The Big Sleep - the budget hotel brand that was launched to provide a boutique experience at a keen price - has been put on the market for £6.6m.
While its founder, Cosmo Fry, hopes that the three hotels in Cardiff, Cheltenham and Eastbourne (pictured), will be sold together, they are also available as individual properties. The 81-bedroom Cardiff hotel is available for £2m, while the properties in Cheltenham and Eastbourne are on the market for £3m and £1.6m respectively.
Fry, who is an heir of the chocolate family and a director of Bath's Theatre Royal, opened the first Big Sleep, with his wife, Lulu Anderson, a fashion journalist, in Cardiff in 1999. He has now decided to concentrate on other business ventures.
Bedrooms with sugar pink and baby blue décor, combined with public areas with colourful, eclectic designs ensured the Big Sleep offered a point of difference from the bland, corporate look of most budget brands.
"The Big Sleep brand was a bit of a bolt from the blue to the hotel industry as Lulu and I came to the sector with no background experience so were not restrained by having to conform to anybody else's ideas of how hotels should look or operate," Fry explained.
"It is extremely sad for us to be putting the hotels up for sale, having put so much effort into them. The most difficult thing is letting the hotels go when there is clearly so much untapped potential within the brand.
"There is plenty of mileage left in the Big Sleep concept and we are hoping a bigger chain will recognise this as an opportunity to acquire a bespoke hotel brand with a proven track record."
The Big Sleep received widespread publicity when it was featured the reality show Risky Business, which was screened on ITV West and Sky Travel in 2007.
Peter Brunt, hotels director of Colliers International, which is marketing the properties, said he was expecting "an enormous amount of interest" in the hotels, both individually and as a whole portfolio. "They represent a 13-year investment of time, money and most importantly, imagination," he added.
By Janet Harmer
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