If the plans are agreed, work could start in November and the hotel would be ready for the summer 2024 tourist season.
The application was made by equity firm Green Giant Ltd. It is not connected to the Wheadon family, which has owned or been involved with the site for a number of years.
Project manager Matthew Hulme said the project aimed to restore and preserve the protected building, while making it a sustainable tourism business.
‘This is a sizeable investment into Guernsey tourism and protected building restoration for a modern-day tourism purpose,’ he said.
‘The development costs are in the millions as an individual site, but the socio-economic ripple effects of attracting people to Guernsey and providing high-class facilities are obvious. It is our hope and belief that this development will become a torch bearer for Guernsey tourism, acting as an important draw for discerning tourist and business travellers to the island, encouraging important inward revenues both within the hotel and in the wider Guernsey economy.’
In recent years the St Martin’s hotel has been pitched a boutique hotel. The new plans would reduce the number of bedrooms from 21 to 14. Mr Hulme said the aim was to create better spaces for the higher end of the tourist market with the new development. The existing hotel has a protected 17th century longhouse at its heart, and extensions have been added over the centuries.
Mr Hulme said the plans would see these extensions cleared away so they would not draw attention away from the historic structure. Currently the longhouse is home to the dining room on the ground floor and bedrooms above. The new scheme would instead have two storeys focused on dining. It is also hoped to bring in a young, enthusiastic chef and make the site be known for its food.
‘We want to bring something exceptional to the dining experience.’
Behind the longhouse, a single-storey kitchen would be built. The rest of the hotel could then curve around a courtyard behind the longhouse, with a business centre, bar and then bedrooms. The extension would be up to two-and-half storeys high.
Mr Hulme said the history of the longhouse was very important and that had affected the design. One big change is the plan to thatch it.
He said historically many buildings in Guernsey were thatched with reeds, prior to the Braye du Valle being drained, and there was an enthusiasm to link with that history. But it would also be practical.
‘Thatch has some great insulating qualities,’ he said.
n The plans can be viewed at https://www.gov.gg/liveplanningapplications.