The Hotel Endsleigh, formerly run by the star of Five's The Hotel Inspector, Alex Polizzi, has been sold to the Everlands hotel group for an undisclosed sum.
In an exclusive interview with Caterer, Polizzi revealed that the early-19th-century, Grade I-listed hunting lodge, was sold after her mother Olga made the decision to offload the property.
American hotel investment company Everlands is now looking for 15 "founder investors" in the UK to make a £500,000 investment secured against the property.
The 15 founding members will effectively own the hotel until the group reaches 250 members, when it will buy back the property. The group is promising net returns of £700,000 over five to six years.
The hotel, in Milton Abbot, Devon, was originally bought by the Polizzi family in 2005. They went on to renovate it, prompting the Sunday Times to vote it its best rural hotel two years later.
Commenting on the sale, Polizzi said: "I've got to accept that Endsleigh is no more. At least we handed it over in a much better state than we got it.
"I can't pretend it was anything other than a huge wrench when Mum decided to get rid of it. We did something very special there," she added.
Polizzi, whose uncle is Sir Rocco Forte and grandfather was Lord Charles Forte, began her training at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, in Hong Kong, and went on to work for Marco Pierre White at the Criterion, in London, followed by stints at her uncle's properties around the world.
Polizzi admitted that taking over as Five's hotel inspector from Ruth Watson in June, made her "nervous".
"It's a tough act following Ruth Watson, but I've tried to approach things with more sensitivity. I do have the fiery Italian gene, so I did lose my rag with one of the hoteliers once, but I suppose I try to be a bit gentler, at least initially."
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By Gemma Sharkey
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