New owners of hotel plan investment

THE Hotel Elizabeth Copdock, near Ipswich, now has new owners.

Specialist agents Colliers International has confirmed the sale of the well-known hotel, formerly part of the Elizabeth Hotels chain which went into administration in December 2009, to new owners Steve and Jane Denton, from Cheshire.

The hotel, which continued trading throughout its period in administration, was on the market with an asking price of �2million to �2.5m, although the sale price has not been disclosed.

It is the tenth out of 11 Elizabeth hotels marketed by Colliers on behalf of the administrators from KPMG to be sold.

The Limes Hotel at Needham Market is now the last property on the administrators’ books, with more than a dozen pubs owned by Elizabeth Hotels and its sister companies Elizabeth Estates and Cavendish Hotels also having been sold.

The new owners of the Hotel Elizabeth Copdock are experienced business people, although this is their first venture into the hotel business. The husband and wife team took over on Friday and are re-naming the hotel The Cameo Hotel Copdock.

Mr Denton said: “It is a very exciting time for us. We have been in business since 1984 though this is our first hotel venture. We ran a boatyard for 16 years and then a care home, in Cheshire, for seven years.

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“Now we will be concentrating on this business. We looked in all parts of the country to find the right hotel and this was the best one. It needs investment and we will be putting it in. We want it to be good again.”

He said that new signage would be going up shortly. “We wanted a name that people would find easy to remember, and to spell,” he added.

The hotel has 76 letting bedrooms and substantial public areas, bars and restaurants, and the Elizabeth Suite, a self-contained ballroom and banqueting area for up to 300 guests. There is also a former leisure area which includes a swimming pool.

Mrs Denton added: “We wanted a change of direction. We will not be closing down but improving it gradually and are open for business.

“We ran a boatyard for many years, building narrow boats, We are quite practical, and used to hard work. It is our intention to undertake a refurbishment programme with a view to returning the hotel to its former glory.

“This is an exciting project we are looking forward to. We believe the hotel will return to its rightful place as one of the pre-eminent hotels in the Ipswich area.

“We took over on Friday and on Saturday there was a very successful soul night. We will continue with those and other events too.”

The three companies involved in the administration were part of the portfolio of Ipswich property millionaire Richard Cattermole. His main holding company, Elizabeth Holdings, and a number of other subsidiaries, including the Elizabeth Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe, were not affected.