The new owner of Gravetye Manor has been revealed as an enthusiastic guest who intends to return the property to being amongst the leading country house hotels in the country.
Jeremy Hosking, co-founder of the London hedge fund Marathon Asset Management, who was worth an estimated £180m in 2008, bought the three-red-AA-star, three-AA-rosette hotel near East Grinstead, West Sussex, for an undisclosed sum.
Previously owned by Andrew Russell and chef Mark Raffan, the property collapsed into administration in January because it was carrying too much debt.
Neville Ablitt, who has worked at the Savoy, Blakes hotel and the Hempel, has been appointed by Hosking to oversee future investment plans for Gravetye.
"I shall be here for as long as it takes to look at what is required to upgrade the property and take the business forward," said Ablitt.
"Jeremy has bought the hotel because it is somewhere he knows well and loves and the time was appropriate for him. He is an emotional investor as much as a commercial investor.
"Any improvements which will be carried out will be done with great empathy for the historic nature of the building. The gardens will also be restored."
Ablitt said he is looking to boost the current team of 45 staff, led by general manager Amy Gleadow and her brother Rupert as head chef, by eight new employees.
He also confirmed that Gravetye would maintain its membership of hotel consortia, Relais & Chateaux.
Established at one of the first country house hotels in 1958, the 18-bedroom hotel is set within an Elizabethan manor house, surrounded by 35-acres of historic and award-winning gardens.
By Janet Harmer
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