A boutique hotel in South Wales which attracted a celebrity clientele has been put up for sale after falling into financial difficulties.
The 12-bedroom Holm House in Penarth, near Cardiff, closed its doors at the end of May and is now being jointly marketed by Christie & Co and David Baker & Co. Offers are being invited in excess of £2.1m.
Hotel management company, ICMI - founded by the senior management of Inverlochy Castle, one of Scotland's most renowned luxury hotels - was brought in to operate the hotel when financial problems at Holm House, which is owned by Margaret Hewlett and her daughter Sue Sessions, first arose.
However, ICMI terminated the contract after five months when the owners "did not fulfil their legal obligations", according to Norbert Lieder, managing director of the management company. Lieder declined to comment further, saying that the issue was now "a legal matter".
Holm House hit financial difficulties in 2010 when it went into liquidation, owing hundreds of thousands of pounds to a local builder for refurbishment work. Prior to the liquidation, the hotel was registered in the name of Piod, a company operated by Hewlett and Sessions, who then continued to trade the business through a new company, the Luxury Hospitality Group, with the day-to-day operation handled by Holm House Hotels Management.
As well as attracting celebrity guests such as Gary Lineker and actress Keeley Hawes, Holm House made a name for itself through its restaurant Neale's, where chef Bryn Williams, a former participant in the BBC's Great British Menu, was a consultant.
Margaret Hewlett declined to comment.
By Janet Harmer
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