Newport hotel the Coldra Court, at Langstone, is celebrating a year since it was taken over by the Celtic Manor Resort.

In that time half of the bedrooms have been refurbished, five of the meeting rooms have also been refurbished, and the restaurant has undergone a transformation and has recently reopened as a smokehouse-style eatery called The Rib.

Matt Barnby, manager of the Coldra Court, who has worked at the Celtic Manor in a whole range of roles over the last 13 years, said: "It has been hard work over the year meeting deadlines for the refurbishments but I have loved it."

He said the work on refurbishing the bedrooms was ahead of schedule with 69 already completed. Work was ongoing to bring the others up to the same standard.

"We work on batches of 20 at a time. We have 20 being done at the moment and expect to have another 20 complete by the beginning of June," he said.

Mr Barnby, who has been manager at Coldra Court since its inception, said: "Our occupancy rates have increased and we are now currently running at an 85 per cent occupancy. We managed to keep some customers from when the hotel was a Hilton and we have attracted a lot of golfers as well over the year. We have also seen use as an overflow for conference delegates from the main hotel and we also have a good last minute pickup from people looking for a late room.

"It is amazing how many people stay in Newport on business during the week."

Mr Barnby said there were plans to refurbished the health club at the hotel along with other meeting rooms in the future.

The Rib restaurant opened for business earlier in March and has already proved a hit with residents and people from the local area.

"At the moment we are open in the evening and for Sunday lunch but we are looking to start Saturday lunch at some point," said Mr Barnby.