Who are we?
The Clarendon Showtel is owned and operated by (left to right) Simon, James & Karen. We are an independent hotel located in the Central area of the seaside resort of Blackpool. Our friendly approach to our guests makes us stand out from a majority of hotels in the area, we will always try and help if it is within our power. Our unique Theatre (Fosses) is unlike anything else Blackpool has to offer. Our shows are professionally produced in-house with full sets, theatre lighting and professional performers. We look forward to meeting you all. More information is available below.
The Clarendon Showtel started life back in the mid 80’s as a ‘one building’ guest house under the original name of ‘The Winterbourne.’ At the time Blackpool was seeing a regular influx of people looking for a cheap no-frills holiday. As the decade progressed the original owner sold it to Mike & John a couple of local entrepreneurs who had a café business in Preston and wanted to expand their portfolio.
Once Mike and John took over they quickly put in plans to buy the building next door (No. 24). This they did and expanded the guest house. It didn’t take long before demand outweighed supply and they bought number 26, then 28 and finally Number 30. During this time the building underwent massive structural and layout changes. They also converted the loft spaces into a 3rd floor and added a ground floor front extension.
Over the years the building underwent further interior changes, from the layout to en-suites in all the rooms. They successfully ran the hotel all the way through the nineties. There are many stories we could tell, but you can ask when you see us.
In 2002 due to ill health Mike and John decided to sell the business. We now venture into modern history, as at the time, a young woman named Karen had been working for the boys since she was 19; she also resided at the hotel and when the opportunity arose to buy it she couldn’t resist. So in late 2002 Karen signed a temporary lease on the property with a view to taking on the mortgage if the terms of the lease were fulfilled. They were and Karen became the official owner of The Winterbourne. From 2002 until 2010 Karen ran the business with the help of her staff. But in early 2010 with the decline of the Blackpool holiday trade and changing trends she was advised to close the doors and walk away.
Enter James Reay. At the time James was a local entertainer who frequently performed at the hotel and knew Karen quite well. They happened to get chatting one night and she told James that this was going to be their last season and could he help out with entertainment for one week whilst a large group of guests stayed on their annual holiday. Pleased to help his friend, James jumped in with both feet and at the end of the week asked Karen why this had to be the last year. Karen told him what she had been advised and James asked her to keep it going for one more year and he would help run it, with a few changes and new ideas. This they did and it worked. People enjoyed these changes.
In 2011 Simon joined them. Together all 3 sat down and started the first major plan to completely change ‘The Winterbourne.’ The first phase introduced a unique way to present the entertainment. They built a theatre! This was and continues to be the ONLY theatre built into a hotel in the whole of the UK. They also ripped out the entire bar area and re-designed it. This proved very popular and bookings once again started to come in. In late 2012 they once again re-designed the theatre to be more fitting for their new audiences. They also completed their first re-vamp of the rooms.
Year on year, they have improved the quality on offer for the guests.
2016 saw the first major renovation to the hotel to keep up with the modern traveller, this also prompted the name change, giving the Showtel a more modern and up to date atmosphere. All the ground floor and second floor rooms received a major re-modelling as did the dining room. They now have a hotel that can cater to all budgets.
To predict the future for The Clarendon Showtel is difficult, as many factors are changing in the way people choose how they holiday. All they can do is what they have always done, which is to continue to re-invest in their guests and re-invent the atmosphere, which is ALWAYS different to everyone else’s.
Many thanks for reading and they look forward to seeing you at The Clarendon Showtel.