Devon hotels and golf complex goes up for sale for $28m

Published On: June 7, 2022Categories: Latest News2.1 min read

Having been under the same ownership for more than 40 years, the Manor House and Ashbury Hotels are regarded as one of the UK’s premier activity holiday destinations

One of Devon’s biggest holiday destinations – complete with one of the world’s largest golf resorts – has gone up for sale today with an asking price of over £23m ($28m). Its retiring owners said today: ‘We have fulfilled our dream.’

The Manor House Hotel and Ashbury Golf Hotel near Okehampton are just a couple of miles apart and operate as one huge leisure business with a spa, sports, crafts and golf among the attractions.

They are set within more than 500 acres of grounds and have 404 guest bedrooms, with around 60 rooms for staff.

Having been under the same ownership for more than 40 years, the Manor House and Ashbury Hotels are regarded as one of the UK’s premier activity holiday destinations. The combined business includes the ninth-largest golf resort in the world averaging more than 110,000 rounds of golf played every year across five 18-hole courses.

There are more than 50 daily sport, craft, leisure and spa activities available for guests, and the complex attracts around 135,000 participants every year.

The business began as a 10-bedroom manor house bought by Joan and Simon Essex in 1978. Now it consistently generates more than £15m ($18m) in annual revenue.

Mr and Mrs Essex said: Soon it will be 44 years since we moved into the Manor House, originally a large house in 17 acres with fantastic views of Dartmoor. We had a plan to build the only sport and craft hotel in Britain, offering an unprecedented range of opportunities and facilities. We have fulfilled that dream. However, we are aware that our joint age is 152 and it’s time to step aside.

We have been working with our experienced team, together with our agents Knight Frank, to roll out a marketing plan for the sale of our business. We are proud to recognise the enormous contribution that our staff have made to the success of the Manor and Ashbury resorts and we are certain that this will continue to be the case. The resorts offer further growth for the next custodian with an exciting chapter ahead for the business, they said.

Matthew Smith, a partner in the hotels team at selling agents Knight Frank, said: The opportunity arises simply due to our client’s decision to retire from the industry. Through their vision and business philosophy they have installed an established structured management team with extensive knowledge of the operation supported by loyal, local and trustworthy staff who have embraced the business, have defined roles and responsibilities and are passionate about providing the very best experience for their guests.

About the Author: Jonathan Adams

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