Devon's Manor House and Ashbury Golf hotels on the market for £23m

07 June 2022 by
Devon's Manor House and Ashbury Golf hotels on the market for £23m

The Manor House hotel and Ashbury Golf hotel in Devon have been put up for sale, inviting offers of at least £23m, as the owners are looking to retire from the industry after 44 years of ownership.

Situated within two miles of each other, the Manor House hotel and Ashbury Golf hotel operate as one leisure business, comprising 404 guest bedrooms and around 60 staff bedrooms.

The combined business is set within 546 acres on the fringes of Dartmoor National Park and includes the ninth largest golf resort in the world, averaging more than 110,000 rounds of golf played every year across the five 18-hole golf courses.

There are more than 50 sport, craft, leisure and spa activities available for guests, with extensive indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, operating as an all-year round tourism destination.

Owners Joan and Simon Essex bought what was a 10-bedroom manor house in 1978 and developed the hotel business, which now reports revenues of more than £15m every year.

Joan and Simon said: "Soon, it will be 44 years since we moved into the Manor House, originally a large house in 17 acres with fantastic views of Dartmoor. We had a plan to build the only sport and craft hotel in Britain, offering an unprecedented range of opportunities and facilities. We have fulfilled that dream. However, we are aware that our joint age is 152 and it's time to step aside.

"We have been working with our experienced team, together with our agents Knight Frank, to roll out a marketing plan for the sale of our business. We are proud to recognise the enormous contribution that our staff have made to the success of the Manor and Ashbury resorts and we are certain that this will continue to be the case. The resorts offer further growth for the next custodian with an exciting chapter ahead for the business."

Matthew Smith, partner in the Knight Frank hotels team, which is marketing the property, said: "The opportunity arises simply due to our client's decision to retire from the industry. Through their vision and business philosophy they have installed an established structured management team with extensive knowledge of the operation supported by loyal, local and trustworthy staff who have embraced the business, have defined roles and responsibilities and are passionate to providing the very best experience for their guests.

"Given the strength of the domestic market it is no surprise the business is currently benefitting from increased trading performance. The resorts, which are to be sold as one business, will no doubt appeal to an array of investors seeking a substantial land holding in the south west, and should provide further value-add and development opportunities."

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