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Waterhead Hotel at Ambleside becomes the latest Lake District hotel to be sold off-market


The four-star Waterhead Hotel at Ambleside has been sold by English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues for an undisclosed price to The Inn Collection Group, in the latest off-market deal in the Lake District negotiated by Colliers.

The 41-bedroom boutique hotel is the eighth site to be acquired in England’s largest National Park by the Northumberland-based group.

Julian Troup, head of Hotels Agency at Colliers, said: “The sale of the Waterhead Hotel to The Inn Collection Group is one of several Lakeland hotel and hospitality business sales Colliers has agreed in recent months, and vividly illustrates the intense demand for prime hotel and inn opportunities in this hugely popular staycation region.

“There is no sign of this demand abating, and on the contrary we are anticipating it to increase given that staycation break trade is continuing to soar in popularity as holidaymakers increasingly choose to remain in the UK amid concerns about travelling abroad during a global pandemic. The sale of the Waterhead Hotel is yet another example of our ability to undertake an off-market transaction, in a discreet and confidential fashion.”

Simon Berry, managing director of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues, said: "The sale of Waterhead is an opportunity for the group to focus on our properties which have room to expand and on developing spa facilities. We have some very exciting developments in the pipeline. 

“After 46 years it is of course a bit sad to see a property leave the portfolio, but we know it will be good for the Waterhead as the new owners focus on that style of property. We have sold the venue to a good operator, who is very committed to the Lake District, and we wish them well.”

He added that the Waterhead was never offered for sale but English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues decided to sell the venue after the company was approached by The Inn Collection Group.

Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group, said: “The Waterhead Hotel has long been in our sights and we are excited to bring this remarkable venue and its team into The Inn Collection Group family.

“Our customers are looking for experience-led stays and the Waterhead Hotel delivers on everything we look for in a site – a distinctive USP and an attractive environment in a winning destination where our guests want to spend their well-earned leisure time to eat, drink and stay with us.”

The Waterhead Hotel is located in the popular Lake District tourist honeypot town of Ambleside, at the head of Lake Windermere, and occupies a prominent position overlooking the lake, directly adjacent to the A591 which enters the town.

The freehold hotel underwent extensive modernisation in 2004, yet retains many of its original features and character, with extensive use of Lakeland stone and slate, and it was described by the Daily Telegraph as “a slick bolthole with the prettiest of views” in a review in 2016.

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Julian Troup

Head of UK Hotels - Agency

Hotels Agency

London - West End

I originally trained with a long established firm of Chartered Surveyors based in Manchester and have been working in the licensed, leisure and hotel property market since 1987. I joined Colliers in 2007 to head up our UK Corporate hotel operation. I was appointed Head of UK Hotel Agency during 2011.  Since the beginning of 2003 I have sold or acquired over 100 provincial hotels on behalf of clients of asking prices ranging from £1.2m to in excess of £20m.  In addition to the managerial responsibilities, I remain focused on handling larger private and corporate hotel transactions throughout the UK.

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