New Forest hotel Spot in the Woods has been sold a year after the death of its co-founder and world-leading sommelier Gerard Basset.
Hillbrooke Hotels, the owner of three properties, has acquired the 11-bedroom hotel in Netley Marsh, Hampshire, which Gerard and Nina Basset opened in 2007 as TerraVina. The business was relaunched in summer 2018 as an 11-bedroom boutique B&B called Spot in the Woods with the Kitchen Café.
Gerard died at the age of 61 in January 2019 from after being diagnosed with oesophagus cancer two years earlier.
Spot in the Woods will now join Hilbrooke's wider portfolio comprised of the Bull & Swan in Burgley, and William Cecil in Stamford, both in Lincolnshire, and Master Builders in Buckler's Hard, Hampshire.
Nina Bassett was supported in the sale of the hotel by Andrew Theobold of Independent Hotel Consultants & Advisors as she sought to find a buyer who would continue her and Gerard's legacy.
"I am delighted that Spot in the Woods will continue to operate with the current team under the new ownership of Hillbrooke Hotels," she said. "Gerard and I worked together for many years and it was his final wish that a suitable buyer could be found to enable the business to flourish after his death. I am enormously grateful to Andrew Theobold for all of his help with the sale, which was made challenging being an off-market acquisition.
"I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a rich career in hospitality from my days at Chewton Glen (where Gerard and I first met) to becoming the youngest ever hotel and restaurant inspector before helping to create the phenomenon that was Hotel du Vin. I am grateful to the numerous people whom I have met along the way and who supported us as a family during two difficult years leading up to Gerard's death. The time is now right to hand over the business to others and I look forward to the end of one era and the start of a new chapter."
Gerard was named the World's Best Sommelier in 2010 and won a plethora of awards during an unprecedented career including four Cateys (the Special Award in 2010, Wine and Spirit Ambassador Award in 2014 as well as Newcomer of the Year for Hotel du Vin in 1996 and Hotel of the Year for Hotel du Vin in 2001), an OBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2011 and the Order du Mérite Agricole from the French government in 2018.