Entrepreneur and owner of Doxford, Eshott and Guyzance Hall in Northumberland, Robert Parker has purchased Dalhousie Castle near Edinburgh for an undisclosed sum. A guide price of £7.5m had previously been set.
Dalhousie, a luxury 13th Century Scottish castle, was formerly owned by Von Essen Hotels, which went into administration in April 2011.
Dalhousie Castle, which was converted into a hotel in 1972, is a venue for conferences and weddings and is celebrated for its hydro spa and 16th century ghost.
Since developing a chain of care homes which he sold in 2006, Parker and his wife Gina have focused on the development of high end country hotels and rural estates.
“I am delighted with the purchase as it fits perfectly with our existing businesses,” Parker said of his purchase of Dalhousie. “We intend to invest in both the hotel, and its staff. Our aim is to become a truly luxury location, through attention to details in every aspect of the property – whether it be dining, decor or service, or through the events we hold for guests and visitors. Our policy is to invest in the local economy, through buying locally, and providing opportunity and employment.”
The three existing properties in North Northumberland are bespoke wedding and conference venues.
Doxford Hall, with a luxury spa, extensive grounds and close to Bamburgh Castle, was awarded ‘Best Small Hotel of the year in the region’ in 2011, and has a ballroom is capable of hosting large events.
Dalhousie has seen visits from at least three English monarchs, King Edward 1, Oliver Cromwell, who used it as a base in Scotland, and thus saved it from demolition by his own troops, and Queen Victoria who stayed there in 1842.
Twenty-six hotels in the UK and one in France were put up for sale after Von Essen – which had debts of nearly £300m – was taken over by administrators Ernst & Young last April.
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