30 years of Ufford Park
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN BUSINESS…
2022 sees Ufford Park Woodbridge celebrate three decades in business, having first opened its doors to the public on 9th April 1992.
The hotel has evolved from its humble roots of a 25-bedroom hotel with health club, to become what it is now; an award-winning 3-star Silver Quality in Tourism 90-bedroom hotel, top winter 18-hole golf course, The Park Bar and Restaurant, and health club and spa.
In 1991, Colin and Shirley Aldous, parents of Tarnia Robertson, Ufford Park’s current Managing Director, took over the stalled development of what was to become known as Ufford Park. They invested their own money into the scheme, along with another local entrepreneur, and Ufford Park Hotel opened its doors the following year.
Tarnia Robertson, who has been Managing Director for the past seven years and now heads up a team of up 170 staff in peak months, said: “It seems a long time ago now but for me personally, the last 7 years have certainly been eventful – we have project managed a huge refurbishment project for all 90 bedrooms, 50 bathrooms and the Park Bar & Restaurant; we were just about to complete our 5 year programme when instead we had to go into survival mode because Covid came along in March 2020 and we had to completely close our doors for the first time since opening! This of course meant zero income! Thankfully we not only survived but have come out stronger and wiser even though the pandemic is still impacting the business even now and most recently I have had to get the business ready for sale.”
Colin Aldous, Founder and current owner, who learnt to play golf on the Ufford Park site when he retired for the first time as the owner of a local construction company, was captivated by the beautiful contoured countryside and saw potential in developing its 120 acres. He said: “Celebrating 30-years is actually bitter sweet for us as this year we hand over our tenure to a new family to take Ufford Park into the next decade. We are proud of what we have achieved during our time of ownership and do genuinely wish the new owners our very best for the future.”
UFFORD PARK TIMELINE:
1991: Purchased in 1991 and opened its doors on 9th April 1992 with 25 bedrooms and health club. Named after the historic title “Ufford Park” as illustrated on a Victorian O.S map.
1995: Devasting fire in the swimming pool – rebuilt and reopened within 18 weeks.
1997: 17 further bedrooms added, an enlarged gymnasium extension, plus the creation of a four-million-gallon irrigation reservoir on the golf course, made from recycled tyres.
1998: New al a carte restaurant and meeting room added – The Vista and Waveney.
2003 – 2007: Reconfigured golf course ready for doubling the complex footprint.
2005: Opened 50 additional bedrooms, new hotel and golf receptions, restaurant and bar, two-tier driving range and American Golf Superstore.
2007: Added the Thermal Suite Spa, the first in the local area.
2012: Resigned from Best Western to allow freedom to market, promote and develop own brand.
2015: Colin and Shirley Aldous, Founders and owners, retired from business managing and Tarnia, their daughter, embarked on a managing director role.
2016: Adventure golf arrived in mid-summer – Congo Rapids Lost World. Lots of improvements made; doubling the size of the gym, the Deben Suite bar extended, The Park Restaurant was fully refurbished.
2017: Two thirds of the bedrooms were fully refurbished to a high specification. Celebrated 25 years trading as Ufford Park Ltd.
2018: More bedrooms and the Park Bar & Restaurant were modernised and fully refurbished – new lighting, furniture and dividers.
2019: Completed the final phase of bedrooms and 50 of the bathrooms.
2020-2021: COVID hit the world, causing a devasting impact on businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry.
2021: Ufford Park bounced back from COVID and had record-breaking revenue months throughout the summer.
2022: Ufford Park celebrates 30 years in business – the final anniversary with the Aldous family at the helm.
The landmark anniversary comes as a fond-farewell to the Aldous family, as Ufford Park is currently in the process of being sold to new owners.
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