Eastbourne seafront hotel sold for millions

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The sale of the Cavendish Hotel on Eastbourne seafront completed this week in a multi million pound deal.

Specialist property adviser Christie + Co said today (Tuesday) it had completed on the sale of the four star hotel.

Britannia Hotels has secured the freehold interest of the property for an undisclosed sum off a guide price of £5.5m.

Simon Stevens at Christie + Co’s head office who handled the sale said, “The property attracted a great deal of interest resulting in a competitive bidding process with a deal ultimately being completed by Britannia Hotels.

“This encouraging interest underpins buyers’ enthusiasm for profitable businesses in prominent locations.”

Britannia Hotels, founded in 1976, is Europe’s largest privately owned hotel company operating 51 hotels and Pontins Holiday Parks.

The firm has also recently acquired four hotels to add to an expanding portfolio in the last month increasing the room stock to more than 9,000 bedrooms.

But it hit the headlines last year after coming bottom in Which? consumer magazine survey.

Participants in the survey said the chain compromised of “run down hotels well past their sell-by date”.

The sale has also proved controversial after the owner of a hotel chain locally said he had wanted to buy it too.

The chairman of the Lions Hotels group, Sheikh Abid Gulzar revealed he had tried himself to buy the Cavendish.

“I do not want this to sound like sour grapes because yes I am very ambitious and yes I had put in a bid - cash bid I hasten to add - to purchase the glorious Cavendish,” he said.

“I have invested millions of pounds in Eastbourne in the past few years, and this would have been my intention had my bid been successful.

“But now I have moved on to other things, but I remain very concerned as to what may happen to the Cavendish. It must not be allowed to slip below four-star. That would be quite devastating for our tourism in Eastbourne.”

Mr Gulzar - who owns the Mansion and Albany along the seafront plus the Boship at Hailsham - says the Cavendish is very important to the hotel industry generally and any decline in standards there would affect the town’s image.

“I love the town and I love the people. I care very passionately. But last week’s news is potentially very worrying for us all,” he said.

“I call on Eastbourne Hospitality Association and Eastbourne Borough Council to both take a lead in this matter and do their very best to reassure us, and indeed to put pressure on the new buyer.

“We want to know what the plans are. Most importantly, we want commitment that it will remain a top class, four star hotel which we can all be proud of.”

Britannia has so far not commented on the Which? survey results.

For more on the initial story on the Cavendish being sold to Britannia click here

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