Holbeck Ghyll, the four-AA-red star and Michelin-starred hotel in the Lake District, has been sold for an undisclosed multi-million pound sum.
Business man Stephen Leahy completed the purchase of the 26-bedroom property, overlooking Lake Windermere and the Langdale Fells, from David and Patricia Nicholson yesterday.
It is the first entry into the world of hospitality for Leahy who is chief executive officer of the Manchester-based Select Group of Businesses, which includes Select Engineering Projects and Select Data Centres. However, it fulfils his lifelong ambition to own a hotel and restaurant.
"Ever since I was a teenager, when dining out without my parents was a novelty thing, the idea of owning my own hotel or restaurant struck me as a great lifestyle choice, far more fun than engineering," said Leahy.
Leahy's plans for the hotel include the introduction of shooting and fishing breaks, the hire of luxury supercars and scenic Lake District heli-tours.
Paul Roebuck, who previously worked for Sir John Hall at the hospitality venue Wynyard Hall in Northumberland, has been appointed general manager. The rest of the staff, including head chef David McLaughlin, are expected to remain at the hotel.
Holbeck Ghyll, which is represented by Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Pride of Britain, recently retained a Michelin star for the 10th consecutive year. The hotel restaurant is ranked as the 23rd best restaurant in the UK in the 2010 Good Food Guide.
By Janet Harmer
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