Hand Picked Hotels has exchanged contracts to sell The Priest House Hotel, Derbyshire, as the group focuses on larger hotels for the award-winning collection.

The Priest House Hotel is being sold to Derbyshire businessman Stuart Garner, CEO of Norton Motorcycles, based near the hotel in Castle Donington. The purchase is a personal acquisition by Stuart Garner. The hotel is being sold as a going concern and employees will be transferred to the new owner. The sale will be completed on 29 January.

Stuart Garner said: “Already owning and operating Donington Hall the acquisition of The Priest House Hotel our neighbouring property, makes perfect sense. Combining the two properties gives operational scale and a fabulous offering to our clients. With a combined 80 acres of grounds, bordered by an ancient deer park and the river Trent our location is second to none.”

Julia Hands, Chairman and Chief Executive, Hand Picked Hotels, said: “The Priest House is an attractive property in a lovely setting. However, we do have a concentration of hotels in the Midlands, with gaps elsewhere geographically which we would like to fill. We are keen to add additional slightly larger hotels to the Hand Picked Hotels collection and we continue to search for hotels in strategic locations across the UK.”

Set in 54 acres of grounds at Kings Mills, Castle Donington, in picturesque countryside, the AA 4 Star/2 Rosette Priest House Hotel is a converted Norman mill tower and 17th century cottage on the banks of the River Trent, with 42 guest bedrooms and suites, and extensive conference and banqueting facilities.

As part of the move to focus on larger hotels in strategic locations, Seiont Manor Hotel, Caernarfon, was also put up for sale by Hand Picked Hotels earlier this year with an asking price of offers in the region of £2million for freehold interest.

Christie + Co handled the sale of The Priest House Hotel, with Leeds-based lawyers Lupton Fawcett Denison Till advising Hand Picked Hotels.

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Media enquiries to: Marion Hardman at Four Communications on 07961 578 401 or marion.hardman@fourcommunications.com

Notes to Editors:

Hand Picked Hotels, created by former lawyer turned hotelier Julia Hands, is the leading collection of architecturally splendid country house hotels - built for pleasure and continuing a centuries-old tradition of offering guests an indulgent yet attainable country house visit, with a contemporary twist. The award-winning hotels are renowned for exquisite food, fine wines and bespoke service by Hand Picked people in stylish, relaxing surroundings, a total of 18 classically British hotels in rural settings across the British Isles and 3 island retreats, with locations ranging from the New Forest and Jersey to the Cotswolds and Edinburgh. Hand Picked Hotels has won an impressive number of awards, with 18 hotels awarded two AA rosette status, with Norton House Hotel holding three rosettes. Ten hotels have achieved red star status or Inspectors’ Choice awards which means they stand out as the very best in the British Isles and four hotels have been awarded AA Silver Stars awarded for their superior level of quality and high standards. There are ten hotels with spas offering the latest therapies and treatments to promote wellbeing and relaxation. Hand Picked Hotels was AA Hotel Group of the Year 2012-2013.

www.handpickedhotels.co.uk @hp_hotels