One of Harrogate’s oldest and most famous hotels is set to re-open.
St George Hotel, opposite Harrogate Convention Centre in the town centre, has been closed for more than a year since the first lockdown began.
Previous owner Specialist Leisure Group went into administration in May with the loss of 2,500 jobs throughout the company.
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It is now owned by Bespoke Hotels, which was founded in 2000 by Haydn Fentum and Robin Sheppard and describes itself as ‘the UK’s largest independent hotel group’, with 120 properties.
Paul Donkin, general manager of York Pavilion Hotel, revealed on social media he was leaving his position to take on the challenge of re-opening the hotel and building a new team to bring the hotel back to its glory.
Mr Donkin, who lives in Harrogate and has extensive experience of the town’s hospitality sector having worked previously at the Cedar Court Hotel, the Old Swan Hotel and the Crown Hotel, told the Stray Ferret he would be happy to discuss the matter in more detail when he took up the role on April 7.
The hotel grew out of the Chequers Inn and was renamed after George III’s gift of the Stray to the people of Harrogate in 1778.
It was enlarged several times during the nineteenth century and renamed the St George shortly before the First World War.
It was badly damaged by fire in 1927 and requisitioned by the Post Office and Air Ministry during the Second World War before re-opening as a hotel in 1952. It acquired a spa facility in 1985.
It has 90 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, library and terrace and its close proximity to the town centre makes it a popular spot for visitors.