Written by on 11/02/2022

(c) J. Richards 2022 – All rights reserved

The Grand Hotel on Torquay’s famous seafront suffered a fire today, destroying its luxury sauna and spa area which took eight firefighters to put out the fire.  Firefighters battled through 500 degree heat to secure the hotel from further damage and preventing the fire from spreading any further in the large Victorian Hotel.

(c) J. Richards 2022 – All rights reserved

Riviera FM’s news team spoke to Incident Commander Alan Gilson live at the scene of the incident.  The Commander said “The whole of the spa is damaged by fire and the sauna is completely destroyed”.  He continued “Fortunately there have been no fatalities, however one member of staff is being treated for smoke inhalation by Ambulance crew”.

(c) J. Richards 2022 – All rights reserved

The fire is reportedly said to have started around 9:30 am, with seven fire engines from Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Danes Castle all drafted in to deal with the blaze.  The hotel is the main ‘flagship’ hotel belonging to multi-millionaire Keith Richardson, forming part of the ‘Richardson Hotel’ chain.

Speaking with Mr Richardson, he said “The fire was confined to the leisure centre and spa area and the cause of the fire was in the sauna area.  We will be closed for a couple days for a cleanup operation, and then hopefully open for business as usual”.

Owner Mr Keith Richardson and Partner Elizabeth Elliot – (c) J. Richards – All rights reserved

Mr Richardson owns The Grand Hotel in Torquay, The Abbey Sands Hotel in Torquay, The Falmouth Hotel and The Royal Beacon Hotel in Exmouth.  Mr Richardson said “As a privately owned business, we have a passion for great British hotels.  All of our properties have stunning period architecture which is being lovingly restored.  We also have individually appointed bedrooms, fine dining in our restaurants with award winning teams.  Our chefs use only the best locally sourced produce, we are committed to providing excellent service and the best possible experience to all of our guests.  At Richardson hotels, our team is a family and we look forward to welcoming you, your family and friends – and ensure your stay with us is one where memories are made”.

The Grand Hotel first opened in Torquay in 1881, in response to the Great Western Railway’s expansion into the South West.  Its striking Victorian architecture, elegant interiors, fantastic seafront location and also award-winning food has earned it pride of place as Torquay’s landmark hotel for over 130 years.  The restaurant has recently undergone a major refit with numerous stunning chandeliers throughout and a new contemporary modern colour change and has been re-carpeted throughout, designed by Mr Richardson’s partner Elizabeth Elliot a professional interior designer.   It attracts guests from all over the world and accommodates many of the numerous celebrities that perform in various venues within the Bay.

Audio statement below from Incident Commander Alan Gilson, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.  Click the ‘Play’ key to listen.

Riviera FM

Your Voice In The Community

Current track