Last summer's floods were devastating for many hospitality operators in the West of England but for one hotel they had a positive outcome.
Washbourne Court - the only riverside hotel in the Cotswolds - was forced to close following the floods, but owner Von Essen used the opportunity to splash out £2m on an extensive refurbishment and it reopened in time for Christmas.
Nick Romano, operations director at Von Essen, said: "We were devastated when the hotel was damaged by these freak flash floods that occur only once every 200 years. However, every cloud has a silver lining and we've turned this misfortune into a positive opportunity."
Washbourne Court, in Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire, was one of four Cotswold hotels that Von Essen bought from Lord and Lady Vaughan for £13m for in 2003. In last week's Caterer (page 7) we incorrectly reported that the purchase was "aborted" in a story on a long-running dispute between Von Essen and the Vaughans. We apologise for any confusion caused.