The first Crowne Plaza Resort in the UK opens today with the rebranding of the Five Lakes hotel, golf, country club and spa in Maldon, Essex.
To be known as the Crowne Plaza Resort Colchester - Five Lakes, the four-star, 194-bedroom resort is set in 320 acres of land. It has been owned and operated by AB Hotels since 1994 and is now to be managed by BDL Management.
The resort's two restaurants - Brasserie 1, which serves British and European cuisine, and Catch 22, a fine-dining fish establishment - are intended to be a key attraction of the property, with the appointment of James Parsons, who has previously worked for the Royal Household, as executive chef.
It also has two 18-hole golf courses, three practice putting courses, a floodlit driving range and spa.
Graham Norris, divisional director for BDL Management said that the strength of the Crowne Plaza brand was the reason why the company wanted to partner with the InterContinental Hotels Group to open the UK's first Crowne Plaza resort.
"The resort is perfect for domestic and international travellers alike because it's not only an accessible countryside bolthole for people in the city but is perfect for international travellers who are looking for a weekend getaway destination that's easy to get to."
BDL Management currently operates more than 45 hotels in the UK under the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Ramada and Ramada Encore brands. There are 386 Crowne Plaza hotels in more than 50 hotels worldwide.
By Janet Harmer
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