Hand Picked Hotels sell Priest Hotel to focus on expansion


Hand Picked Hotels has now exchanged contracts to sell The Priest House Hotel in Derbyshire as the group ramps up its expansion drive.

The country house hotel group, founded and run by Julia Hands, has sold the 42-bedroom hotel near Castle Donington to Stuart Garner, who already owns and operates the neighbouring Donington Hall on the same site.

The sale will be completed on January 29 and all employees will be transferred to the new owner.

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Stuart Garner said: “Already owning and operating Donington Hall, the acquisition of The Priest House Hotel our neighbouring property, makes perfect sense. Combining the two properties gives operational scale and a fabulous offering to our clients. With a combined 80 acres of grounds, bordered by an ancient deer park and the river Trent, our location is second to none.”

The Priest House Hotel is set in 54 acres and the building is a converted Norman mill tower and 17th century cottage on the banks of River Trent. The 4 AA Star and 2 AA Rosette hotel consists of 42 bedrooms as well as extensive conference and banqueting facilities.

Julia Hands, chairman and chief executive, Hand Picked Hotels, said: “The Priest House is an attractive property in a lovely setting. However, we do have a concentration of hotels in the Midlands, with gaps elsewhere geographically which we would like to fill. We are keen to add additional slightly larger hotels to the Hand Picked Hotels collection and we continue to search for hotels in strategic locations across the UK.”

As part of the move, Hand Picked Hotels will now focus on larger hotels in strategic locations.

Seiont Manor Hotel in the group went up for sale at the same time as The Priest House Hotel, with an asking price of £2m.