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Hydro hotel sold out of administration to Thai-based group

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Hydro hotel sold out of administration to Thai-based group

The Hydro hotel in Windermere has been bought out of administration by Lake Merritt Group, securing the jobs of all 32 staff.

Scottish hotel asset management company 7 Hospitality has been appointed to operate the property.

Phil Pierce and Paul Whitwam, partners at FRP Advisory, were appointed joint administrators of the 78-bedroom property in Cumbria on 8 February after a £1.7m renovation project led to cashflow issues.

Colliers International began marketing the hotel off a guide price range of £2.5-2.75m in January ahead of administration.

Squire Hotels acquired the property in 2014 for a sum close to the guide price of £3.75m from Paul Tomlinson and Ken Burchill ahead of their retirement.

The group’s 86-bedroom Samlesbury hotel in Preston, Lancashire fell into administration in April last year and was quickly followed by its 64-bedroom Etrop Grange hotel in Manchester.

The Samlesbury was bought out of administration by KRO Hospitality in partnership with AccorHotels, and will operate as the Mercure Preston Samlesbury hotel after a £1.5m revamp and relaunch in April.

Lake Merritt Group also owns the Best Western Edinburgh South Braid Hills hotel.

Prab Thakral, an advisor to Lake Merritt Group, said: “The Hydro is an exciting addition to our fast-growing portfolio. We have identified a significant opportunity for development within both the grounds and the hotel itself. We are confident our developments will reposition this great hotel within the strong Windermere leisure market.”

Pierce said: “We worked closely with all parties to secure the sale of the Hydro hotel, and the acquisition is the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Not only does it guarantee that people’s holidays, weddings and events can go ahead, but it also saves a significant number of local jobs.”

Julian Troup, head of UK hotels agency at Colliers International, said the sale was “indicative of an unprecedented level of interest from buyers wanting to acquire UK provincial hotels, with the Lake District continuing to be Colliers’ most productive area in the UK and the sale coming hot on the heels of that of the Queens hotel, Ambleside last month”.

He said buyers ranged from international investors attracted by weaker sterling and improving trading prospects, private buyers seeking the benefits of a lifestyle opportunity and corporate investors focused on favourable returns and real estate alternatives.

7 Hospitality managing director Richard Ellison added: “We are excited to work with the new owners in the redevelopment and repositioning of this iconic hotel.”

FRP Advisory was advised by Doug Robertson of Irwin Mitchell in Leeds. Mark Chambers and Kaushik Mistry of Onecall Hospitality were engaged by the administrators to assist in the trading of the hotel in administration.

Squire Hotels’ Hydro hotel falls into administration >>

The Samlesbury hotel to operate under Mercure brand after administration buy-out >>

Manchester’s Etrop Grange follows the Samlesbury into administration >>

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