The International Group (IG), owner of the five-red-AA-star, 49-bedroom hotel in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, confirmed that as the result of receiving "several unsolicited approaches from interested parties", it has appointed global property group CBRE "to undertake a strategic review of the various sale options arising from this heightened level of investor interest".
Founded in 1908 as the UK's first country club, the property has long benefitted from its close location to Pinewood Studios, four miles away. Goldfinger, filmed in 1964, featured the famous game of golf between James Bond (Sean Connery) and his arch enemy Goldfinger (Gert Frobe), while a second Bond move, Tomorrow Never Dies, followed in 1997. More recently, Stoke Park was the setting for a weekend in the country for the characters played by Hugh Grant and Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary (2001).
IG is owned by the King family who reopened Stoke Park as a hotel in 1998 after a five-year refurbishment programme. The mansion house at the centre of the 300 acre estate, designed by Capability Brown and Humphry Repton, was initially built as a private home by George III's architect James Wyatt between 1790 and 1813.
Todaythe estate it features three restaurants and bars, with the three-AA-rosette Humphry's restaurant headed by executive chef Chris Wheeler, and extensive leisure facilities including two golf courses, 13 tennis courts, indoor swimming pool, 4,000sq ft gym, and spa. The hotel hosts The Boodles, an annual tennis tournament held in the run up to Wimbledon.
If sold, Stoke Park could become the latest leisure resort to fall into the hands of new owners following the sale of Wentworth in Surrey for £135m in 2014 to Chinese company Reignwood Group and Gleneagles for around £150m last year to Ennismore.
Stoke Park could fetch £75m, according to The Times, while an undeveloped scheme to build four luxury villas and apartments on the edge of the estate, which has planning permission, could raise a further £10-15m.