The doors of one of the region's top spa hotels reopened this Easter weekend.

Grade II listed Matfen Hall is back open after a £15m investment project which closed the hotel for the past five months.

The works, which have seen the historic Great Hall restored, were geared towards 'improving guest journey' at the the Walwick Estate Group-owned hotel.

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A new bar and terrace have been created as part of the work, as well as a new dining space and state-of-the-art kitchen.

The Northern Echo:

Improvements have also been made to the orangery, where afternoon tea will be served, and suites, while new cloakrooms and restrooms have also been built by local tradesmen.

Accessibility has been improved with lifts installed and the entrance revamped.

Head of commerical develoment James O'Donnell said: "It's been no small undertaking, we can't wait to get the doors open.

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"We want to get back to looking after people, giving them a taste of real luxury."

James told the Courant how the revamp was about maximising what space already existed at the hotel and adding and replicating decadence to previously unused areas.

The Northern Echo:

Much of the work has also seen the hotel restored to its original layout.

Matfen Hall, which had long been part of the Blackett family, opened as a hotel in 1999 with 31 bedrooms. 

In 2004, a major expansion programme resulted in the number of bedrooms increasing to 53. Spa and leisure facilities were also created.

The hotel now has 65 rooms and five dining areas. It is hoped that the spa and golf offering can also be expanded in the future.

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Around 60 new local staff have been employed.

It comes after some staff were relocated to sister venue Walwick Hall hotel and Spa and Chesters Stables while the business closed or were made redundant.

The estate's golf services remained open throughout the development work.