Historic hotel to close for five months while new owners carry out major refurbishment

Cowley Manor


A prestigious hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds is to close its doors for five months for a major refurbishment.

Cowley Manor was purchased by the Paris-based Experimental Group last May and is the company’s first UK hotel outside of London.

Experimental, who bought the hotel off Jessica and Peter Frankopan, has since announced the venue near Cheltenham is to close for five months for a refurbishment.

Cowley Manor was built in the 1860s is reputed to have inspired Lewis Carroll to write his Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

Its Italian style exterior is rare for an English stately home and is based on the world famous Villa Borghese in Rome

At the time of the sale Mr Frankopan said: “We are immensely proud of what we have achieved over more than two decades, during which time we transformed a wonderful country house into one of the best-known and most-celebrated hotels in the UK.

Experimental operates a chain of upmarket hotels across the world and has three venues in London.

Cowley Manor stands in 55 acres of gardens and has 31 rooms in the main house and surrounding stable buildings, prices normally start from £400 a night. Facilities include a spa, swimming pools, sauna, steam room and gym.

Local chef Dominic Hargreaves was brought in to create a new menu for the restaurant and introduce open-air cooking during the summer months.

There are plans to hire a sommelier at the hotel to create a specialist wine list, and Cowley Manor will work with local breweries and distilleries to highlight British-made drinks.

Experimental Group was founded in the French capital in 2007 by friends Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros and Olivier Bon.

Last year the company announced a major expansion following a £292.5m cash injection from private real estate funds managed by Brookfields.

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