Expansion on the cards for Abbey Hotel after new owners unveil plan to buy neighbouring properties

February 17, 2022

Bath’s historic Abbey Hotel looks set to be expanded after being sold for the second time in four years.

New owner, London-based property investment firm Castleforge Partners, has secured an option agreement to acquire two adjoining buildings on North Parade, with plans in place to add 15 large bedrooms to the hotel, pictured, later this year. 

The Abbey Hotel’s 65 existing bedrooms, which occupy three Georgian houses, were renovated after Buckinghamshire-based KE Hotels acquired it four years ago.  

The hotel, a member of Marriott's Tribute Portfolio brand, also has a terrace patio for al fresco dining and two dining and bar venues – the Abbey Hotel Kitchen and ArtBar.

Its winter Après-Ski bar has become a popular addition to Bath’s Christmas attractions while a subterranean function room – a former World War II air-raid shelter – has previously been marketed as “a creative space for creative minds” with private booths. 

Castleforge, which was formed in 2010, has invested heavily in the hospitality sector over the past few years, including acquiring two hotels in Edinburgh hotel – the Crowne Plaza Royal Terrace and the Bruntsfield Hotel – as well as Cardiff’s Hilton Hotel.

Castleforge founding partner Michael Kovacs said: “Bath is a highly sought-after city location for hotels and we are fortunate to have secured such a wonderful property in the city centre.

“We are excited to be playing our part in supporting the city’s tourism and hospitality industry by investing in one of the best properties in the area. 

“Our team will continue to provide the best possible service to Abbey hotel guests and its employees as we aim to expand and improve the hotel, all the while protecting the heritage and character that makes it special.”

Castleforge hotel acquisitions director Matt Lederer added: “After the success of our hospitality portfolio expansion in Edinburgh and Cardiff, Bath felt like the ideal place for our next acquisition because of its role as a hub for UK tourism.

“The Abbey Hotel is a beautifully restored, historic hotel that has a proven track record as a popular destination for tourists.

“We look forward to announcing further investments across the UK as the industry bounces back from the pandemic.”

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. The sale leaves KE Hotels with two hotels in its portfolio – the 87-bedroom Best Western Linton Lodge in Oxford and the recently opened 146-bedroom Moxy by Marriott in Manchester.

Shortly after buying the Abbey Hotel in 2018 from established Bath boutique hoteliers Ian and Christina Taylor, KE invited two of the UK’s most influential chefs – Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White – to open a Koffmann & Mr White’s restaurant in the hotel, although it has since closed and the restaurant is run as the Abbey Hotel Kitchen.

KE Hotels managing director Anil Khanna said: “We are very proud of the Abbey Hotel and the transformation into a high-quality boutique hotel.

“The hotel offers an excellent guest experience supported by the fantastic team at the hotel. We wish Castleforge every success in taking over the hotel.”

Under the Taylors’ six-year ownership, the Abbey Hotel went from a three-AA-star rating to a four-star.

The Taylors now own the Kaleidoscope Collection of three luxury hotels  – The Bird, Bath, on Pulteney Road; Homewood at Freshford; and Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, near Warminster.


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