19th Von Essen hotel sale: ‘Renaissance’ for historic Welsh manor house

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Von essen, Von essen hotels, Hotel

The nine-bedroom, three-suite hotel is set for a new roof and two new suites
The nine-bedroom, three-suite hotel is set for a new roof and two new suites
Ynshir Hall, a Welsh manor house once owned by Queen Victoria, is the 19th Von Essen hotel to be bought out of administration and is now back in the welcoming hands of its general manager.

The nine-bedroom, three-suite hotel in Eglwys Fach, Powys, is a Relais & Chateaux member establishment. Joan Reen, who has run the hotel with husband Rob for 19 years, sees the purchase as a ‘new beginning’ for the hotel, with immediate plans for refurbishment and the addition of bedrooms.

Refurbishment and funding…

“It’s really exciting to have it back in my control,” Joan told BigHospitality. “Although I’ve been running Ynshir Hall for Von Essen for the past five years, this is like a renaissance. I just couldn’t bear the thought of someone else buying my precious little hotel!

“We’re going to do all the maintenance work that needs to be done now. I’m going to put a new roof on, paint it and do all the bedrooms. I’ve also got plans for two new suites in the garden and I’m going to re-model the ground floor bedroom.”

“Barclays Bank has supported us and they’ve been amazing. They’re going to support us with the development, and we can’t wait to start now. We’ll be recruiting new staff as well.”

Chris Day, managing director of Christie & Co, which advised on the deal, added: “Ynyshir Hall is one of the most historic properties in the von Essen Hotels portfolio as well as one of the most ideally located. We wish the new owner and the hotel every success in the future.”

Challenging future?

But it’s a future which many predict will bring tough times for the hotel sector. Nonetheless, Joan remains optimistic of a bright future.

“We’ve weathered storms before so we’re confident and we will go forward with a lot of renewed enthusiasm,” she added. “The market at the moment is not so good but last year we actually had a very good year – our August figures were the best turnover we’ve had in any month since we started.

“Obviously there’s going to be a lot of hard work now because it’s not the best time to buy a hotel. We’re mad I know, but hey - we’ve always been mad!”

The sale of Ynshire Hall leaves nine former Von Essen hotels looking for buyers following the groups fall into administration in April​. Companies that have acquired some of the collection include Brownsword Hotels​, Halycon Hotels & Resorts​ and The Eden Collection​.

Nine former Von Essen hotels are still looking for buyers: -

Cliveden, Taplow, Berkshire

The Royal Crescent, BathSharrow Bay, Ullswater,

CumbriaSton Easton Park, near Bath

Seaham Hall, Seaham, County Durham

Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Congham Hall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk

Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian

The Greenway, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton, Devon

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