Charles Merchie, former general manager at Feversham Arms, Swinton Park and Wood Hall, has purchased his first hotel.
Merchie has taken over The White Swan in Middleham, North Yorkshire and is currently transforming the property back into its previous namesake, The Wensleydale Hotel to run as a 17-bedroom boutique hotel when it reopens this month.
The building’s public areas, bedrooms and restaurant are being revamped, with a new eatery, the Tack Room due to be unveiled soon.
Two junior suites and a family room have also been added to the inventory.
Merchie said: “I’ve got big plans for the next 12 months at The Wensleydale; not only the aesthetic transformations which will increase our capacity for overnight and dining guests, but we will also be transforming the restaurant and offering a new concept of traditional continental and British cuisine, with artisan charcuterie and bread specialities.
“When my wife, Fiona, and I first started looking for a hotel, we went back to Fiona’s roots and explored the beautiful Moors and the Dales, which is where we stumbled upon The White Swan up for sale. It matched our criteria perfectly; a medium sized hotel with a restaurant in a great location with loads of potential – we can’t wait to officially relaunch as The Wensleydale in a few weeks’ time!”
The Wensleydale will be run by Charles and Fiona, with their two sons working on the bar and in the Tack Room during university holidays.
Rui Barradas, has been appointed resident manager.
With phase one of the renovation project soon to be completed, phase two will then begin in the autumn and winter this year with a thermal spa suite and a new duplex of junior suites in the pipeline.
NatWest bank helped to provide funding support for the purchase of The Wensleydale.