The Grand on Jersey has been sold, but to who?

This week it has been announced  to the staff that The Grand Hotel, St. Helier, Jersey has been sold to an unnamed owner who will be taking over in the next 3 months.

Managing director Ms Anna Marie Dowling will step down in September this year to ensure a smooth hand over. Rumours persist as to who the new owners actually are, with the habitual name of Von Essen being mentioned last year. But it is thought that they were unwilling to meet the asking price for the Channel Island property. Jersey Michelin starred chef Shaun Rankin‘s name has also been mentioned in conjunction with a consortium, but when we asked him he replied;

Don’t believe all you hear, Bohemia is the place for me, plenty to do with the filming, book and new product range.

Hilwood Resorts & Hotels have spent around £15million on the  refurbishment of The Grand, culminating in the hotel achieving the  5 star rating from the AA. Outgoing MD Anna Dowling praised her staff;

It is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our team that we have achieved this premier ranking, Following the hotel’s refurbishment we have spent the past 12 months working very hard to ensure that we achieve this aspirational fifth star.

We have continued to invest in training, product standards and maintain staffing levels despite the difficult economic climate. It has always been our aim to provide guests with an exceptional experience by striving to give the highest levels of service

The Grand was the first acquisition by Hilwood in March 2006 for £15.5 million from De Vere Hotels, which went on to buy Peter de Savery’s Bovey Castle for £26.4million, the grade 2 listed Bailbrook house near Bath and Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey. Over the past 12 months £15 million has been spent refurbishing The Grand, culminating in the hotel being the only 1 of 2 five stars on the island & in June this year it joined the marketing consortium Pride of Britain.

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Where this leaves Hilwood Resorts is a little less clearer, with them allegedly looking for a buyer for Bailbrook House with an asking price of around £10 million (showing a pre tax profit of £1million on the acquisition price) which they bought in February 2007.

Hilwood Resorts & Hotels was originally set up by Delancy in conjunction with Gregor Richie & Arvinder Walia, with the aim to create a high-end signature brand targeting a range of market categories, including corporate, conference and family as well as catering specifically to those seeking quality spa, food and beverage experiences.

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