Former Catey award winner Simon Rhatigan is to step down as managing director of Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants to build a small group of boutique hotels.
He has joined forces with fellow hotelier and wine merchant Simon Kershaw to launch Helmsley Hospitality, which has already secured venture capital funding to buy existing hotels to refurbish, as well as build new ones.
Due to finish in his current role in February 2017, Rhatigan said Helmsley Hospitality already has several sites in the pipeline, in both the north and south of England, including one coastal location. "We are looking at properties of around 50 bedrooms or more, which is generally the size you need to be economical," he explained.
Rhatigan joined Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants, owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, in 2013. He previously achieved widespread critical success as owner of the Feversham Arms Hotel and Verbena Spa in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, where he won the Catey award for Independent Hotel of the Year in 2011. The Feversham Arms was sold soon after following Rhatigan's divorce from his wife Jill.
During his time with Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants, he was responsible for seven properties, headed by the four-red-AA-star, 40-bedroom Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa in Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire.
Former chairman of the northern region of the British Hospitality Association, Kershaw currently heads up the hospitality team as Carlton Towers, the events and wedding venue owned by Lord and Lady Fitzalan Howard in Carlton, North Yorkshire. He is also a non-executive director of wine merchants House of Townend.
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