The historic Feathers hotel in Ludlow, Shropshire – the source of a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease last year – is to be reopen in spring 2019 following its acquisition for an undisclosed sum by Crest Hotels.
The 40-bedroom property, which previously held three AA stars, was put on the market for £2.65m in January by the Ceney family who planned to retire having purchased it in 2002 for around £1.75m.
However, trading difficulties following the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the hotel in summer 2017 contributed to the hotel going into administration on 2 August 2018 and its closure 18 days later.
Elaine Brown, 69, from Merseyside died in August 2017 after suffering a stroke as a result of Legionnaires’ disease, just days after she stayed at the hotel with her husband. A previous victim of the disease, who was diagnosed in April 2017, recovered.
Built in 1619, the Grade I-listed, half-timbered Feathers hotel will now undergo a £500,000 refurbishment to reposition the property, with new look public areas and bedroom as well as new plumbing throughout. A new food concept will also be introduced, with the addition of a tea room and restaurant which aims to achieve two AA rosettes within six months.
Jason Hiley, group operations director at Crest Hotels, said: “This is an exciting time for the group and we are delighted to add such a unique and characterful property to our portfolio. The Feathers Hotel is packed with history and heritage which we are keen to preserve in the re-opening of the hotel.” and we look forward to the next few months where we can sensitively refurbish the hotel before the planned relaunch in spring.
“The hotel will continue to operate as an independent hotel with the support and wealth of experience from the Crest Hotels management team. Pivotal to the purchase is our desire to work with the local community to not only create 30 new jobs, with appointments benefiting from our bespoke training and development programme, but to also invest time in supporting the area as a tourist led destination and further boost the local economy.”
Raj Mittal, a partner at FRP Advisory, the administrator of the hotel, added: “We’re delighted to have concluded the successful sale of the Feathers hotel in Ludlow. The iconic building is central to travel and tourism in the area and we are pleased that Crest Hotels’ planned investment will secure future employment in the region.”
The Feathers joins a portfolio of four properties owned and managed by Crest Hotels that includes Holiday Inn Birmingham Airport, Holiday Inn Express Liverpool, Knowsley, and two hotels in Bristol: the Almondsbury Interchange and Arnos Manor.
Lambert Smith Hampton and Christie & Co marketed the hotel jointly.