Part two of the History of the Langstone Cliff Hotel
The Langstone Cliff Hotel has been owned and managed by the Rogers Family since 1946 these pages are adapted from a small brochure written by Geoffrey Rogers the senior partner at the hotel and which was published in 1997 as part of the 50th Year of trading celebrations.
1972 – The Poolside wing was added. The first bedrooms in the hotel to have private bathrooms.
1973 – The Bungalow was built as private accommodation for the family
1976 – The Washington Suite was built, Work did not start until 3rd December 1975 and yet 17 bedrooms were available for service by 15th May.
1976 and the ballroom complex opened on 4th July the same year.
1978 – The first visit of Kenny Ball and The Jazzmen and the start of our very successful and ongoing Langstone Special Cabaret Weekends that enjoy such wonderful support.
Further details of the Cabarets the we have presented since this first event are available from these links.
1980 – The Indoor Pool and two further bedrooms were added. We had two parties to celebrate the opening of the pool. It was running a week or so behind schedule and we had mistakenly announced in our literature that an indoor pool would be available from Whitsun 1980. We managed to get it available for swimming (although not absolutely complete) on the Friday at the end of the Bank Holiday week and inevitably this called for celebrations. Two weeks later when the niceties had been finalised came party number two. Those of you that know the family well will be aware that we do not need much of an excuse for a party! I mention these especially as they were positively wild! Definitely Hollywood style stuff as I am sure those of you that were there can recall. For many years the photographic evidence adorned the walls of the indoor pool.
1980 – 1986 – Gradual upgrading to 64 bedrooms all with private bathroom.
1986 – Tim left the partnership.
1987 – Mark who had been in the business full time since leaving college, became a partner.
1989 – Major refurbishment to the Lincoln Restaurant/Ballroom
1991 – The bungalow had to be rebuilt following major subsidence. The new design allowed a further four guest bedrooms.
1993 – Main Hall refurbished.
1995 – Coffee shop and Verandah Bar are re-designed and renamed as the Poolside and Woodland Rooms. The hotel became licensed to hold Civil Wedding ceremonies. We presented our first wedding reception way back in 1947 and have hosted many hundred since then. However, not until 1995 when the law changed were we able to actually marry here at the hotel. To date we have held eight such ceremonies and there are many more in the coming months. They are extremely successful with a very relaxed atmosphere, no cars to worry about and never mind the weather!
1996 – Very mixed feelings at the decision to remove the Goldfish Pond – the last remaining vestige of the “old” Langstone, but very pleased at the final outcome of the remodelled approach and entrance.
1997 – Currently updating many bedrooms. About 25 rooms have been redecorated between October 1996 and March 1997.
And beyond 1997? – Ideas galore, but not to get bigger – just to get better!
Without a doubt we as a family are proud of our long record here at the Langstone Cliff Hotel – indeed we would not be presenting this celebratory booklet were we not so. However any success we may have achieved we like to feel we keep firmly in proportion. With giant corporations dominating the world of hotels our single unit pales to insignificance in the business. One can read regularly in guides and newspapers of the most beautifully run and kept hotels, serving the most imaginative foods in sumptuous surroundings. Again we are going to be an “also ran”. However some of you we have welcomed year in year out, generation after generation – (some families with over a hundred visits to their credit).
On the local front we have been delighted to play host to Christenings, l8th’s, 2lst’s, Weddings, Anniversaries and Retirements indeed the whole gambit of family celebrations. There are local companies, associations, clubs and lodges who have held their annual events with us for over thirty consecutive years. In recent years our conference and training facilities have been used by many companies for conference and training events – some maybe once or twice a year but others almost weekly throughout the winter months. All of these things certainly give us the “tingle factor”.
In spite of the size of the family and the nepotism practised we still cannot run the hotel unaided and we would pay great tribute to our staff, both past and present, for all their efforts in caring for you, our guests. Our current team is about 80 strong, of whom half are full time employees and a dozen or so students who we see at weekends and holiday times.
We are very proud that seven of the team have been a part of the hotel for over twenty years and well over half of the team (excluding students) have been with us for a minimum of five years.
The Magnificent Seven! (over 20 years) are Bob Kentispeer our driver/gardener – Bob’s father Charlie also worked at the hotel virtually from the start – he went to school with my Mother!
Freda and Peter Slee – Peter manages the Bars and Freda currently assists him, but she has worked just about everywhere in her 35 year stint. Freda is also responsible for several miles of curtain throughout the hotel. All of Peter and Freda’s four children have also worked at the hotel.
Phyllis Barton, also been everywhere and done everything and presently tucks herself away in the bungalow looking after the family (or some of them!). Four of Phyllis’s children also had spells with us.
Nigel Cobley, a cousin of the family is managing director of Steptoe’sYard! Nigel’s mother, Joan, was also a much loved member of our family hotel.
Dawn Konetsky is head housekeeper and prominent member of the reception team – still full of ambition after thirty years! I still have trouble keeping her out of my seat! Dawn’s daughter Paula is also “one of us” and Terry her eldest son had a spell in the kitchens a few years ago.
Finally, Sue Rabbage – a Peter Pan of a waitress who looks now as she did when she joined us twenty years ago.
The department heads of the hotel at present are Dawn and Peter, mentioned above in housekeeping and bars respectively Valerie Santer, head receptionist; Jenny Green, restaurant manageress; Wendy Rawlings, financial control and back office, and Dave Stevens, head chef. A super team – our very sincere thanks to you all.
But after all these words and pictures, celebrations and parties what would our hotel be without you – our regular guests and friends?
You are the really important ingredient, You create the atmosphere, You make the fun and You leave the memories.
Thank You All So Very Much