A hotelier who has worked in Asia for more than 20 years has acquired a hotel in his home town of Lytham St Annes.
Andrew Whitaker, who is area general manager of Pensinula Clubs and Properties, part of Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, has bought the 17-bedroom Mode hotel for £735,000. He now plans to refurbish the property and add two bedrooms.
Having entered the hospitality industry helping his grandparents at their hotel in Lytham St Annes, Whitaker went on to work as conference and banqueting manager at Gleneagles and the Holiday Inn, Birmingham.
In 1992 he left the UK for Asia, where he has since worked as general manager in Taiwan, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia for a variety of companies including Rosewood Hotel Group, Andara Resort & Villas and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.
Whitaker will continue to live and work in Hong Kong, having retained Mode's management team, headed by Lina Kaval.
"I've been looking for a hotel to own in the UK for quite some time as my daughter has started school back home," he said. "Mode is a great hotel as it is in an ideal location for visitors to the seafront.
"I grew up in the area so it's great to be able to return home to develop a local business. Lina and her team have been managing the hotel for a number of years and bring with them experience and expertise to continue operations in a way customers have come expect over the years."
Whitaker obtained a six-figure loan from Nat West to support his acquisition of the hotel.
Dale Lawrenson, relationship manager at NatWest, said: I was delighted to support Andrew and the purchase of Mode hotel. Andrew brings of wealth of knowledge on the hotel and leisure sector, and I wish him and Mode hotel every success for the future."
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