De Vere Group operates three distinct collections of hotels and largely residential conference and training centres under the De Vere Hotels, De Vere Village Urban Resorts and De Vere Venues brands. De Vere Hotels also incorporates a five-star timeshare business under the De Vere Luxury Lodge brand.
It started out as a joint venture between Bank of Scotland (now part of the Lloyds group) and a group of investors led by Richard Balfour-Lynn and other directors of MWB Holdings (including Robert Cook, then managing director of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin boutique hotel chains). In 2010, the group completed a £650m debt-for-equity swap with its lenders to reduce debt.
Originally called the Alternative Hotel Group, the company was established in 2005 to buy Rentokil’s Initial Style Conference business, which it renamed Verve Venues. The following year, it snapped up De Vere Group, which had been a rival for the conference business.
The company it bought was the rump of the sprawling Greenalls empire, which by 2006 had been reduced to De Vere Hotels and De Vere Resort Ownership, the Village Hotel and Leisure chain and two companies that the new owner subsequently sold on – Greens standalone fitness clubs and white spirit distiller G&J Greenall.
The group continued the Greenall policy of whittling down the De Vere Hotel Estate - in this instance to focus on golfing facilities - while expanding the Village chain.
As part of a move to put food and beverage at the heart of its operation, the group acquired upmarket caterer Searcy’s in 2007, but sold it to a mangement buy-out team in 2010.
De Vere Hotels is a group of four- to five-star hotels that have been refocused on the golf resort market and offer 16 championship golf courses between them. Three of the hotels also include five-star timeshare facilities and Cameron House hotel on Loch Lomond has a Michelin-starred restaurant headed by Martin Wishart.
De Vere Village Urban Resorts is a chain of mid-market sites (usually new-builds) within easy reach of major towns and cities. Each hotel provides extensive health and leisure club facilities along with branded food and beverage operations.
De Vere Venues is the UK’s leading operator of training, meeting and conference venues. It owns, leases, manages or franchises more than 30 venues, mostly with residential hotel facilities, and also operates a Preferred Partners programme.
Year ended 31 December 2011
Group (60 hotels)
Turnover: £363.8m (2010: £351.2m
(excludes Greens and timeshare business)
De Vere Hotels (10)
Hotel Revenue £87.4m (2010: £86.5m)
De Vere Venues (23)
Hotel Revenue £112.2m (2010: £106.8m)
Village Urban Resorts
Hotel Revenue £112.2m (2010: £180.1m)
Nine of the four- and fie-star hotels fall under the De Vere Golf brand, while the group’s timeshare business De Vere Luxury Lodges, is located at three sites – Belton Woods, Cameron House and Slaley Hall. The fourth Luxury Lodge, The Carrick, is a separate development at Cameron House.
Two hotels (the Belfry and Carden Park) are managed.
De Vere Belfry, Birmingham (managed)
De Vere Belton Woods, Grantham, Lincolnshire
De Vere Cameron House, Loch Lomond, Dunbartonshire
De Vere Carden Park, Chester, Cheshire (managed)
De Vere Dunston Hall, Norwich, Norfolk
De Vere Grand, Brighton, East Sussex (to be marketed for sale in 2014)
De Vere Mottram Hall, Manchester, Cheshire
De Vere Oulton Hall, Leeds, Yorkshire
De Vere Slaley Hall, Hexham, Northumberland
Associate hotel University Arms Hotel, Cambridge
Brands include Buca di beppo, Victory Chop & Alehouse, Victory Pub & Kitchen, Vinny & Vito, Verve Grill, Starbucks, Velocity Health & Fitness, Viva Urban Spa, Hub events
Locations: Birmingham Dudley, Birmingham Walsall, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Chester St David's, Coventry, Farnborough, Hull, Leeds North, Leeds South, Liverpool, London Elstree, Maidstone, Manchester Ashton, Manchester Bury, Manchester Cheadle, Manchester Hyde, Newcastle, Nottingham. Solihull, Swansea. Swindon, Warrington, Wirral
De Vere Venues more than 30
The business also has links with other venues through its Preferred Partners Programme. Locations include:
Brigade, SE1, London
Canary Wharf, E14, London
Cheadle House, Cheadle, Cheshire
Chicheley Hall, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire
Colmore Gate, Birmingham
Denham Grove Uxbridge, Buckinghamshire
Devonport House, Greenwich, London
East Midland Conference Centre & Orchard Hotel, Nottingham
East Sussex National, Uckfield, East Sussex
Gorse Hill, Woking, Surrey
Harben, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshires
Hartsfield Manor, Betchworth, Surrey
Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire
Highfield Park, Hook, Hampshire
Holborn Bars, EC1, London
Horsley Park, East Horsley, Surrey
Hunton Park, Hunton Bridge, Hertfordshire
Kassam Stadium, Oxfordshire
Latimer Place Chesham, Buckinghamshire
Milton Hill House, Abingdon, Nr Oxford
New Place, Southampton, Hampshire
Ponsbourne Park, Hertfordshire
17 Portland Place, W1, London
Staverton Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire
Studley Castle, Studley, Oxfordshire
Sunningdale Park, Ascot, Berkshire
Theobalds Park, Cheshunt,Hertfordshire
Uplands House, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Warbrook House, Hook, Hampshire
Weetwood Hall, Leeds
West One, W1, London
Wokefield Park, Reading, Berkshire
Wychwood Park, Weston, Nr Crewe
Chairman Nicholas Bull
Group chief executive Andrew Coppel
Chief executive officer De Vere Hotels & Village Urban Resorts Robert Cook
Chief executive officer De Vere Venues Tony Dangerfield
Group development director Bruce Cave
More links on catererandhotelkeeper.co.uk
The Hot Scots Power 40 - Stephen Carter, De Vere Cameron House
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2012) Robert Cook
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2012) Andrew Coppell
Minute on the clock - Matt Shiells-Jones
The Caterer and Hotelkeeper Interview - Robert Cook
Tom McLachlan wins De Vere Academy of Hospitality National Chef of the Year
Hotel Cateys 2011 - Hotelier of the Year
Hotelier of the Year - Stephen Carter
Stephen Carter named 2011 Hotelier of the Year
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2011) Richard Balfour-Lynn
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2011) Andrew Coppell
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2011 Martin Wishart
De Vere Academy gets off to a flying start
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2010) Richard Balfour-Lynn
Interview - Richard Balfour-Lynn on De Vere, Malmaison and Searcys
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100 (2006) Richard Balfour-Lynn
What De Vere did next