Andrew Brownsword buys four Von Essen hotels out of administration

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Von essen hotels, Hotel

Amberley Castle is one of the four Von Essen hotels to be purchased by Bath Priory Ltd
Amberley Castle is one of the four Von Essen hotels to be purchased by Bath Priory Ltd
Four former Von Essen hotels - Amberley Castle, Lower Slaughter Manor, Buckland Manor and Washbourne Court - have been bought out of administration by hotelier Andrew Brownsword.

The hotels, which have been run by administrators Ernst & Young along with 22 other hotels in the Von Essen group since April this year​, will be run by Brownsword's company Brownsword Hotels, owner of Bath Priory, Gidleigh Park and Sydney House in Chelsea.

As a result of the purchase, believed to be around £32m, Brownsword has appointed Nick Halliday, currently managing director of his city boutique hotel group ABode Hotels, chief executive of Brownsword Hotels, the umbrella company for ABode and Bath Priory Ltd.

In his new role Halliday, who joined ABode in 2004, will be tasked with incorporating Brownsword's key values of 'originality, personality and quality' into the new hotels, which more than double the size of the luxury country house hotel group.

He said: "I feel honoured by the opportunity to lead and develop this business for the Brownsword family. I am also fortunate to be able to count on the support and experience of Michael Caines and Sue Williams as well as the depth of talent and skill that exists across our estate.”

Refurbish and redirect

Brownsword said the new hotels added 'significant value and opportunity' to his portfolio.

“I am very proud to be the custodian of these four new hotels which will over the next few years be redirected and refurbished to the highest of standards in comfort and hospitality under the Brownsword Hotels umbrella," he said.

Gidleigh Park, which has been restored and refurbished under Brownsword’s guidance and ownership since 2005, will sit firmly at the forefront of the group as it goes forward.

Von Essen hotels

A spokesman for Christie & Co, the agent who has been handling the sale of the Von Essen hotels on behalf of administrators​ said the new owners of the remaining 22 hotels had yet to be announced, but were expected to be revealed in the coming weeks.

Chris Day, managing director of Christie & Co said: “We anticipated a great deal of interest in the von Essen Hotels portfolio and this has been more than demonstrated by the number of offers we have received across the entire portfolio from a variety of national and international investors and operators.

“We are at an advanced stage of negotiation on a number of other former von Essen Hotels, so expect to announce further exchanges and completions shortly.”

Hotels awaiting new owners include Cliveden in Berkshire and Seaham Hall in County Durham.

Christie & Co is also looking to find a new owner for Hotel Verta, the Battersea hotel which remained owned by Andrew Davis after it was placed into administration on 26 July​.

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1 comment

Buckland Manor

Posted by Ann Slater,

We have enjoyed many lunches over the years at Buckland and have always been well received especially by Simon. Hope he stays. Staff extremely helpful. Look forward to more lunches at Buckland

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