Texan Buys England’s Oldest Hotel

LONDON and AUSTIN – (Realty News Report) – The Old Bell Hotel, a 13th Century hotel in Wiltshire believed to be England’s oldest hotel, has been acquired by Whim Hospitality of Austin.

Dating back to the middle ages, the 34-bedroom historic country hotel sits adjacent to the 12th Century Abbey in the ancient market town of Malmesbury, to the north of the River Avon.

The buyer, Whim Hospitality, operates Camp Lucy, a wedding and corporate retreat destination in Dripping Springs, near Austin. 

Austin native Whit Hanks is an entrepreneur who has developed real estate and owns an antiques store in Austin.

The Old Bell Hotel underwent a recent restoration and continues to boast a raft of original features, including a fireplace in the restaurant dating back to 1220. The hotel has a significant dining offering, with a public restaurant, bar, as well as options for private dining. Fully licensed for indoor and outdoor civil ceremonies, the hotel caters for weddings of up to 65 guests, with the Library and Garden Room available for parties and corporate events of up to 60 people. 

Located in the centre of Malmesbury, the hotel is in close proximity to the Cotswolds.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring our Whim Hospitality brand of welcoming hospitality to The Old Bell Hotel in the historic market town of Malmesbury, home of our Hanks family ancestors,” said Whit Hanks.

Malmesbury is an ancient town steeped in rich history, having been considered one of the leading European seats of learning in the Middle Ages. Interesting old Malmesburians include the first king of all England, King Athelstan who reigned from 925 to 940; William of Malmesbury the first English historian; and Thomas Hobbes – considered the founder of modern political philosophy.

“Purported to be England’s oldest hotel it is no surprise The Old Bell Hotel attracted global interest,” said Matthew Smith, partner in the hotels team at Knight Frank, the real estate firm that handled the transaction.We are delighted for Whit and Kim Hanks of Whim Hospitality as they embark on their first UK hotel acquisition, with exciting times ahead as they have large-scale plans to reposition the business, and we are confident this will be a huge success under their stewardship. Given the strength of the staycation market, which is continuing to power the hotel market in 2021, interest in these types of distinctive assets remains high from a range of international and domestic investors.”


April 12, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021


File:  Texan Buys England’s Oldest Hotel


Photo: Courtesy Knight Frank



 For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up  by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon  http://tiny.cc/4a2g6y

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