US hotel group acquires two Cambridge hotels after year-long search for right properties for portfolio

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A US hotel group has acquired two hotels in Cambridgeshire following more than a year of searching for the right UK properties to add to its portfolio.

The group, which operates in the UK as Cambridgeshire Hotels, acquired The Dolphin in February for £3.4m and now The Pike & El in St Ives, with the help of a £1.8m funding boost from NatWest.

Cambridgeshire Hotels was created by Oklahoma-based Aston Management Company and Wembley-based Raju Karania. Aston has 40 years of hotel and hospitality management experience, with hotels in the US operating under brands including Hilton and Marriott.

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The group spent more than a year looking for UK hotels to invest in, according to Ravi Gupta, managing director of Cambridgeshire Hotels.

The Dolphin will also undergo a range of refurbishments as part of the takeover.

Gupta said: “We will continue to operate these fantastic hotels as independent, family-run hotels, retaining their character while looking to make improvements wherever possible,” he added.

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