Birch, the new lifestyle hotel brand from hotelier Chris Penn and entrepreneur Chris King, has delayed its opening until June due to the coronavirus crisis.
The former De Vere Theobalds Estate hotel in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, was set to relaunch as the 140-bedroom Birch hotel on 24 April.
A statement from the co-founders said: "Unfortunately and unavoidably, we've decided to delay opening Birch until June (although this delay may be extended further depending on how the coronavirus develops).
"In some ways this has been a difficult decision given we've been working for over two years to open Birch this April. In most ways it's a pretty simple one…
"We want Birch to be your escape.
"A space you feel safe to rest, reset, and have fun in. With the coronavirus as it is, we don't want to jeopardise this feeling or put anyone at risk – whether that's someone who works at Birch or visits it.
"This is the right thing to do to keep everyone safe. We want to open our doors as much as (it seems) people want to walk through them, but until that moment arrives we'll try keep you entertained with stories and suggestions from our Birch producers.
"Rest assured that when we can finally open our doors we'll be rolling out the red carpet, ready for your arrival."
The hotel is a joint venture between Penn and King's management company, Performance Hotels, and owner Aprirose. The real estate investment company bought the property in 2018, and £8.5m has been invested in transforming the site.