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Pre-acquisition Survey of a Luxury Hotel: Case Study

Allcott Commercial’s team includes experienced chartered RICS surveyors with extensive knowledge in the particular challenges and common issues seen in hotels and hospitality properties.

Brief: We had a request to carry out a building survey of a large hotel and spa near Bath.

Property: Hotel complex and spa facility.

Instructed by: Operations Director of a luxury resorts company.

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Project specification

  • Our client was looking to invest in a luxury hotel in the South-West and requested a pre-acquisition survey.
  • They wanted to identify any items of concern that could become an issue in the immediate to medium term and to obtain budget costs for the more significant items of work.
  • The size of the property meant that two chartered surveyors would need full access for up to four days on site.
  • As well as internal and external inspections, a drone would be used to assess the condition of the roof.
Hotel roof survey

The hotel

  • The site of the hotel has a long history, with records indicating that a large country house was built there in the mid-1600s by a wealthy merchant family.
  • The family sold the house in the early 1800s to a Reverend, who remodelled the entrance and approach to the house and made substantial internal modifications.
  • The house remained in use as a home and passed through several owners until the 1960s when a hotel owner, Ken Seaton, bought it. Ken was the first to convert the property into a country house hotel.
  • Since then, the hotel has been owned and refurbished by the founder of the famous Mulberry handbag brand, and later by Duncan Ballantyne, of ‘Dragons Den’ fame.
  • It was listed by Historic England in the 1980s and still retains historic features, including early 19th-century fireplaces and an original staircase.
Hotel survey

Key survey findings

  • When carrying out the survey, we were mindful of the hotel’s reputation as one of the region’s leading country houses, and the maintenance and refurbishment levels required to maintain this status.
  • Generally, the property was in good condition, but we found several areas where repairs were required and items that would benefit from regular maintenance and refurbishment.
  • Repairs were categorised by urgency. We advised that several repairs were required in the immediate term, including repairs to:
    • detached flashing on the roofs
    • cracked stonework
    • gutters that were in a dilapidated state and leading to water saturation of adjacent building materials
    • loose door fixings
    • several inspection hatches for WC ventilation that had been painted over.
  • Most of the decorative finishes were in a satisfactory state. We noted that the condition of the finishes varied across the hotel, and recommended a proactive rolling programme of maintenance, redecoration and refurbishment.
  • We costed major items of work to assist with budgeting. These items included repairs to chimney stacks, short-term roof repairs and long-term roof replacements, timber and window repairs, several areas of repointing and attendance by an NICEIC engineer for an up-to-date electrical test certificate.
  • We also recommended that the client obtain the property’s fire risk assessment, asbestos management plan, and all service records for M & E equipment.
heritage hotel building survey
hotel gym survey

Read more about our pre-acquisition surveys here, or find out more about our hospitality sector surveying services.

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