Seven hotels have been sold to Halcyon Hotels and Resorts and its joint venture partner Patron Capital, off a guide price of £40.5m, in what is the largest transaction so far involving properties belonging to the increasingly shrinking Von Essen Hotels group.
Experienced hotelier Nigel Chapman, who heads Halcyon Hotels and Resorts, said he was delighted with the acquisition, which involves buying back the four hotels under the Luxury Family Hotels banner - Woolley Grange (pictured), Fowey Hall, Moonfleet Manor and the Ickworth hotel - which he and Nicholas Dickinson, his business partner at the time, sold to Von Essen in early 2006 for about £30m.
Also included in the purchase are the Elms, Thornbury Castle and New Park Manor.
Earlier this year Chapman announced his return to the UK market to launch Halcyon as a new family-friendly luxury group, with the purchase of the 41-bedroom Polurrian hotel at Mullion, Cornwall, off a sale price of £2.3m.
"The hotels we have purchased are in quite a run-down state and we shall immediately be investing £10m across the seven properties," he said.
Seventeen hotels out of the original portfolio of 27 hotels - 26 in the UK and one in France - which were put up for sale following the collapse into administration of Von Essen Hotels in April with debts of around £295m, have now been sold, through Christie & Co. The administrators, Ernst & Young, say they expect to announce further sales shortly.
The seven new additions to Halcyon Hotels and Resorts are:
● The Elms, in Abberley, Worcestershire - a Grade II-listed 18th-century stately home set in 10 acres of parkland, with 17 bedrooms
● Fowey Hall, in Fowey, Cornwall - a 32-bedroom property built in 1898 as the private residence of former Lord Mayor of London Sir Charles Hanson
● The East Wing at Ickworth - leased form the National Trust and comprising 27 bedrooms, with an additional three rooms in a Butler's Lodge and 11 apartments in the Dower House
● Moonfleet Manor - a Grade II-listed 18th-century former family home near Weymouth, Dorset. Situated near Chesil Beach, the hotel comprises 36 bedrooms
● Woolley Grange in Bradford-on-Avon - a Grade II-listed Jacobean country manor house with 26 bedrooms
● Thornbury Castle - a Tudor castle with 27 suites and bedrooms, originally built in the early 16th century for the third Duke of Buckingham
● New Park Manor - a 24-bedroom 17th-century-built hotel in the heart of the New Forest, Hampshire
By Janet Harmer
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