Bath’s Abbey Hotel snapped up by London investment firm

By Nick Batten on 24 February, 2022

The Abbey Hotel, a historic boutique hotel in the centre of Bath, has been acquired by London-based property investment firm Castleforge.

The property occupies three Georgian houses in the centre of Bath and now operates as a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, one of Marriott International’s collection brands. 

The 65-room hotel boasts newly renovated guest bedrooms, a terrace patio for al fresco dining and two dining and bar venues, the Abbey Hotel Kitchen and ArtBar. Over the festive period, the hotel hosts a seasonal Après-Ski bar erected in the grounds each year as part of the city’s Christmas Market offering.

Castleforge has also secured an option agreement to acquire two adjoining buildings, with future plans to add 15 large bedrooms to the hotel later in the year. 

Located just a short walk from the city’s iconic Roman Baths, this is the fourth hotel investment Castleforge has made since launching its strategy to develop its hospitality portfolio. 

Castleforge has identified Bath as a strong investment opportunity due to its global reputation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its popularity with both international and domestic tourists. In 2019, the Roman Baths attracted a record-breaking 1.3 million visitors and is one of the top 25 most-visited attractions in the UK.

Since its inception in 2010, Castleforge has invested approximately £1 billion in real estate value, gaining a reputation for value-add investment in office and residential real estate across the UK and Europe. 

In 2020, the firm signaled its intentions to expand into the hospitality sector with the appointment of Matt Lederer from Marriott International as its Hotel Acquisitions director.

Gavin Wright, Senior Director (hotels and hospitality) at JLL advised KE Hotels – the previous owner – on the sale. Axiom Hospitality will manage the hotel on behalf of Castleforge, post-completion. 

Matt Lederer, Hotel Acquisitions Director at Castleforge, commented, “After the success of our hospitality portfolio expansion in Edinburgh and Cardiff, Bath felt like the ideal place for our next acquisition because of its role as a hub for UK tourism. The Abbey Hotel is a beautifully restored, historic hotel that has a proven track record as a popular destination for tourists. We look forward to announcing further investments across the UK as the industry bounces back from the pandemic.” 

Michael Kovacs, Founding Partner of Castleforge, said, “Bath is a highly sought-after city location for hotels, and we are fortunate to have secured such a wonderful property in the city centre. We are excited to be playing our part in supporting the city’s tourism and hospitality industry by investing in one of the best properties in the area. Our team will continue to provide the best possible service to Abbey Hotel guests and its employees as we aim to expand and improve the hotel, all the while protecting the heritage and character that makes it special.” 

Pictured above: The Abbey Hotel in Bath [Photo © Castleforge]