Rothay Garden in Grasmere – named as Small Hotel of the Year in the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 – has been sold to a South African investment company.
Based in Cape Town, Fairtree International has appointed Providence Hospitality to manage the four-silver-AA-star, 30-bedroom hotel, previously owned by Chris Carss.
Carss, who had been connected to the hotel for 30 years, bought a majority shareholding in the business in 2003 having previously held a 15% stake. He said he was delighted that Rothay Gardens will “remain in safe and capable hands” and added: “A bright new chapter is beginning for the hotel, its staff and its guests”.
Although Carss has retired from hotelkeeping after a career of 45 years, he now intended to continue to work on a number of other business interests.
Fairtree International and Providence Hospitality both form part of the Fairtree group of companies, which owns and operates hotels and resorts in the UK and South Africa. Providence’s 17-strong portfolio includes nine hotels in the UK, including two others in Cumbria: Borrowdale Gates hotel, near Keswick, and the Grange at Grange-over-Sands. It also also mange the Rosevine hotel in Truro, Cornwall, and the Headland hotel in Torquay, Devon.
Joe Bester, co-founder of Providence’s, said the Rothay Garden acquisition was part of a wider expansion of the business. “We aim to be well-represented countrywide and establish a reputation as one of the top hotel operators in the UK and South Africa.”
Rothay Garden features the two AA-rosette Garden restaurant and the Riverside spa.