Upmarket Hunstrete House hotel sold for £5m to expanding group

May 29, 2013

Home Grown Hotels, the group behind The Pig chain of upmarket hotels, has bought Hunstrete House near Bath for £5m from von Essen Hotels founder Andrew Davis.

The 18th century Georgian hotel has been closed for two years following the administration of the Bath-based von Essen group.

Hunstrete House, set in about 70 acres, did not form part of the administration of the group when it collapsed with debts of nearly £300m two years ago. However, its operating company, controlled by Mr Davis, was forced into creditors’ voluntary liquidation when von Essen’s administrators terminated a licensing agreement with it.

The hotel has 25 bedrooms, a restaurant, library, conference room and private dining room, as well as a deer park and walled garden.

The fast-growing Pig chain, led by Robin Hutson, chief executive of Home Grown Hotels, has hotels in the New Forest and Southampton and is set to open one in Dorset, to be known as The Pig on the Beach.

Martin Rogers, director of Savills Hotels who handled the sale, said: “This sale shows that if handled correctly country house hotels still command good prices. The plans, has for Hunstrete, as another Pig are exciting for the industry.”

The hotel has had a number of owners over recent years including Arcadian International, Homewood Park and, most recently, Mr Davis.

Mr Hutson told Caterer And Hotelkeeper that Hunstrete House’s location seven miles from Bath and 12 miles from Bristol, was “fantastic for us as it far enough away from the Pigs not to be in competition”.

He continued: “It has great demographics and has always been an area renowned for great country house hotels.”

He said he has been very fond of the hotel since visiting it in its heyday during the 1980s, when it was owned by John and Thea du Pays

The Pig group, which launched in 2011 to inject new life into the lacklustre three-star country house hotel market, had been successful because it appealed to a broad church of guests who appreciated its relaxed environment and good value room rates, said Mr Hutson.

The original Pig in Brockenhurst last month recorded 96% occupancy and served an average of 175 covers a day.

Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across the Bath area for just £75 a month. Email info@bath-business.net for more information.