THE Randolph Hotel has unveiled its newly renovated grand ballroom and staff are hoping the investment will help attract past customers back in.

Featuring chandeliers modelled on those found on the Titanic, the five star hotel has spent £100,000 on an extensive remodelling of the space.

The refurbishment, which took three months to complete, has seen customised carpets and wallpaper installed, displaying the distinctive Acanthus leaf, the plant which inspired the name of the on-site restaurant.

General manager Simon Drake, who took on the top job at the Macdonald hotel earlier this year, said: “The refurbishment of the ballroom has provided an extra dose of sophistication and style to our meeting and event facilities, just in time for Christmas.”

As well as the cosmetic improvements, the space has been upgraded technically with a new surround sound system and wi-fi and bluetooth connectivity.

Mr Drake said that top of his list of priorities was attracting more weddings back into Oxford.

He said: “If you look at the figures, the number of weddings taking place in the city over the last 10 years has taken a downturn with people choosing venues outside of the city instead.

“I am really keen to see that change and we will be launching a big push come February and March to tie in with when the scaffolding comes down on the outside of the building.”

Several events and parties have already been held in the new ballroom, which is thought to be Oxford’s biggest and accommodates up to 280 people.

The renovation is part of an extensive £1.5million redesign of the entire hotel which has also seen its frontage cleaned and the metal and glass canopy at the entrance restored.

Mr Drake said he has already had several bookings for next year from businesses who would not have previously considered holding their events in the hotel and is hoping more will follow.

He said: “Some corporate businesses that used to use us have shied away in recent years because we had perhaps lost some of our former grandeur.

“I am confident, having seen the quality of how it has been put together, that we will be able to compete for these customers again.

“It is the re-birth of the Randolph, we are breathing new life back into the grand old lady and we’re now seeing that come into its own.

“We spent a lot of money but we felt we had to take this opportunity.”