Experienced hotelier Nigel Chapman has returned to the UK market to launch a new family-friendly luxury group, Halcyon Hotels and Resorts.
The group made its first purchase this week with the completion of the 41-bedroom Polurrian hotel, situated on the cliff top overlooking Mounts Bay, Mullion, Cornwall, off a sale price of £2.3m. The hotel will remain open while it undergoes a complete makeover.
Halcyon is seeking to raise up to £10m from private individuals who are willing to invest a minimum of £10,000 into the new business.
"It is a great time to be returning to the UK market as it is a good time to be able to buy the right hotels at the right price," said Chapman, who aims to acquire up to five hotels in the south of England, over the next one to two years.
"Ideally we want to find properties that have the potential to become small luxury resorts of between 80 and 150 bedrooms. Each one is likely to offer a different experience, so we are looking at hotels in the country as well as on the coast."
Chapman intends to repeat the success of Luxury Family Hotels (see panel) in transforming underperforming hotels into quality properties offering a wide range of activities for the family market.
Halcyon is targeting a similar return for its investors as achieved by Luxury Family Hotels, which was sold in 2005 at a price that achieved a return to shareholder of £2.70 for each £1 invested.
Boutique investment house Enterprise Private Equity is handling the investment opportunities in Halcyon, which closes on 31 March 2011.
nigel chapman's sound track record
Nigel Chapman made his name in the UK hotel industry, alongside his business partner, Nicholas Dickinson, with two hotel groups - the four-strong Luxury Family Hotels (LFH), and Alias Hotels, which had five city-centre boutique properties. LFH was sold in 2005 to Von Essen for more than £20m and Alias Hotels was later sold to Swire Hotels.
While Dickinson was the experienced hotel operator, Chapman, a trained accountant, was responsible for the look and feel of the properties they owned.
It was a formidable partnership, with the pair being among the first to identify a demand for quality country house hotels within the family market. With Alias, they created a trendier brand, aimed at the business traveller.
Chapman and Dickinson continue to work together as partners in the Martinhal Beach Resort Hotel, which they launched last year in Sagres, Portugal.
By Janet Harmer
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