Mr Superdry’s super-chic retreat: The delights of fashion tycoon Julian Dunkerton’s Cheltenham townhouse hotel
- The George in Cheltenham is owned by Julian Dunkerton, the entrepreneur behind the Superdry fashion chain
- The hotel stretches across five Grade II listed townhouses – all 46 bedrooms are ‘joyful’ with rain showers
- The George is a prototype for Dunkerton’s new budget-minded high-style Cult Hotels brand
Step into this hotel and it feels appropriately Georgian, with 7ft-tall sash windows and its huge proportions fashioned with grace, gutsiness and Regency panache.
It stretches across five Grade II listed townhouses, and you certainly won’t think that you’re coming into a £90-a-night billet.
All 46 bedrooms are joyful, with rain showers, Hypnos beds, blackout curtains and large TVs set off by a palette of moody blues, greys and greens. The air-conditioning is top-notch, there are well-chosen books by the bed and even the smallest rooms are generous in size.
Elegance: All 46 bedrooms are ‘joyful’, with rain showers, Hypnos beds, blackout curtains and large TVs set off by a palette of moody blues, greys and greens
The George’s owner is Julian Dunkerton, a serially successful entrepreneur who started the Superdry fashion chain. His Lucky Onion group has a small collection of pubs in the Cotswolds and the romantic No 131, a Georgian lodge hotel also in Cheltenham.
In recent years this spa town has feasted on festivals – science, literature and the races. On the edge of the Cotswolds, it has got elegance and a certain racy charm.
The George has teamed up with Cheltenham Ladies’ College, which is across the road, so guests can use its very lavish sports facilities, including its swimming pool – just one of the ways Dunkerton aims to deliver value for money.
Good entrepreneurs like a challenge, and Covid has given him a few. There’s now contactless check-in and, rather than being geared up for festival delegates, it’s weekend breakers who are more likely to be discovering Cheltenham. Did I miss a bar? Yes. You can buy artisanal gins and tonics and snacks at the front desk, but refashioning one of the ground-floor rooms into a snug where you can relax with friends would be a nice touch.
While The George doesn’t have its own restaurant, in the basement is the Diner where guests can enjoy breakfast
The USP: The George is a prototype for Dunkerton’s new budget-minded high-style Cult Hotels brand – named after the original Cult Clothing store he owned in the town, which launched his Superdry empire. It feels like a winner on lots of levels, and lifts your spirits.
The rooms: Prices may veer to the budget end but serious money has been spent, whether it’s on the 400-thread count sheets, power showers or big bottles of Norwegian Sprekenhus toiletries in the extravagantly tiled bathroom. The rooms don’t have minibars or coffee machines, but this may change.
The food: While The George doesn’t have its own restaurant, in the basement is the Diner where guests can enjoy a free continental breakfast, but there’s also cooked breakfasts with a full quota of Cotswolds sausages and eggs. The front desk can make reservations at Julian’s restaurants nearby, including No 131, which now has more tables outside, all with heaters and views on to Cheltenham’s beautiful Promenade.