THE Ickworth Hotel is back under the ownership of the man who started it.
Nigel Chapman opened the hotel in the National Trust house’s east wing in 2002 and sold it to von Essen Hotels in 2005.
But on Monday, Christies and Co announced its sale on behalf of von Essen’s administrators to Mr Chapman’s Halcyon Hotels and Resorts, which is a joint venture with the pan-European private equity group Patron Capital.
As well as Ickworth, Halcyon has bought the other three hotels that made up the Luxury Family Hotels chain Mr Chapman sold to von Essen – Woolley Grange in Wiltshire, Fowey Hall in Cornwall and Moonfleet Manor near Weymouth, Dorset. In addition, the deal includes The Elms in Worcestershire, New Park Manor in Hampshire and Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire.
Mr Chapman had already re-entered the UK hotel market earlier this year by buying the Polurrian Bay Hotel at Mullion, Cornwall.
He said: “I am naturally delighted to be given the opportunity to look after this fantastic group once again and to add to the original collection.
“We will be evolving a new generation of Luxury Family Hotels for families wanting to spend precious leisure time with their children and grandchildren. Our hotels will appeal to families who don’t want to compromise on quality just because they are travelling with children.
“We will be offering stylish yet comfortable accommodation, serving great locally sourced food, pampering spa treatments, and providing Ofsted-registered children’s clubs and a wide range of interesting activities and experiences”.
A spokeswoman for the group said it was too early to have details of what was planned for the individual hotels.