New boutique hotel will offer real ale tours around Shrewsbury

A businessman is investing £750,000 to create a new boutique hotel aimed at promoting real ale tourism in Shropshire.

Chris Jones is turning the Albion Vaults in Shrewsbury into a 12-bedroom hotel
Chris Jones is turning the Albion Vaults in Shrewsbury into a 12-bedroom hotel

Chris Jones is turning Shrewsbury's Albion Vaults pub into the 12-bedroom Tumble Down Hotel, which he says will create up to 15 new jobs.

Mr Jones said he planned to market the hotel in London, offering real ale holidays where people would be taken on trips to real ale pubs around the town, as well as tours of his St Anne's Brewery, based in a converted church at Lea Cross.

The refurbished Albion Bar would continue to be open to the general public, he said.

Mr Jones said he planned to make both the hotel and the bar particularly friendly towards disabled guests.

He said the location in Castle Foregate, opposite the railway station, made it an ideal location for bringing visitors into the town.

Chris Jones, pictured with contractor Kieran Patrick, is turning the Albion Vaults pub into a 12-bedroom hotel

Mr Jones said the Albion Vaults was in a very poor state when he took it over in June, 2018.

"It was in a dilapidated state, it had been unloved for many years," he said.

"It would be open for a bit, then it would close, then it would reopen. When I bought it, there had been a temporary manager in charge, and the brewery just wanted to get shot of it."

He said the new hotel would feature a lift and a paraplegic room designed for guests with severe disabilities.

Chris Jones, pictured with contractor Martin Evans in the bar of the hotel

"We will be taking people on real ale heritage tours of the pubs of Shrewsbury, as well as our brewery," Mr Jones added.

"I think it's a way of plugging the town. Once the lockdown has subsided, I intend to market it at Euston station. We will be looking to get people to come up from London, and from the rest of the country."

Mr Jones said he expected the refurbished pub bar to be open next month, with the hotel ready in time for Christmas.

The pub would be open from 8am to offer breakfast, he added.

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