The 39-bedroom Best Western Crown Hotel in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, is to undergo a £3m investment following its sale to the Antoinette Group.
Situated in the heart of the New Forest and located on the site of a coaching inn dating back to the 17th century, the hotel was sold by Ian Dunn of Evergreen Hotels, who will now concentrate on running the Calcot hotel in Reading. It was purchased off a guide price of £2.5m, through the Government-backed National Loan Guarantee Scheme, which resulted in Antoinette Hotels receiving 1% of the purchase price back from backers Barclays Bank.
Paul Buzasi, managing director of Antoinette Hotels, which he owns with his brother, Adam, said that Barclays were keen to back their purchase of the hotel because they were both so "hands-on" in the business.
Investment plans include the expansion of the hotel to 53 bedrooms and the creation of a gastropub experience in the hotel's brasserie.
"The Crown is a wonderful building within a beautiful location," he said. "We are planning to drop the Best Western branding and market the hotel as an independent hotel, as well as expand the hotel's wedding business. We will be focusing on continuing to provide an excellent customer experience at the Crown Hotel, as we currently strive to offer all our guests."
Antoinette Hotels was set up by the Buzasi's Hungarian-born grandfather, Arpad Buzasi, in 1961 with the opening of a property in Kingston. The group now owns four hotels and is keen to purchase more properties, particularly in the south-west London area.
The Best Western Crown Hotel was sold through Colliers International.
By Janet Harmer
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