Supermarket-chain Iceland co-founder Peter Hinchcliffe and his wife Deborah embarked on their first hotel venture together two decades ago and now operate five properties under the Alexander Hotels umbrella in the south of England.
Their fifth, AA Hotel of the Year 2018 Great Fosters in Egham, was acquired only in November last year, joining the group’s portfolio comprising four- and five-star hotels Alexander House Hotel, Rowhill Grange Hotel, Langshott Manor and Barnett Hill, which was acquired in 2016.
The pair were sparked to open their first hotel in 1994, inspired by the destination spa concept, long before the health and wellness trend was even a thing.
It was then that Rowhill Grange came on their radar and fitted the bill, with the opportunity for a spa expansion clear. The group has evolved since, with the spa remaining a key feature of the business model.
Three years later and Peter and Deborah snapped up Langshott Manor and invested money into building a new restaurant as well as a new wing of bedrooms.
In 2006 they acquired Alexander House Hotel and embarked on a 18-month long refurbishment process. Later that year the hotel became home to the group’s second flagship Utopia Spa and still remains one of the finest spas in the country.
In 2012, AA awarded Alexander House with five-star status, and in 2015 a collection of new Cedar Lodge Suites were completed.
Barnett Hill was taken over in 2016 and a £1.5m investment was ploughed into a full renovation programme to bring the 58-bedroom hotel up to the standard of the collection.
In November 2018, Peter said he was ‘thrilled’ to add Great Fosters to the portfolio, and said that the hotel’s Michelin star will add ‘significant gloss’ to the group’s wider offering.
Location: South of England