Fawlty Towers Torbay hotel sold for redevelopment

10 December 2015 by
Fawlty Towers Torbay hotel sold for redevelopment

The Torbay hotel that inspired John Cleese to write the 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers has been sold to Churchill Retirement Living for redevelopment into 32 retirement flats.

The Hotel Gleneagles, a former 42-bedroom boutique hotel, which closed earlier this year, has been sold by owners Brian Shone and Terrence Taylor of Oceana Hotels off a guide price of £1.5m.

The property was sold after planning consent for the redevelopment was granted by Torbay Council. Shone and Taylor sold three hotels in Bournemouth earlier this year to an un-named Qatari company off a guide price of £16m.

According to Martin Rogers, hotels director at Savills, the company responsible for the Hotel Gleneagles sale, the property struggled to be profitable. "The sale reflects the difference in value between its existing use and an alternative use, which very often in this sort of situation is residential," he said.

The hotel became the inspiration for Fawlty Towers after Cleese stayed at the property with the Monty Python team in the early 1970s. At that time the hotel was described as upmarket because it had private bathrooms. The character of Basil Fawlty was inspired by the eccentric behaviour of the hotel's then owner, Donald Sinclair, who is said to have criticised Terry Gilliam's etiquette and tossed Eric Idle's briefcase out of a window in case it contained a bomb.

In September 2006 Prunella Scales, who played Sybil Fawlty, was guest of honour at the reopening of the hotel after a £1m makeover.

Three Bournemouth hotels sold to Qatari group >>

Dorset hoteliers buy the original ‘Fawlty Towers' >>

*Looking for a job? See all the current hotel vacancies available with The Caterer* Jobs >>

Latest video from The Caterer

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking