Plymouth’s Moorland Garden Hotel has closed down as it is sold to a new owner at a ‘significant loss’ leaving many customers unable to claim refunds from lost bookings.
The hotel has been owned by Brian and Sonia Meaden, parents of Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden since 2011, who put the property on the market earlier this year for just under £2m, hoping to sell the hotel as a going concern, keeping the business going.
Now it’s been revealed in a letter to customers that the 44-bedroom hotel has been bought for a lower sum amid the coronavirus pandemic and will be converted into another use, meaning the hospitality business will cease trading for good.
The letter to customers said: “As you might be aware, the company has been seeking to sell its business as a going concern with a view to business at The Moorland Garden Hotel continuing.
“However, it has become apparent that on completion of the sale of the hotel the buyer plans to convert the building for another use, so the company will cease to trade as a hotel and it will therefore not be in a position to fulfil your booking.
“The building is being sold at a significant loss affected by recent events and is not able to return your deposit payment(s). The company is reviewing its creditor liabilities and next steps in that respect, therefore in first instance you will need to speak with your event insurer or credit card company about reclaiming any deposit paid.”
The news has caused a stir in local press, with many couples who had booked a wedding at the hotel coming forward to say they have been told that will not be refunded. As a result, a petition has been set up.