Hintlesham: Hotel owner ponders plans for the future

THE Hintlesham Hall hotel and restaurant near Ipswich is continuing to operate under interim management while its owner considers his plans for the business.

Professional hotelier Dee Ludlow, who became the public face of Hintlesham following its acquisition from former owner David Allan in 2003, left the business earlier this year.

She was among the investors involved in the acquisition and her departure is understood to have followed a move by the majority shareholder to acquire full ownership.

Andrew Hammond, a director at Hintlesham, said the owner – an entrepreneur based in Milton Keynes – had appointed a management company to run the hotel on an interim basis.

And Mr Hammond added that he expected to meet with the owner to discuss his future plans by the end of this month.

The Hintlesham Hall business began in 1972 when American-born chef Robert Carrier acquired the hall and restored it as a restaurant and cookery school.

In 1984 it was acquired by David and Ruth Watson who developed the hotel business and commissioned the design and construction of a golf course.

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However, in 1990, before the course opened, they sold the business to David Allan and it was during his ownership that the golf clubhouse and the hotel’s health suite were constructed.

The golf club and the hotel businesses were split in 2003, with Mr Allan retaining the golf side until this too was sold off in 2006.

Hintelsham Hall is based on an Elizabethan mansion built by the Timperley family in the 1570s. The Georgian facade familiar to hotel and restaurant customers was added in the 1740s by Richard Powys whose father, also Richard, had acquired the property from Henry Timperley in 1720.

The transformation of the hall cost Powys his fortune and in 1747 it was sold to Richard Lloyd, in whose family it remained until 1909.

Subsequent owners included Sir Gerald Ryan Bt and Anthony Stokes, a director of Ipswich firm Ransome & Rapier. During the Second World War, the hall was used as a Red Cross hospital.