Leisure group pays £1m+ for Lake District hotel to convert to staff quarters

Ravensworth Hotel

Hotels group, The Inn Collection, has paid more than £1m to buy a Lake District hotel, and convert it into staff accommodation.

The move is in response to a significant shortage of staff for hotels, particularly in the Lake District given the challenging housing costs, following the pandemic and Brexit.

Graham + Sibbald led the sale of the Ravensworth Hotel, which is situated in Windermere and was originally built in the 1850s as a family residence.

It was subsequently converted into a 12-bedroom hotel and has undergone significant refurbishment and reconfiguration over the years.

The property was sold off a guide asking price of £1,195,000.

The Inn Collection Group has been extremely active in building its portfolio of hotels and Inns over the past few years and now has 31 sites across the North of England and North Wales.

Sean Donkin, managing director of the Inn Collection Group, which is owned by the Harris family Trust and backed by Kings Park Capital, said: “At the Inn Collection, our success really stems from loving what we do – which is operating outstanding sites where our customers can eat, drink, sleep and explore from in exceptional locations – with a cracking team of people at all levels.

“The Lake District has so much to offer people from the UK and further afield, but the challenges around housing, especially for those working in the tourism sector are well known.

“We have acquired The Ravensworth to help ease that burden for our staff and to bring people into the community here as well as ensuring the best possible experience for the guests at our hotels throughout the Lake District region.”

Martin Davis, director of hotel + leisure at Graham + Sibbald, said: “Having sold the Glenridding Hotel in Ullswater to the Inn Collection Group back in February, it was good to work with them once again on their acquisition of another prominent Lake District property.

“It is great to see the group and the local authority working together and using innovative thinking to come up with such a practical and sensible solution to the ongoing staff shortage problem in the Lake District tourism industry.”

The Inn Collection worked with the local authority to achieve a change of use to staff accommodation.

The Ravensworth is situated close to Lake Windermere and the town of Bowness-on-Windermere, two of the most sought after locations in the national park and heavily reliant on tourist trade. The property has versatile accommodation as well as significant parking provision.

Nick Hood, the former owner of the Ravensworth, said: “It’s been a joy to be the custodian of The Ravensworth over the last 13 years and we are certain that it is in good hands. It is exciting to hear about the Inn Collection Group’s plans for the property and help bring more skilled people into the vibrant tourism industry in the Lake District.”

The Manchester office of Graham + Sibbald was the second of the company’s offices in England, after London and before the opening of a Birmingham office. The Manchester team has grown to more than 15 staff.