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Hand Picked Hotels acquires Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa

Hand Picked Hotels has acquired Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa – expanding the award-winning country house hotel portfolio to 21 properties and strengthening its position as a significant operator in the Channel Islands.
The 5 Star hotel on the Esplanade, St Helier, overlooking St Aubin’s Bay, has been purchased from RBS Real Estate Asset Management (“RBS”), which has undertaken various asset management initiatives to boost both revenues and profit, including achieving Jersey’s first Michelin Star for the ‘Tassili’ restaurant, and creating an enclosed terrace on the ground floor, which has further enhanced the hotel’s appeal.

The acquisition is part of a strategic expansion by Hand Picked Hotels, created by former lawyer turned hotelier Julia Hands, to boost the Hand Picked presence to three hotels in the Channel Islands – with L’Horizon Hotel & Spa at St Brelade’s Bay, and St Pierre Park & Golf Resort in Guernsey.  Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa will be operated and managed by Hand Picked Hotels and will become part of the collection immediately, with a full rebranding taking place in 2015.  

The acquisition is the fourth in the past three years. Fawsley Hotel & Spa near Silverstone in Northamptonshire and St Pierre Park Hotel & Golf Resort in Guernsey were purchased last year and Bailbrook House Hotel in Bath, bought in 2012, joined the collection in October 2013 following a £10 million restoration.  

Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa has 123 bedrooms, including six suites, a selection of dining options, including the three Rosette, Michelin-starred Tassili restaurant, Victorias brasserie, the Terrace for al fresco drinks and barbecues and a glamorous Champagne lounge. The hotel also features the Park Suites – a dedicated business centre with private cinema, meeting rooms and flexible events space. The award-winning Spa offers a range of treatment rooms, indoor heated pool, sensory experience showers, steam room, Jacuzzi and gym facilities.  

Julia Hands, who formed Hand Picked Hotels in 2001 from a collection of hotels purchased with her husband, financier Guy Hands, said: “The acquisition of Grand Jersey Hotel & Spa underlines our commitment to Hand Picked Hotels. We have seen the potential for increased corporate and conference business across the Channel Islands, with strong demand from clients in London and other feeder cities throughout the UK. Grand Jersey will enable us to attract conference and corporate business which tends to focus on St Helier, while L’Horizon Hotel & Spa at St Brelade’s Bay appeals to a more leisure-oriented audience.  We have recently spent £1m on the development of a large Spa at L’Horizon to position it as a year-round destination.  We are also planning an extensive redevelopment programme at St Pierre Park Hotel & Golf Resort as the leading resort in the Channel Islands.”  

RBS continues to own a portfolio of hotels across the UK, including 32 owned, leased and managed hotels within Jupiter Hotels, a 50-50 hotel investment joint venture with Patron Capital, the pan European real estate investor.  

Helen Gordon, Global Head of RBS Real Estate Asset Management, said: “The Grand is Jersey’s leading hotel and we are proud that, under our ownership, the Tassili restaurant has gained a Michelin Star. RBS has not only upheld the hotel’s well-deserved reputation for excellence through active asset management, but has also strengthened its revenue and profits. This is further evidence of our ability to add value as we continue to work through our hotel portfolio.”

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