Elite Hotels has sold the 228-bedroom Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa in Bedfordshire to the Arora Group for an undisclosed sum.
The sale will see all existing staff at the five-AA-starred hotel retained by the new owner and will enable Elite Hotels to forge ahead with a refurbishment plan for its three remaining properties: Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, East Sussex; Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens, Hampshire; and the Grand hotel in Eastbourne.
Originally known as a specialist airport hotel owner-operator, the Arora Group established its first city centre hotel in 2017 with the opening of the InterContinental London – the O2 and most recently has diversified further into the country house hotel market with the opening of Fairmont Windsor Park next month. The purchase of Luton Hoo was described as continuing its portfolio diversification, with the hotel "well positioned to capture the significant pent-up demand from leisure and corporate travel from domestic and international markets".
Graeme Bateman, managing director of Elite Hotels, said: "Naturally, we are sad to be parting company with Luton Hoo hotel, but we do so in the knowledge that we have passed the custodianship of this wonderful property into safe hands. We wish Surinder Arora and his team at the Arora Group every success as they move Luton Hoo hotel into a new era.
"May I also take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Matthew Long, general manager, and all his team/colleagues at Luton Hoo hotel for their personal commitment over the past 14-plus years. We will miss you all greatly as a former mainstay of the Elite family."
Surinder Arora, chief executive and chairman of the Arora Group, said: "Our acquisition of Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa continues to support our strategy to diversify our hotel portfolio and we are excited to build on the already significant investment and development by Elite Hotels since their purchase of the estate in 1999. We are excited to welcome the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa team to the Arora Group and are looking forward to the opportunities ahead for our expanded family."
Henry Jackson, head of hotel agency in the Knight Frank Hotels team, which oversaw the sale, added: "The Knight Frank Hotels team are delighted to have concluded the sale of Luton Hotel & Spa on behalf of Elite Hotels. We received multiple offers for this very special hotel from a variety of different types of purchasers. Surinder and his team will make excellent custodians of this truly exceptional asset and will build upon the hard work which Elite have invested into the hotel. This sale demonstrates the confidence in the UK hotel market, and we expect this to continue in 2022."
Payne Hicks Beach acted for Elite Hotels and CMS acted for the Arora Group.