Welsh businessman buys former Rugby league star's hotel

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hotel

Businessman Martin Haven is planning improvements to some areas of Llanwenarth Hotel, the property he bought this week, but will not
Businessman Martin Haven is planning improvements to some areas of Llanwenarth Hotel, the property he bought this week, but will not
Llanwenarth Hotel, the hotel outside Abergavenny owned by former Welsh rugby league star Richard Wallace, has been bought by a local businessman after a year and a half of being on the market. 

Wallace, a former Wales international player, dropped the asking price on the 17-bedroom hotel by £125k in March to force a quick sale because his failing health made it hard for him to continue running it. 

However, while a number of offers were made for the hotel and its 60-cover Riverside Restaurant, none were completed until this week when Welsh businessman Martin Haven closed the deal. 

Colliers International Hotels director Peter Brunt, who brokered the deal, said he was 'delighted' to have resolved the sale after so many failed attempts. 

"Richard’s old injuries have caught up with him and he has found it increasingly difficult to maintain his hands on approach to running what is a very strong business," he said. 

Improvements

Haven, who owns a number of hospitality businesses in the area, including several pubs, had been attracted by the hotel and the scope to develop it further. However, he said would look at improving, rather than radically changing the venue and would keep the existing team to run it. 

“I have no plans to make great changes to what is a very successful formula and, while I have a number of exciting plans to improve a number of areas, the existing customers will continue to find the Llanwenarth the same comfortable place it is now with the same levels of food and service that Richard developed over his time in charge,” he said. 

Run by Wallace and wife Anita for the last 10 years, Llanwenarth Hotel has views out towards the Sugarloaf Mountain and Brecon Beacons National Park. 

Wallace, who also part-owns the Junction 28 restaurant in Newport, told BigHospitality in March​ that he had loved working within hospitality, but problems with his hip and spine meant that he could no longer have such a hands-on approach. 

"I love this business. I'm a people person and dealing with them face-to-face is what I enjoy, but I can't work here much longer, so it's time for someone else to take it over," he said. 

The hotel's sale in the region of £575k, also marks an improvement in the market, according to Brunt. "This was the second hotel in Wales I concluded a sale of in the same week, and I am seeing a noticeable pick up in viewings and serious interest during this year compared to last, with Welsh hotels proving their appeal to buyers," he said. 

Related topics: People, Restaurants, Hotels, Venues, Business

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