The acquisition of the 30-bedroom St Martin’s on the Isle hotel, on the Scilly Isles, by the Karma Royal Group marks the company’s first UK site.
Now known as Karma St Martin’s, the hotel, which is located on the third largest of the Scilly Isles, was put on the market in 2011 for £2.5m. It was previously owned by Peter and Penny Sykes for more than 20 years. Its restaurant, Tean, held a Michelin star briefly in 2007-08 under the then head chef Kenny Atkinson.
British-born John Spence, chairman and chief executive of the Karma Royal Group, operates 30 luxury resorts in Asia, Australia and Europe, including some operating on a fractional ownership basis.
He said that he was “thrilled” as a British national to enter the UK market for the first time. “Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall are simply breathtaking and St Martin’s, as one of the smallest and least populated, stands out for its exquisite, pristine beaches, undoubtedly the finest in the British Isles,” he explained.
Karma St Martin’s, which is located within 2.8hectares of grounds on the south western shore of the island, will close on 31 October to be refurbished at a cost of several million pounds by designer Nicky Haslam. Current rates of £150 per room per night are expected to double when the hotel reopens in spring 2015.
Neha Sharma, the hotel’s general manager, said that the positivity surrounding Karma St Martin’s will bring a new lease to the tiny island, with a population of just 150, with its “five star hippy” ethos. She is joined at the hotel by head chef Tom Kneale.
St Martin’s on the Isle hotel for sale at £2.5m >>