Hotel reveals social distancing plans


The St Moritz Hotel & Spa has revealed its plans to open the UK’s first purpose-designed and built ‘socially distanced’ hotel restaurant.

With the hotel and hospitality industry working towards an anticipated July 4 reopening, the St Moritz has been working hard on how it will implement the expected Government requirements.

The brainchild of founders Hugh and Steve Ridgway, and the St Moritz director of restaurants, Jonathan Domé, the new concept – nicknamed ‘The Anti-Social Club’ – will consist of 16 private dining rooms, with a maximum of 96 covers.

Mixing the elements of “private members clubs, private dining rooms, cool beach clubs and summer pop-up restaurants”, the Anti-Social Club will feature multiple dining times, clear guidance and exacting operating procedures that ensure the two metre rule and new environmental health requirements are met at all times.

The summer pop-up restaurant has been specifically designed to ensure that the individual dining rooms all accessed from outside, with the service function being provided from a central atrium, and all food and drink being delivered to the private dining rooms via a set of hatches.

With interiors masterminded by Cornish agency Absolute, which provided the original design for the hotel, The Anti-Social Club “will take its inspiration from the clean, white art deco architecture of the hotel, mixing a subtle Miami colour-pop palette with classic coastal stripes, textures and flourishes”.

Hugh Ridgway said: “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.”

Brother, Steve Ridgway, until last week the chairman of Visit Britain and former chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, added: “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.”