Ian and Christa Taylor have sold the four-AA-star Abbey hotel in Bath to fund yet to be disclosed new hotel projects.
The property has been bought for an undisclosed sum by KE Hotels, the owner of two UK hotels – the 87-bedroom Best Western Linton Lodge in Oxford and 147-bedroom Moxy by Marriott hotel, which is currently under construction in Manchester. Headed by Anil Khanna as managing director, KE Hotels also owns a number of hotels in the US.
The Taylors acquired the Abbey hotel in 2012 for £5.5m from Compass Hotels and have since undertaken an extensive repositioning of the business, taking it from a three-AA-star to a four-AA-star hotel and increasing turnover from £1.8m to £4.4m.
Today the hotel runs as an independent business after the Taylors left the Best Western sales and marketing consortium in 2014. The hotel's Allium restaurant, initially launched with Chris Staines as head chef and now headed by Rupert Taylor, is now a key focus of the busy operation, alongside the ArtBar.
Andrew Foulkes will currently remain at the hotel as general manager.
The Taylors will now concentrate on running No 15 Great Pulteney - which they confirmed is not for sale - under parent company Kaleidoscope Collection, while they explore an expansion of the business.
Ian Taylor said: "Christa and I decided last year to sell the Abbey, and to use the funds to move forward with exciting new hotel projects. We are delighted it will be part of the KE Hotels portfolio and Anil's plans for the future of the hotel are very exciting - we both know Anil and the team will give the hotel as much care and dedication as we have done, over the past few years, and we wish them all the very best for the future."
KE Hotels now intends to build on the Abbey's customer experience, by investing in the interiors and the staff.
Khanna said:"We are so pleased to be adding the Abbey Hotel to our portfolio. It has a great location, moments from Bath's most visited sights. It also has a wonderful Georgian faÁ§ade, balanced by welcoming, contemporary interiors - and a strong sense of place and identity.
"We will work hard to make sure that we preserve what makes the Abbey so special, whilst being utterly committed to investing in the hotel and working with the team to continue to grow and enhance the business."
Prior to buying the Abbey hotel, the Taylors owned the Cotswold House hotel and the Noel Arms in Chipping Campden until they sold the two properties in 2007. During their eight-year tenure, they scooped a rarely-matched three Catey awards - Independent Hotel of the Year in 2005 and Best Independent Marketing Campaign in 2005 and 2007.
Last year they sold the 21-bedroom Villa at Henrietta Park in Bath to the Indian-owned Roseate Hotels & Resorts.