The new managing director for Llangoed Hall, the former Von Essen hotel which went into administration last year, has outlined plans to restore the 23-bedroom hotel to its former glory.
Calum Milne, who worked as general manager at the Welsh hotel from 2004 to 2007 under its original owner Sir Bernard Ashley, was appointed managing director by new owner, businessman Roger Hancox in July.
Milne has been tasked with overseeing a £500k refurbishment of the bedrooms and restore the ‘at home’ feel that was established by Ashley when he first opened the property as a hotel in 1990.
“The new owner wants to restore Llangoed Hall to how it was under Sir Bernard’s ownership: the epitome of a Welsh country house offering the finest Welsh food and customer service,” he said.
“During my first time in charge, the hotel won a string of awards, including the most excellent country house hotel in Great Britain and Ireland in the prestigious Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2007.
“There is no doubt that the hall has suffered from a lack of investment in recent years but we intend to return it to its former glory and to raise its profile again to let people know that we are open for business.”
As well as overseeing a refurbishment of the bedrooms and bathrooms, Milne, who is in charge of the hotel's 36 members of staff, plans to reposition the hotel as more than just a weekend retreat and cement it as one of Wales' finest country house hotels.
The former Inverlochy Hotel general manager wants to boost mid mid-week trade by attracting leisure and corporate guests and is planning to breathe new life into the Grade II-listed hotel's wedding offering.
Von Essen hotels
Llangoed Hall, set within 15 acres of gardens in the Wye Valley, was one of the four remaining hotels owned by Andrew Davis, the man behind the Von Essen estate after the main company Von Essen Hotels Ltd went into administration .
The hotel, which was bought and restored by Ashley following the death of his wife Laura, was managed by Legacy hotels before it was acquired by Davis in 2010. It was placed into administration by PwC in November last year after it ran into difficulties.
All the hotels formerly owned by Von Essen Hotels Ltd have now been sold with the last two, Ston Easton Park in Somerset and Sharrow Bay in Cumbria, snapped up by Dragon's Den star James Caan .