The Elvetham hotel in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire has been sold to Jastar Capital – a hotels, real estate and private equity business operated by the children of one of the Matharu brothers who founded Grange Hotels.
Jastar was set up earlier this year by siblings Jay, Taran and Sindri Matharu following a reorganisation of Grange Hotels, which saw four London properties sold to Queensgate Investments in a deal worth around £1b. The chairman of Jastar is the siblings' father Raj Matharu, who alongside brothers Harpal and Tony founded Grange Hotels.
The Dare family has sold the freehold of the 72-bedroom country house hotel, owner via their Richmond & Hampshire business, after 18 years of ownership for an undisclosed sum.
Dating back to the 1200s, the estate includes 35 acres of landscaped grounds, 21 meeting spaces and 10 separate buildings over 79,000 sq ft of space. Jastar Capital is planning a "significant investment" into the property including refurbishment of bedrooms, bathrooms and public areas, and the creation of a new restaurant and spa.
Jastar's portfolio includes three of the 11 Grange hotels – London's Fitzrovia, Langham Court and the Strathmore hotel in South Kensington, which continue to operate under the Grange Hotels brand – as well as two hotel development sites including a 426-bedroom hotel at Heathrow Airport.
The Elvetham is expected to be the first of several acquisitions and developments for the group, which has "ambitious plans to grow its presence in the hospitality sector across the UK", according to property director Jay Matharu.
He added: "We are pleased to announce the addition of the Elvetham to the Jastar Capital portfolio. We hope to build on the well-loved foundation that has been safeguarded by the Dare family for almost two decades."
Greville Dare, managing director of Richmond & Hampshire, said: "I am personally delighted for the Elvetham, and for the staff, that the Elvetham has been acquired by another privately owned 'family' business like ourselves. The Matharus are highly experienced, professional and successful hoteliers with great vision and resources which will enable them to further unlock the Elvetham's exciting potential."
Alex Lee-Bull, associate director, hotel investment properties, CBRE, which advised on the sale, said: "The sale provides an excellent opportunity for the new owner to reposition the Elvetham and take advantage of the property's rich history and character."