The joy and sheer delight of being aboard - and even staying the night - at Ely’s latest iconic addition, Hotel Barge Waternimf

PUBLISHED: 19:46 16 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:54 16 April 2017

Hotel Barge Waternimf  at Ely is open for business as a floating hotel PHOTO: Stuart Fowler

Hotel Barge Waternimf at Ely is open for business as a floating hotel PHOTO: Stuart Fowler

Archant

It is unquestionably one of Ely’s most iconic additions – a five bedroom, luxurious riverside hotel that was once a working barge.

Hotel Barge Waternimf  at Ely is open for business as a floating hotel PHOTO: Stuart FowlerHotel Barge Waternimf at Ely is open for business as a floating hotel PHOTO: Stuart Fowler

Hotel Barge Waternimf is now open and doing brisk business as customers discover the joys of spending a night or two aboard.

Stuart Fowler and Donna Spence have converted this ordinary barge into an extraordinary hotel - and it is has five luxury rooms and is open for business by the river in Ely. It can be found next to Grand Central and the  Waternimf is designed as a peaceful retreat to get away from the stresses of modern life.Stuart Fowler and Donna Spence have converted this ordinary barge into an extraordinary hotel - and it is has five luxury rooms and is open for business by the river in Ely. It can be found next to Grand Central and the Waternimf is designed as a peaceful retreat to get away from the stresses of modern life.

It arrived from Holland last year in a 40 hour trip across the North Sea and has been lovingly and painstakingly converted by Stuart Fowler and Donna Spence.

Stuart Fowler and Donna Spence have converted this ordinary barge into an extraordinary hotel - and it is has five luxury rooms and is open for business by the river in Ely. It can be found next to Grand Central and the  Waternimf is designed as a peaceful retreat to get away from the stresses of modern life.Stuart Fowler and Donna Spence have converted this ordinary barge into an extraordinary hotel - and it is has five luxury rooms and is open for business by the river in Ely. It can be found next to Grand Central and the Waternimf is designed as a peaceful retreat to get away from the stresses of modern life.

Each cabin is en suite and is superbly appointed – a cosy breakfast area and a small but intimate residents’ lounge complete the whole river boat experience.

Stuart said: “My parents ran small hotels and I’ve always been around boats so when I moved to live in a boat in Ely three years ago the idea of a floating hotel just grew.

“The last day of bringing the boat across the North Sea was a bit hairy as the waters were really rough, but we got through.

“We’ve completely gutted the boat and taken it down to bare metal, cleaned it and oiled it up.

“Working from a bare shell we’ve built five double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, added central heating, new wiring, made it a home from home haven for relaxation.”

There is even a plan to provide occasional river cruises for hotel guests.

The vessel is licensed with the Environment Agency to carry up to 12 passengers at a time.

On Good Friday Donna gave an impromptu tour of the barge to tourism guests and in this video explains some of the features of life aboard Barge Hotel Waternimf.

You can find out more via their Facebook page or go to their website http://www.riverretreats.co.uk/

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