Popular and long established Burnley hotel is star of top television show The Hotel Inspector

Rosehill House owner Emma Pennington (right) with Alex Polizzi of The Hotel Inspector fame.
Rosehill House owner Emma Pennington (right) with Alex Polizzi of The Hotel Inspector fame.

'The best decision we ever made.'

Those were the words of Burnley hotelier Emma Pennington after her business was the first to feature on a new series of the popular Channel Five show The Hotel Inspector last night.

A room at Rosehill House Hotel in Burnley set up for a wedding.

A room at Rosehill House Hotel in Burnley set up for a wedding.

Emma, who owns the Rosehill House Hotel, said: "We took a big gamble and it proved to be the best thing we have ever done.

"The positive response we have received from people has been absolutely overwhelming.

"This morning alone I have received 500 emails from people who watched the show."

The hit TV show focuses on ailing hotels and features award winning hotelier Alex Polizzi who is known for her brutal honesty and forthright opinions.

The exterior of Rosehill House Hotel in Burnley

The exterior of Rosehill House Hotel in Burnley

In the show Alex is tasked with helping ailing businesses to transform their fortunes with her ideas and suggestions that many of the owners do not always agree to.

Emma said: "I didn't know what to expect with Alex but we got on really well, she was wonderful and we have forged quite a friendship.

"She told us that she loved our hotel and will definitely be returning for a another visit."

Viewers saw how Emma's parents, John and Jacqui Doherty, bought the former manor house 25 years ago and since then it has become like a 'child' to the whole family.

Built in 1856 for wealthy cotton mill owner Adam Dugdale, many of the the stunning original features still remain intact, from gold leaf ceilings to Italian fireplaces and stained glass windows.

Emma joined the family run business as soon as she left university but over the years they had lost their way after Jacqui stepped back from the business and John came up with an idea to transform the building into flats.

Viewers took the family to their hearts and watched as Alex gently persuaded them to clear the place of a collection of 'tat' that had built up over the years and transform the conservatory into a bespoke wedding venue and create a dedicated gin bar that officially opens tonight.

Emma said: "We have put our heart and soul into this place, it means so much to us and Alex could see that.

"There were some emotional moments during filming but the ideas she came up with have helped us to move forward."

Filming took place between January and May with crews spending around 100 hours at the 31 bedroom hotel, which is situated off Manchester Road.

Transformed into a hotel in 1963 before that Rosehill House was owned by a former Mayor of Burnley and was occupied by the home guard during the second world war.

Rosehill House kicked off a new series of the show last night and Emma, who is married to Graham and has three children, revealed she received a call from Alex during the break to ask if she liked it.

Emma said: "We didn't get chance to see any of the footage before it was aired on television so it was quite nerve racking last night."

Positive comments of support and thanks from customers old and new has left Emma and John glowing with pride.

Emma added: "So many people have been in touch to say they didn't realise we were here and what a beautiful place we have.

"We want the local community to know we are here and realise that although we are a special occasion place we are open every day for lunches and the bar is open to the public."

The hotel will hold a wedding open day on Saturday, June 29th, when the public can see Alex's ideas in their full glory.