Gravetye Manor looks for new owner after going into administration

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel, Management

Gravetye Manor is looking for a new owner
Gravetye Manor is looking for a new owner
Gravetye Manor in East Grinstead, West Sussex, is looking for a new owner after being placed into administration this week

Karen Dukes and Mark Shires of PriceWaterhouseCoopers were appointed administrators on 4 January after the business ran into financial difficulties.

The hotel's owners, general manager Andrew Russell and head chef Mark Raffan, who bought the hotel in 2004, had faced issues with the bank after the recession led to a drop in business and said they had no option other than going into administration.

A spokeswoman for PWC said it was 'business as usual' at the 18 bedroom hotel with staff jobs to remain and all bookings honoured until a buyer is found.

"We are looking for a buyer and have had some expressions of interest. It's a well regarded boutique hotel so we should not have any problem selling it on," she said.

Gravetye Manor, a Relais et Chateaux hotel, was turned into a hotel in 1958 by hotelier Peter Herbert. Russell and Raffan both worked for Herbert and his family for 17 years each before buying the business.

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It is very sad to hear…

Posted by Anonymous,

It is very sad to hear that this wonderful and prestigious hotel is going to close and I have not only served there a few years ago but have also had family dinners there.  The service was always sublime, as was the food.  I wish you both the best of luck in your future ventures and it will be a sad loss to West Sussex hospitality!

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I would like to correct…

Posted by Anonymous,

I would like to correct one statement in the above article. At no time were Mark and I "exploring options to sell." In fact under our management we managed to double the cash flow at Gravetye. It was only due to the recent drop in business due to the financial crisis that caused issues with our bank. We worked tirelessly for 16 months to find an accommodation with the bank. Having been part of Gravetye since our teens, we are devastated that terms with the bank could not be reached, an we had no choice but to go into administration.

As your readers no doubt know, the process of administration is bad for the hotel business - quality varies, and consistency goes away. It is not business as usual. We are, however, determined to return. Should this all work out we will be back, offering our special hospitality, with our wonderful team. Thank you to the many colleagues in the industry who have offered consolation and support over the past days. We are deeply touched by the outpouring of good wishes from fellow hoteliers, clients and vendors.

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