers across the UK. The attention has been immense and we were delighted to receive the Mayor and Mayoress of Eastbourne as well as numerous people involved in the tourist industry including the travel writer from the Times who stayed for two nights with us.

Our first guests arrive and we escort then to their rooms. They love the colour scheme, they admire the paintings and they adore the minimalist style ....unfortunately , the furniture is still being assembled which is why the style is minimalist!!!

At 4.00pm on Friday 30 May, the da Vinci hotel is declared open. May we take this opportunity to thank everyone responsible for helping us to open as well as the hundreds of visitors to the exhibition and the sixteen guests who stayed in our rooms on our opening night.

We hope you will visit us again sometime soon.

The da Vinci art exhibition is open every Saturday and Sunday throughout June and July from 11.00am to 5.00pm when the artists will be in attendance. Visits at other times are more than welcome by arrangement.

Hotel bookings can be made via our website at or by email to or by telephone on 01323 727173

The final countdown 1

One day to go and the self assembly furniture is mostly assembled although some of those cupboard doors are definitely fitted back to front - how can that happen? The plugs are on the wall, the spotlights are on the ceiling and the bedding is on the beds and I am just beginning to think we might open on time when the rain returns and washes away the paint that had just been applied to the outside pillars.

Inside the hotel, the kitchen has undergone an amazing transformation with a new fireproofed ceiling which has still to be sanded and painted. The recurring damp patch in the breakfast room has been resolved and Lorraine is putting the finishing touched to the curtains in the kandinsky room. In the meantime, I am hanging paintings on every expanse of white wall and wondering when it will end.

The answer is at 2am when the last curtain track is fixed to the wall in the Klimt room and we breathe a sigh of relief that our guests will not be exposing themselves to the bypassers in Howard Square. Tomorrow is a busy day with not enough hours before 4pm and the arrival of the Mayor and the opening of the da Vinci Hotel - Eastbourne's first (and only) art hotel. The journey continues....

Sunday, 25 May 2008

The final countdown 2

Less than a week to the official opening and are still no sign that we will be ready for opening. The scaffolding is still up at the front and the roof in the kitchen looks a long way from completion. Meanwhile, the guest list for the opening seems to be growing by the minute and we have just found out that the Mayor will be making an appearance

Along with the response we also get a two page compilation of how to behave....
• The Mayor arrives at the time scheduled and it is usual for him/her to be received at the entrance of the venue by the host
• If people are seated it is usual for the host to arrange for the Mayor to be announced upon entering the venue
• When addressing a male Mayor the mode of address is “Mr Mayor”. When speaking directly to a female Mayor the mode of address is “Madam Mayor”.
• Speaking about or referring to the Mayor the usual form is “The Worshipful the Mayor”
• Please reserve a parking space for the Mayoral car as near to the reception entrance as possible.
• Please indicate arrival point (i.e. main entrance) and supply map of venue/local area.

etc, etc, etc.

Another special guest on the evening is Jim Davis who is the travel writer with the Times newspaper. Jim is visiting Eastbourne to write an article about the town and council thought it might be an idea for him to stay in one of our Eastbourne’s prestige hotels ....unfortunately they were all full so he is staying with us!!!

Time for some more self assembly .....