The Celtic Manor Resort is to take the management of its fine-dining restaurant back in-house, with the launch of a new outlet in May.
Its current three-AA-rosette fine-dining restaurant, the Crown at Celtic Manor, will close on 30 April when the management agreement between the five-star, 330-bedroom hotel and the restaurant's operator, Crown Hotels and Restaurants (CHR), expires.
It is the second contract that CHR has lost within eight months. Last August the contract it had to operate the restaurant at the Thistle hotel in Cardiff was terminated only nine months after the collaboration between the two parties was announced.
The original link between CHR and the Celtic Manor Resort was extended for a year after an initial three-year agreement.
Head chef Tim McDougall and his team will remain in place to oversee the new restaurant, while executive chef James Sommerin who previously oversaw the kitchen at the Crown at Celtic Manor, will remain at the Michelin-starred Crown at Whitebrook, operated by CHR.
Celtic Manor's chief operating officer Ian Edwards said: "The Crown at Celtic Manor has developed a strong reputation and loyal clientele in its four years of operation but now is the time for the Celtic Manor Resort to reclaim sole ownership and management of its fine-dining restaurant.
"We are committed to maintaining a restaurant of the highest quality in exactly the same location with the majority of the restaurant staff staying in place. The name will be changing but the aim remains the same - to provide the finest gourmet cuisine delivered with immaculate service in a wonderful ambience.
"We have enjoyed our association with Crown Hotels and Restaurants, and the Michelin-starred Crown at Whitebrook, but both parties agree the partnership has run its course.
Jonathan Davies, director of CHR, said: "We're gratified that the Celtic Manor Resort has benefited to such an extent from their involvement with Crown Hotels and Restaurant over these past years that it is now taking the fine-dining restaurant forward, as it is, under its own stewardship. We wish them very well for the future."
The Crown at Celtic Manor is one of six restaurants at the hotel alongside Newbridge on Usk (two AA rosettes), Rafters, Le Patio (both one AA rosette), The Lodge and Olive Tree.
By Janet Harmer
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