Barnett Hill hotel, near Guildford, Surrey, is to undergo a total renovation after being acquired for an undisclosed sum by Utopia Leisure, the parent company of Alexander Hotels and Utopia Spas.
Located within a Queen Anne-style property in 26 acres of the Surrey Hills, Barnett Hill was operated as a conference facility until its sale by the Sundial Group, which continues to run two venues: Highgate House in Creaton, Northamptonshire, and Woodside in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
The property currently features 58 bedrooms and 19 conference rooms, which will be reduced in number to make way for new suites during the transformation of the property into a country house hotel.
Deborah Hinchcliffe, who owns Utopia Leisure with her husband Peter, will oversee the new interior design of Barnett Hill, which has now joined sister properties the five-AA-star, 58-bedroom Alexander House hotel in Turner’s Hill, West Sussex; the four-red-AA-star, 22-bedroom Langshott Manor in Horley, Surrey; and the four-AA-star, 38-bedroom Rowhill Grange hotel in Wilmington, Kent.
The Hinchcliffes said that having built up Alexander Hotels over 21 years, the time was now right to embark on a new adventure and expand the portfolio.
“The moment we first saw Barnett Hill, we knew this property would work for us. It showcases considerable potential to be an award-winning, iconic hotel in Surrey and the UK and we are truly delighted to start a new journey with this property,” they said.
Tim Hall will continue his role as general manager of Barnett Hill, with the group’s director of operations, Ian Heath, overseeing the renovation project.
Built in the early 20th century as a private residence by the grandson of travel agent Thomas Cook before being used by the Red Cross as a convalescent hospital during World War Two, Barnett Hill will remain open for business through the renovations.