by Richard Gordon
ENGLISH Rose Hotels, the Yorkshire company which lost Scarborough's Holbeck Hall hotel in a landslip last year, has replaced that property with the purchase last week of Charingworth Manor in the Cotswolds.
The family-owned group had been searching for a suitable replacement since Holbeck Hall fell into the sea in June 1993, and appointed Howard Armstrong of Harris Assessors to act on the insurance claim.
Mr Armstrong said that initially most of the insurance industry thought the loss was not covered. Almost all hotel insurance policies exclude coastal erosion landslips, but Holbeck Hall had virtually an all-risks cover.
"The policy covered the cost of reinstating the building but clearly this could not be done when the land had disappeared. We were effectively precluded from reinstatement," he said. "It was the first time in 25 years the situation had arisen where we could not rebuild."
Mr Armstrong entered into negotiations with insurers which eventually resulted in the settlement of the claim based on the purchase of Charingworth Manor for around £2.25m.
According to Guy Macpherson, managing director of Mazard Hotel Management, a subsidiary of Blandy Brothers which sold Charingworth Manor, the sale was prompted by English Rose as Charingworth had not been on the open market.
However, Christie & Co has been instructed to find a buyer for Blandy Brothers' other UK country house hotel - Bishopstrow House at Warminster, Wiltshire. A guide price of £2.25m has been set.
English Rose Hotels owns and operates six properties, including Hackness Grange and the Wrea Head, set in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park on the outskirts of Scarborough.
"From the moment we saw Charingworth we felt it was right and would complement the English Rose portfolio," said Joan Turner, chairman of English Rose.