Balmoral bought by Bonne Nuit

Director Nick Lawson and Balmoral Hotel deputy general manager Steve Hopkins celebrate the acquisition. (S)
Director Nick Lawson and Balmoral Hotel deputy general manager Steve Hopkins celebrate the acquisition. (S)

One of Harrogate’s landmark hotels has been acquired by a team led by former Hotel Du Vin hotelier Nick Lawson and backed with significant private investment.

The freehold of the 23-bedroom Balmoral Hotel, on Franklin Mount near the International Centre, was acquired for an undisclosed sum from HRH Group Ltd.

Mr Lawson, an experienced hotel executive with over a dozen years’ experience with Malmaison and Radisson Edwardian Hotels, aims to launch a number of contemporary townhouse hotels under the Bonne Nuit brand.

He said: “We have some big investments to make into the building and the rooms but great-quality food and drink will be the core of what we offer when we finalise plans and redesign the bar and dining areas later in the summer.

“Right now, the priorities are to bring a high-quality and service focus to the management of the hotel.”

The hotel, which is rated four-star by the AA, is situated in a building that was originally three townhouses dating back to 1841. The property was converted into a luxury hotel in the 1970s by a former chef to the royal family and has operated as a hotel and restaurant for over 30 years.

Mr Lawson added: “When the Balmoral was first launched in the ’70s it was all about great food, top-notch service and a fantastic historic setting. We’re going to refresh that approach and once again make the hotel one of Harrogate’s top eating and drinking venues, offering unique product delivered by knowledgeable, genuinely hospitable staff.

“The property has a great bar and restaurant area and gardens that we are already starting to use for events, weddings and private functions ahead of the extensive redesign later in the year.

“The restaurant is currently only open for private events, but we have reopened the bar to residents and locals and we’re getting great feedback.”