Mark Bevan is to leave Chewton Glen, where he has been general manger for nearly four years, to take up the same role at Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa in Warminster, Wiltshire.
He will join the four-silver-AA-star, 32-bedroom hotel (pictured) in June to oversee a total renovation of the 18th-century property over the next five to six years.
Bishopstrow was recently bought by commercial and residential property developer Frank Mountain of Versant Developers for an undisclosed sum from Longleat Enterprises, operator of the safari park and adventure park in Wiltshire. Longleat, which bought the hotel in 2011 following the administration of former owner Von Essen off a guide price of £6m, is believed to be looking to sell the 21-bedroom Homewood Park Hotel and Spa in Bath, which was also previously owned by Von Essen.
Bevan, an Acorn Award winner in 2011, returned to work at Chewton Glen in New Milton, Hampshire, in 2012 as operations manager, having previously spent four years at the hotel from 2003 to 2007 as assistant, then deputy restaurant manager. In the intervening years he worked at the Chester Grosvenor hotel, latterly as food and beverage manager. Bevan was promoted to general manager of Chewton Glen in 2014.
Bevan said he will miss "a great team and the guests" at Chewton Glen. "The past four years have been a very exciting time for the hotel with the owners investing heavily in the property to develop and move it forward. I have learned a huge amount and have particularly enjoyed working with Andrew Stembridge."
At Bishopstrow Beven said he will have the opportunity to create a legacy project of his own as the hotel had suffered from under-investment in recent years. "The hotel will remain open while the refurbishment takes place in stages. Subject to planning permission we plan to add up to 10 to 15 bedrooms.
"There is massive potential for the property, which sits with a 26-acre estate. We plan to bring it back to life."
Stembridge, executive director of Iconic Luxury Hotels, the operator of Chewton Glen, praised Bevan for the "valuable contribution" he had made to the hotel during the property's expansion with the addition of the tree house suites, a cookery school and the Kitchen informal dining restaurant.
"Mark has always led from the front and relished the challenge by throwing himself into every project. I've enjoyed working with him a lot, but he is now ready to cut his teeth on a project of his own."
Stembridge is looking to recruit a new general manager and deputy general manager for Chewton Glen to replace Bevan and Ed Fitzpatrick, who is moving to the hotel's sister property Lygon Arms in Broadway, Worcestershire, as deputy general manager.
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