17th-century hotel and restaurant first venture into ownership for former hotel manager

June 27, 2024

A long-serving hotel manager and hospitality industry representative has taken his first step into ownership by snapping up an historic hotel and restaurant.

Imran Ali, pictured, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, has acquired the 17th century Well Inn on the outskirts of Shepton Mallet. 

Imran was previously general manager for a number of high-profile hotels in Bristol, including the DoubleTree by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton and Radisson Blu.

He is also a former chair of the Bristol Hoteliers Association, the non-profit organisation that represents around 40 hotels in and around the city with around 4,000 rooms between them, and also spent two-and-a-half years as vice chair of Redcliffe and Temple BIDs advisory board.

Since buying The Well Inn, which is close to the Bath & West Showground, he has started to upgrade the 16-bedroom property, including making improvements to the bar and 42-cover restaurant, pictured. 

A new private dining room has also been created that can host up to 16 people in a boardroom meeting set-up or used for celebrations and future plans include landscaping the outside area to make it into a year-round usable beer garden.

Imran said he was “absolutely delighted” to have taken over The Well Inn, which takes its name from the 53ft-deep well in the restaurant floor.

“We want The Well Inn to become a place where people can pop in for a drink and enjoy a decent lunch or dinner, feeling they want to come back again and again. The atmosphere will be relaxed and welcoming

“We’ve already made some improvements, particularly to the bar and restaurant area so locals will instantly see a change.”

He said the restaurant would specialise in “simple and affordable” food, using as much local produce as possible.

“Think of classic pub comfort food.  We’ll also be looking to introduce seasonal specials so will rotate what’s on the menu during the year,” he added.

“With most of the ingredients coming from within a 15-mile radius, the emphasis will be on serving seasonal, local dishes.”


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