A New Dawn at The White Lodge

Filey, News   /   Tags: , ,

One of the finest hotel’s on the Yorkshire coast is about to embark on an exciting future. The White Lodge at Filey is poised to reopen under new ownership. We caught up with the new owner Bill Rusling to find out why he chose Filey and the White Lodge as his latest business venture.

We asked Bill, what he loves the most about Filey? Why is it so special?

‘It’s perhaps a cliche, but Filey is unspoilt, it’s a place where my mind can unwind, and I’m totally at peace, well perhaps until I bought a hotel in the middle of a pandemic!

‘But seriously, I first came to Filey as a four-year-old on a family holiday from Sheffield. It was the beginning of a life-long love affair with the town. I brought my own daughter on holidays and eventually became the owner of Langford Villa, just two doors up the street from the White Lodge.’

Had he ever stayed at the White Lodge as a guest?

‘Only once. I used to have an apartment at The Bay and had sold it. I promised the furniture to a friend, but we got the dates mixed up. I arrived to an empty house, so had to find somewhere to stay and quick! 

‘A girlfriend once stayed here, she was obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor. So at breakfast she ordered a Bloody Mary. Wayne Sanderson was working here at the time, and being such a great sport, he made her a breakfast friendly version, if there’s such a thing, and a more traditional version. I loved the fact that Wayne rose to the challenge, even at 9.30am and perhaps that epitomised what the White Lodge is all about.’ 

The White Lodge certainly has ‘kerb appeal’, standing as it does at the end of Filey’s graceful Crescent, does he feel a responsibility as a custodian of one of the town’s historic, indeed landmark, buildings? 

‘Absolutely. I’m very much a custodian and I definitely acknowledge the responsibility that comes with the tradition and history of the hotel. However, the hotel also has to be relevant to changing tastes and the present day. It’s a balancing act.’ 

The previous owners, Kim and James Hodgson, did a fabulous job bringing the hotel into the Twenty-First Century, how will you build on that legacy? Is it evolution or revolution? 

‘Evolution. There’s a great foundation to build on and it is important to recognise the work that Kim and James put into reviving the hotel. I know that they are delighted that the hotel is staying in local hands, it’s important to them.’ 

The views from, particularly the restaurant, are unsurpassed. Is it an aim to make the White Lodge, and indeed Filey, a dining destination? 

‘Given the context of the times, more than ever I have to walk before I can run. However, in the longer term, all I can say is watch this space …’

In one year’s time, what will be the one thing we will all be talking about? 

‘I hope you are all talking about the fabulous atmosphere of the place, wherever you are a visitor or a local. Also a great selection of food at all times of the day.’ 

Did you always have an ambition to run a hotel? 

‘Like most people, as a customer of hotels and restaurants you can’t help but think “how might I do things?” The proof will now, quite literally, be in the pudding.’ 

When we eventually emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, how do you think that Filey, and British tourism, will recover?

‘In the short-term I think there will be a boom. People have been on a long lock down, there will undoubtedly be a suppressed desire to travel and visit the coast that will be released. For a few years people might be reluctant to travel abroad. In the longer-term British attractions have to make a real effort, things like alfresco dining, I hope there might have to be a relaxing of bye-laws to help that. Also, recognising that British tourists have a global outlook. The well-travelled Brit might expect tapas and an Aperol spritz, every bit as much as fish and chips and a pint.’ 

We can only but wish Bill, and the staff of the White Lodge, all the best once we return to something like normality. We cannot wait to announce the reopening of the White Lodge, and indeed Filey, in the very near future! 

Sign at White Lodge, Filey


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  1. Breeda Barry /

    That interview has really cheered me up this morning and I look forward to booking my trip when it re-opens – Please keep me informed. It has been my favourite place for over 50years – Good Luck with your new venture – I wish you every success. Breeda xxx Will share this with all my friends……

  2. Claudine lazenby /

    I think we were probably the last people to hold a function at the white lodge before the virus hit. It is the most fanta wedd venue!
    Im sorry to see james and kim leave, uber jealous that i dont own the white lodge now and wish bill all the best

    Looking forward tO When it reopens

  3. Tony Hill /

    Remember standing in the bar area with my ex partner uncle alex cUrran (great bloke).
    He was dying Of cancer , lived in Rawdon. we had been chatting & he looked out the window & saW the view to the Brigg. He said “ this will be the last time that i see this view” . Never forget that.
    The hotel has the Best panoramic views in filey.

  4. Rodney Sharp /

    Please let me know when you reopen.
    I love filey and mick britton!
    See you soon and stay safe.

  5. Michael gardner /

    Good luck with your venture. Thanks to james and kim for what they have done for filey.

  6. Tracey Corton /

    As the SUN SHINEs this Sunday morning looking THROUGH my window in Filey watching the SPARKLes on the sea, the thought of sitting in the white lodge garden with an aperol spritz is a joy I cannot wait to do after this bizarre and scary time is over. So I will raise a glass at home today and say ‘cheers’ Bill GOOD luck and hope to join you soon.

  7. Rod Peacock /

    WE wish Kim and James all the very best in their new in their new path of life,
    They did a fantastic job, transforming the white lodge hotel, into the best hotel in filey, and scarborough.
    we also wish the new owners all the best, and hope they keep up the good practices, that they inherit.

  8. Jenny Kennedy /

    We love Filey and have been visiting for 30+ years and love the White Lodge, cant wait to visit agAin once this madness is Over. Good luck with the new venture!

  9. Wendy Rhodes /

    All the best to Bill in your new venture. From all of us at BONHOMMES Bar on THe Crescent.

  10. Helen Jones /

    Brilliant news. I do hope the new owner will reinstate dog friendly rooms for my long lost return to filey due to the last owners not allowing dogs to stay. I used to spend all mY childhood holidays in Filey and haD continued to visit until recent years. Good lUck to the new owner, especially as he said “in the middle of a pandemic”. Best wishes to a speedy reopening.

  11. Ian and Lynne bell /

    We have stayed at whitelodge ON 4 occasions during the past 3 years. WHAT a fabulous find. Keep up the good work and modern OUTLook. Please Do not have dog friendly ROoms. WE wish you every success in these strange times.

  12. roger caddick AND SYLVIA CADDICK /


  13. Louise Anderson /

    I’ve been Visiting filey since i was a little girl. My parents retired here for nearly 20 years and i had my honeymoon at the whitelodge hotel around 27 years ago. Filey is my favourite place , the whitelodge is definitely part of its history. Cant wait to see what you do with the hotel .

  14. Jeanette harrison /

    They’re generally cleaner than people and you’d be missing out on business by not having them

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