Brownsword Hotels considers further expansion following Von Essen purchases

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Von essen, Hotel, Boutique hotel

Nick Halliday (centre) with chef Michael Caines and Andrew Brownsword
Nick Halliday (centre) with chef Michael Caines and Andrew Brownsword
Brownsword Hotels, the group owned by hotelier and greeting cards entrepreneur Andrew Brownsword is considering expanding further following its purchase of four former Von Essen hotels last week.

Speaking to BigHospitality after completing on the four hotels – Lower Slaughter Manor, Buckland Manor, Washbourne Court and Amberley Castle – last week, new chief executive Nick Halliday said the company was always on the look-out for unique properties that would fit well within the group.

“If Andrew saw the right property he’d be inclined to buy it. We are not at saturation point, but it’s quite personal to him and his family,” he said.

“With our company it’s more about where Andrew feels he wants to invest. The Von Essen properties we bought sit very nicely within the portfolio.”

Von Essen investment

Halliday said the company would be investing ‘various amounts’ into the four former Von Essen hotels to ‘bring them up to the standard of Bath Priory’ but was unable to say how much, or how long the work would take.

He said: “They all need a little bit of refurbishment, but we are going to get proper advice and draw up plans before we make any decisions. I’m sure early next year we’ll have a far greater idea of the plan for refurbishment.”

All four hotels, which were chosen by Brownsword, will sit within the luxury country house hotel arm of the company, which comprised Gidleigh Park, Bath Priory and Sydney House before the Von Essen purchases.


The hotels will be run alongside Brownsword’s city boutique hotel chain ABode, which currently operates in Canterbury, Chester, Exeter, Glasgow and Manchester.

Halliday, formerly managing director of ABode, will retain responsibility for the chain in his new role and plans to centralise certain departments such as sales and marketing, across both businesses going forward.

He said ABode was still looking for a suitable site in London to enable the company to break into the capital, but was also considering other cities.

“If we could bring ABode into London it would be great. We are looking at other cities for ABode all the time. We are not in York, that’s a great location, so that’s somewhere we’re looking at, but we don’t have any plans to announce yet."

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