The family behind Marston Hotels is looking to sell off the 15-strong three- and four-star chain for an estimated £175m.
The Marston family had been hoping to sell the chain, which includes the 130-bedroom Oxford Belfry and 48-bedroom Crabwell Manor in Chester, to investment firm Dawney Shore Hotels for more than £150m.
But those talks have collapsed at the eleventh hour and the company has now appointed agent Christie & Co to sound out new buyers.
It is understood there has already been a lot of interest from potential buyers, with venture capitalists and existing hotel operators both expressing interest in the chain.
"A lot of people have been picking up the phone," said one source close to the proceedings.
by Nic Paton