Surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic, Newquay’s magnificent Headland Hotel stands majestically on the cliff top towering over the dramatic Cornish coastline and Fistral Beach, home of the British and World Surfing Championships. The hotel has been seen in many BBC dramas and films, including Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” and Rosemunde Pilcher’s “The Shellseekers” this AA and RAC four-star hotel was built in 1900 and was a great favourite of the Royal Family between the wars. During World War II the hotel was taken over as an RAF hospital, serving the mainy airfields whose aircraft patrolled the Western Approaches seeking out enemy ships and submarines. Local legend has it that the ghosts of nurses who cared for the injured haunt the hotel. The years following WWII saw the hotel left and neglected until, in 1979, it was bought by Carolyn and John Armstrong, who have spent the last 26 years and many millions of pounds lovingly restoring it to the splendour that we see today – affectionately referred to by the couple as their ‘Forth Bridge’ Project!

Secondary glazing specialist, Selectaglaze Ltd were called upon to help resolve the noise and draught problems emanating from the strong winds coming off the Atlantic. The problem was sufficiently bad that in really stormy conditions, depending on which way the wind was blowing, the hotel could only let rooms on the leeward side of the building! Carolyn Armstrong says: “As the waves hit the rocks below the hotel the noise is like liquid thunder and sheets of spray shoot several stories into the air”.

Initially, for trial purposes, Selectaglaze treated a number of “superior” and “standard” bedrooms on the first and second floors. Now all the sea-facing rooms on these floors have been treated with Selectaglaze’s Series 20 vertical sliding units with fixed arched heads.

Carolyn says: “We’re now looking forward to welcoming guests to experience our “Stormwatching” winter weekend breaks, where they will be able to watch in comfort as the great waves that have built up out at sea charge shoreward with the unbroken momentum of 3,000 angry Atlantic miles”.

This is the latest in a long list of hotels that Selectaglaze has helped, including London’s famous Trafalgar Hilton, The Langham Hotel adjacent to the BBC, Sofitel’s prestigious St. James’s Hotel and The Bonnington. Together with well known chains such as Thistle Hotels, Jury’s Inn, Travel Lodge, Radisson Hotels, Ramada Jarvis and Holiday Inns.

In addition to acoustic insulation, secondary glazing also provides high levels of thermal insulation, minimises draughts and, where laminated glass is incorporated, can protect furnishings against UV light damage. It can also dramatically improve security. Not controlled by Part L of the Building Regulations, secondary glazing is a useful alternative when refurbishing and is often the only practical solution when dealing with listed facades. Comparatively easy and quick to install, it causes a minimum of disruption to internal décor and day-to-day business operations. Room occupancy rates are seldom affected and this aspect of refurbishment can easily be handled in stages.

Over the last 40 years, Royal Warrant holder, Selectaglaze Ltd has gained a reputation as one of the country’s leading secondary glazing specialists and, as such has led the way with innovative and informative literature, together with a website ( that is recognised by architects and specifiers as one of the most authoritative and in-depth sites within the industry. Selectaglaze also has a range of secondary windows that have been tested for resistance against blast and physical attack.

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