Greenalls' De Vere Hotels division has succeeded in its second attempt to buy Slaley Hall, the big Northumberland golf hotel.
It bought the 1,000-acre site near Hexham for £16.2m, £9m below the asking price, from White Grange, a consortium of local businessmen.
White Grange pipped De Vere to the post when Slaley Hall went into receivership in 1991 with debts of £27m.The Slaley golf course has hosted international championships and a second course, designed by PGA chairman Neil Coles, is due to open in September.
The hotel, which has Albert Roux as its consulting chef, offers 142 bedrooms, timeshare lodges, and 11 conference and syndicate rooms catering for between eight and 400 delegates.
Paul Dermody, managing director of Greenalls Hotels and Leisure, said Slaley Hall fitted his company's profile of four- and five-star hotels with extensive golf facilities.
Another De Vere property, the Belfry, will host the Ryder Cup in 2001.