BDL Select Hotels has bought the four-strong Paten Hotels group for around £45m.
The historic hotels include the four-star Bedford Swan hotel which sits on the embarkment overlooking the River Great Ouse in the town centre. It was built in 1794 for the 5th Duke of Bedford and acquired by Paten Hotels in 1916.
Facilities include 113 en-suite bedrooms, the 100-seat River Room restaurant, and eight conference rooms capable of holding a combined 250 people. They include the Coach Room and State Room (which can respectively accommodate 250 and 120 delegates theatre-style) along with three boardrooms for between four and 16 customers.
The three-star Best Western Grosvenor hotel is a Georgian property in the heart of Stratford Upon Avon that was converted from three private homes built between 1832 and 1843.
Along with 73 en-suite bedrooms, the hotel offers an 80-seat restaurant, lounge areas, a bar, and five conference and meeting rooms to hold up to 107 delegates including the 120-capacity Grosvenor Suite.
The two, four-star, modern hotels - the Langstone near Portsmouth and the Best Western Marks Tey hotel in the Essex town of Colchester - also have extensive conference facilities and a Lifestyle health and leisure club that includes a beauty salon and a Roman-style pool and spa.
The Langstone is eight miles from Portsmouth on the north shore of Hayling Island. Its offer includes 148 en-suite bedrooms, the 120-seat Harbour Lights restaurant, lounges and a bar, a patio, and an aerobics studio within the leisure club.
Its 12 conference and meeting rooms include the 130-capacity Spinnaker Suite, the 200-capacity Langstone Suite 200 and the new 160-capacity Winchester Suite.
The 110-bedroom Best Western Marks Tey hotel, which also has a Lifestyle leisure club, provides a 100-seat restaurant, lounges and a bar, a leisure and health club with added gymnasium and tennis courts, and 12 meeting rooms that include the 180-capacity Balken Suite and the 70-capacity Claudius Suite.
The sale was handled by the Manchester office of Colliers Robert Barry, which received instructions to sell Paten Hotels in December 2007.
By Angela Frewin