The Big Sleep currently boasts hotels in Cardiff, Cheltenham and, most recently Eastbourne. Designed to compete directly with the Holiday Inns of this world, the rooms start at £40. But there’s one fundamental difference. These are no homogenous, sterile flop-houses. From the neon yellow leather sofa in the Cardiff reception, to the crazy assortment of furniture and furnishings in the rooms, The Big Sleep is nothing if not off-the-wall. The Cardiff hotel has 80 bedrooms, Cheltenham has 62, but each is decorated in its own unique style. They also range wildly in size: from a family room with bunk beds and kitchen facilities, to a luxury honeymoon suite for two. Fry and his partner Lulu Anderson have always specifically targeted buildings with a challenging layout or shape. From disused office blocks to the recent acquisition of a crumbling hotel on the Eastbourne seafront, each project has brought it’s own challenges. “Here [Eastbourne], the rooms aren’t nice, orderly shapes,” says Anderson. “They have strange nooks and crannies. It’s been really fun trying to get carpet to fit!” Turnover at the chain has hit £2.2m, with the recent addition to the portfolio (Eastbourne) expected to bring an additional £700,000 in revenue. But these sales are set to be ramped up even further by several new projects in the pipeline. Fry exclusively reveals the next location on his radar: Bournemouth better watch out. The Big Sleep is coming to town!
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