A Lake District hotel specialising in welcoming visually-impaired guests has been saved from closure following its acquisition by Starboard Hotels.
The 35-bedroom Windermere Manor hotel was bought by Starboard for an undisclosed sum off a guide price of £1.5m. It was one of three hotels previously operated under the Vision Hotel brand on behalf of the charity Action for Blind People, which merged earlier this year with Guide Dogs and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Starboard Hotels is a private company which owns and operates 14 hotels across the UK under a variety of brands including Holiday Inn Express, Best Western, Days Inn and Ibis. It will continue to provide facilities for the visually impaired at Windermere Manor, working with the hotel’s staff and local volunteers to provide assistance to guests, who are often accompanied by guide dogs.
Paul Callingham, managing director of Starboard Hotels, said he is “thrilled” to secure the future of Windermere Manor.
“We intend to sympathetically restore the hotel, maintaining the great facilities that already exist for people with sight loss and their families, alongside offering superb facilities for everyone to enjoy,” he added.
Andrew Wilson, general manager of the Windermere Manor, said: “This is an exciting time for the hotel. Our team is very much looking forward to our new positioning as part of a successful portfolio of hotels that truly understands the needs of our guests, our staff and volunteers.”
An RNIB spokesperson added: “We believe this sale represents the very best outcome for the hotel staff, who will continue in their roles, and for all guests.”
The Windermere Manor hotel was one of three non-profit hotels put up for sale last year after Action for Blind People deemed the properties to not be financially viable.
The 37-bedroom Lauriston hotel in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, was sold earlier this year to Weston College of Further Education, off a guide price of £1.2m, while the 47-bedroom Cliffden hotel in Teignmouth, Devon, is yet to be sold.
Videos from The Caterer archives