Welcombe Hotel & GC sold for £16m

Menzies Hotels Plc, the Derbyshire based hotel group, has today acquired The Welcombe Hotel and Golf Course, Stratford-upon-Avon off a guide price of £16 million through property agent Knight Frank.
Menzies Hotels Plc has 1,300 employees. The group owns and operates nineteen predominantly four star hotels throughout the UK with 1,423 bedrooms, a number of branded Waves Health and Leisure Clubs, a timeshare development and a championship golf course. The group is privately owned with three shareholder groupings comprising of Nick Menzies, BancBoston Capital Ltd and Indigo Capital Ltd.
The portfolio includes many prestigious properties including the Menzies Carlton and East Cliff Court Hotels, Bournemouth, The Menzies Marine Hotel, Salcombe, the Menzies Mickleover Court Hotel, Derby and the Menzies Flitwick Manor, Bedfordshire, currently rated as one of the top 200 hotels in the UK by the Automobile Association.
The Menzies Welcombe Hotel and Golf Course is recognised as one of the leading country house hotels in the UK with a championship par 70 golf course. Menzies Hotels will be investing a further £4 million in the business in order to reposition the property as a full resort hotel. The initial phase will include the development of 14 additional bedrooms, new meeting room facilities together with the refurbishment of the public areas, function rooms and selected bedrooms. Menzies will shortly be submitting a planning application to construct a new indoor leisure and spa facility, which it hopes to open in early 2005.
As a result of the purchase, Menzies has appointed Paul Clayton as general manager of the hotel. Paul was until recently general manager at Stapleford Park, the luxury hotel and golf course in Leicestershire. In addition Michael Cavilla, formerly general manager of Menzies Flitwick Manor, joins as director of golf.
Another fundamental change, which is being implemented immediately by the new owners is the availability of annual golf membership to both individual and corporate guests, a facility that was stopped by the hotel’s previous owner Countess de Chastenet de Puysegur when she purchased the hotel in 2000 from Orient Express.
Commenting on the acquisition, Nick Menzies, chairman and principle shareholder of Menzies hotels said, “The Menzies Welcombe is very much a trophy asset which underlines our strategy of developing a group of homogenous four star hotels which give us both geographical spread and compliments our offering to our all important corporate, conference and individual leisure clients. The hotel and golf course have huge potential and will benefit enormously from our focussed management, commitment and ongoing capital investment.”
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