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Channel Islands health supplier moves into hotels

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A Guernsey-based supplier of nutritional supplements is set to diversify into the hotel market with the upgrade of three hotels in the Channel Islands.

Direct mail supplier Healthspan has been granted planning permission to revamp the Seaview hotel (a former smugglers’ haunt) on the island of Alderney into a 30-bedroom boutique hotel.

It is still awaiting the full go-ahead for plans to refurbish two properties in Guernsey – the 42-bedroom Fermain hotel and the 37-bedroom La Favorita, whose previous owner Simon Wood is now a director of the new hotel subsidiary, Healthspan Leisure.

Architect TP Bennett will refurbish the hotels to a high-quality three- to four-star standard and they are expected to reopen within 12 months. Despite the parent company’s background, the hotels will not be health or spa resorts.

Derek Coates, managing director of Healthspan, said the hotels would be the first of “a number of selective hotel acquisitions in the Channel Islands.”

“We believe we have an unparalleled ability to succeed in this market because we have a tremendously loyal customer base of more than two million customers in the UK,” he added. “They are typically over 45 years old and have high disposable incomes.”

He said 90% of a survey of 10,000 Healthspan customers had reacted positively to the idea of staying in a Healthspan hotel. Many have children who have left home and 20% said they would holiday with Healthspan in the traditionally empty months between October to March.

Healthspan will also benefit from free advertising in the magazine it sends out to existing customers every two months. Hotel customers will be able to book directly through Healthspan’s existing call centre, cutting out the cost of tour operators.

by Angela Frewin

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