Global Edition

Manor House & Ashbury Golf Hotels for sale for £23m

11.15am 7th June 2022 - Property

The Manor House Hotel and Ashbury Golf Hotel, one of the largest sport and leisure resorts in Europe, has been put on the market for a guide price of £23 million.

The thriving leisure business, which enjoys a stunning location on a 546-acre site on the edge of Dartmoor National Park near Okehampton in Devon, has been under the same ownership for over 40 years, with Joan and Simon Essex, both of whom are in their mid-70s, having decided that the time has come to sell on the resort ahead their retirement. 

The resort boasts two hotels, located less than two miles apart, which combine to offer 404 guest bedrooms, along with further accommodation on site for up to 60 staff.

Claimed to be the ninth largest golf resort in the world, the Manor House boasts five 18-hole golf courses, and 103 holes of golf in total, with over 115,000 rounds a year played by residents and visitors. Beyond golf, guests are able to enjoy over 50 different sports, craft, leisure and spa activities on site, with extensive indoor and outdoor facilities ensuring that it remains a year-round tourism destination.

The business has grown beyond recognition from the original 10-bedroom manor house which was purchased by the Essex family in 1978, and consistently generates in excess of £15m annual revenue with a high percentage of repeat custom contributing to the success of the resorts, which attract over 135,000 guest per year. The resort operates a unique all-inclusive pricing policy that includes full-board accommodation, access to the numerous facilities and activities, and one free round of golf per night’s stay, although some of the arts and craft classes require additional payments.

The Manor House Hotel, Okehampton

Joan and Simon Essex commented: “Soon, it will be 44 years since we moved into the Manor House, originally a large house in 17 acres with fantastic views of Dartmoor. We had a plan to build the only sport and craft hotel in the UK, offering an unprecedented range of opportunities and facilities. We have fulfilled that dream. However, we are aware that our joint age is 152 and it’s time to step aside.

“We have been working with our experienced team, together with our agents Knight Frank, to roll out a marketing plan for the sale of our business. We are proud to recognise the enormous contribution that our staff have made to the success of the Manor and Ashbury resorts and we are certain that this will continue to be the case. The resorts offer further growth for the next custodian with an exciting chapter ahead for the business.”

Matthew Smith, partner in the Knight Frank Hotels team, which is handling the sale of the property, commented: “We are delighted to be acting as sole selling agents for the sale of The Manor House Hotel & Ashbury Golf Hotel, which operate as highly profitable multi-faceted unique leisure resorts. The opportunity arises simply due to our client’s decision to retire from the industry. Through their vision and business philosophy they have installed an established structured management team with extensive knowledge of the operation supported by loyal, local and trustworthy staff who have embraced the business, have defined roles & responsibilities and are passionate to providing the very best experience for their guests.

“Given the strength of the domestic market it is no surprise the business is currently benefitting from increased trading performance. The resorts, which are to be sold as one business, will no doubt appeal to an array of investors seeking a substantial land holding in the south-west, and should provide further value-add and development opportunities.”

For more details, visit or call +44 20 7629 8171.

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