A former oil industry executive has bought the Beaumont House hotel in Cheltenham off a guide price of £2.1m.
The 16-bedroom property, which dates back to the mid-19th century, was acquired by Fiona Burke from an undisclosed private seller in a deal brokered by Colliers International. Burke said she plans to develop and expand the operation to target business travellers.
Burke’s move from oil into hospitality follows a 20-year career with energy company BP, including a six-year stint working in currency risk management and oil derivative sales.
Dublin-born Burke was inspired to set up Willow Boutique Hotels – named after her daughter – after co-director Arron Howle left the oil industry four years ago to buy the Peartree Serviced Apartments Hotel in Salisbury.
“Though the oil industry is an exciting place for a career and I thoroughly enjoyed my time at BP, following the birth of my daughter I started to look for a new challenge,” said Burke. “I knew Arron was making a great success of his new business in Salisbury – and achieving a much better work-life balance.
“I’m planning to do something similar at Beaumont House as there is plenty of potential to build up the business, by adding more rooms and small suites aimed at the business traveller.
“They often stay over for two or more nights and love the idea of their own kitchen space. I also want to cater more for families and hope to add spa treatment facilities along with daytime coffee and cakes.”
Peter Brunt, a director in the hotels team at Colliers International, added: “With a combination of Regency architecture, heritage and the proximity to the glorious Cotswolds, Cheltenham is a magnet for tourists and visitors with events and highlights throughout the year – which is why hotels in this class generate enormous interest when brought to market.
“Recent months have seen a flurry of competitive bidding for hotel, guest house and pub opportunities in the Cotswolds and reflect the attraction the hospitality sector in the region holds for buyers.”