Von Essen buys Chateau de Bagnols in southeast France

04 January 2007
Von Essen buys Chateau de Bagnols in southeast France

Von Essen Hotels has acquired Chateau de Bagnols in southeast France in what chairman and founder Andrew Davis called a "double digit millions" deal.

The purchase is the group's first foray outside the UK, and the first of several acquisitions in Continental Europe planned for 2007.

Speaking exclusively to Caterer, Davis said: "We would anticipate 10 further acquisitions in Tuscany, Perugia, the south of France, French wine regions and possibly Paris."

The 13th Century chateau, which has 21 bedrooms and suites, has been managed on behalf of Lady Hamlyn, widow of the publisher, Paul Hamlyn, by Rocco Forte Hotels since October 2003.

The purchase includes the chateau's vineyards and La Boutique, its range of handmade luxury items.

General manager, Franco Mora, who was general manager of the Ritz in Paris before moving to Chateau de Bagnols in 2003, will continue to manage the hotel, and will oversee other French acquisitions.

London acquisitions are also in the pipeline, revealed Davis. "We'll have a substantial London presence within six to 12 months that will blow your mind," he said.

However, Davis admitted that the Lanesborough hotel in the capital remains tantalisingly out of reach, and revealed he was "furious" that Von Essen didn't buy Hotel du Vin.

See our exclusive interview with Andrew Davies in today's Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

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By Mark Lewis

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