Kenilworth hotel up for sale for over £1 million

A Kenilworth hotel has been put on the market at over £1 million after its owners thought the time was right to sell up and retire.

Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 9:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th April 2016, 9:26 am
Alan Blackburn outside The Old Bakery in High Street

The Old Bakery in High Street has been run by husband and wife Alan Blackburn, 70, and Janet Blackburn, 68, for the past 11 years, but by their own admission have not ran the business to its full potential.

They decided to sell up about four months ago, and would like to see the hotel owned by younger people who can get more out of owning the hotel. It appeared on the market a few weeks ago with an asking price of £1.35 million.

Alan explained the decision was not to do with the viability of the hotel as a business, but due to the high demands of running a hotel at their age.

He said: “We’re at an age now which is past retirement, and we run the hotel as a lifestyle business. The bar is not open during the daytime and we don’t advertise the availability of our rooms at the weekend.

“The demand for beds and rooms is there in Kenilworth and I think we’re a good service to the town. We just know the business is capable of doing more.

“We thoroughly enjoy what we’ve been doing and we have some lovely customers. When we do eventually sell the hotel we’ll miss it.”

A handful of prospective buyers have already looked at the hotel, but no offers have been made as of yet.

Jenny Smith, who has worked at The Old Bakery since 1998, said: “Whoever buys it will be lucky to have it - it’s a fantastic place.”

The hotel is highly regarded, with travel website TripAdvisor awarding the hotel a Certificate of Excellence, only awarded to hotels which ‘consistently earn great reviews from travellers.’

It was also recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as being one of the best pubs in Coventry and Warwickshire in 2016.

Despite these accolades, Alan said that in the 11 years he has been running the hotel, he never once advertised it, and ran the hotel in a more relaxed way than other people might have done.

The 14-room hotel is a Grade-II listed building and the bar on the ground floor is over 400 years old.

The agents selling the hotel, Fleurets, claims the hotel is an ‘exceptionally presented property of rare quality’ with ‘healthy profitability.’

Alan is originally from Yorkshire, and said he never planned on moving to Kenilworth 11 years ago, but decided to after he and Janet started to really like the town after visiting. They especially liked Old Kenilworth, with Alan describing it as ‘smashing.’

Should the hotel be sold, Alan and Janet said would like to go on a gap year as they are “not capable of doing nothing.”