50 Years Young: The Atlantic Hotel marks its Golden Anniversary
On 7 May 1970 the Jersey Evening Post announced the arrival of ‘a new luxury hotel on the most magnificent site in the Channel Islands’. This year, The Atlantic Hotel marks its 50th anniversary. While 2020 has brought a unique set of challenges, the family founded and owned property is resolved to tackle these head on, after 50 years’ experience of triumphs and tribulations.
The Atlantic was first opened by Henry Burke in May 1970, inspired by his vision to develop a hotel of the highest quality in Jersey, at that time an up and coming tourist destination. Having moved to Jersey with his young family in 1959, Henry fell in love with the island and wished to share it with the world. Built on the site of an existing small hotel, The Atlantic rapidly established itself as one of Jersey’s leading luxury hotels. Guests would stay for two weeks on a full-board basis, enjoying the wide stretches of beach just below the hotel and the rich sunsets for which The Atlantic has been renowned for 50 years. The Atlantic has welcomed many famous guests over the years including Led Zeppelin (who moved in for an entire summer at the height of their fame), John Cleese, Kevin Kline and Jamie Lee Curtis (when they filmed Fierce Creatures at the Zoo) and the entire English rugby team (when they came to Jersey for a weekend break between matches in the 1991 World Cup).
Henry’s son Patrick returned to Jersey in 1985 to join the family business and succeeded his father as Managing Director in 1987. Embarking on an initial five-year development programme, Patrick’s first project was to expand the hotel by adding garden studios, luxury suites and a new health club. Since then, and with the support of his wife Treena, a native islander, he has worked tirelessly to maintain its position as one of Jersey’s finest hotels. The launch of Ocean Restaurant, today headed by Executive Chef Will Holland, has placed the hotel firmly on the gourmet map with its celebration of local produce.
This is heralded annually with the Eat Jersey Food Festival, created by The Atlantic in 2015. Eat Jersey unites a brigade of renowned chefs from the UK for a weekend of gourmet events, showcasing the finest Jersey produce. The Festival attracts nationwide exposure for the island and enables The Atlantic Hotel to extend its philanthropic partnership with the Jersey based Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. To date, Eat Jersey has raised more than £25,000 in aid of Durrell.
While the décor and culinary offering may have changed since 1970, guests continue to enjoy a celebrated constant: the award-winning hospitality. The Atlantic has won numerous awards and accolades including:
- Four red stars and four rosettes from the AA
- The AA’s Courtesy and Care Award for England
- A Michelin Star for 11 consecutive years
- Independent Hotel of the Year at The Caterer’s annual Catey Awards
- Best International Hotel at the 2015 Food and Travel Reader Awards.
The Atlantic was an early member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and is the only SLH property in the Channel Islands 26 years on. Patrick served as a Director of Small Luxury Hotels of the World from 1999 and Chairman of the International Board from 2006 to 2009
Patrick Burke, owner and managing director comments: “I am immensely proud to have guided The Atlantic to its 50th year in 2020. Growing up watching my father Henry establish the hotel, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to follow in his footsteps and showcase our beautiful island to the world. The Atlantic is a truly special place, unique in its setting overlooking St Ouen’s Bay. I would like to thank our incredible team here at the hotel for their continuing support in our journey. While this year has surprised us all, I am confident that together we will continue to evolve our offering at The Atlantic and look forward to celebrating many anniversaries to come.”
Barclays, who the Burke family have banked with for six generations, recently created a short video showing life behind the scenes at The Atlantic Hotel as part of their ‘Masters of their Craft’ series. The video can be viewed on the Barclays Overseas website.