Karma Group has taken possession of Karma Salford Hall in the Cotswolds, with a view to turning the location into its UK flagship property.
An historic country retreat dating back over 700 years, the hotel is situated in the Vale of Evesham, one of the most attractive rural regions anywhere in Britain.
Nestled amid farms, fields and ancient villages, Karma Salford Hall once belonged to King Henry VIII and retains its Tudor charm while offering traditional yet contemporary comforts.
There are a total of 32 bedrooms, as well as a restaurant, library, games room and bar.
The hotel is well located for the historic towns of Stratford-upon-Avon and Leamington Spa, with the latter famed for its Regency architecture and shopping.
“We have just taken over this property and we have big plans for what we can offer here,” explained Karma Salford Hall general manager, Douglas Cooper.
“There is a lot of potential here and we want to put this property on the map; we are moving toward a five-star offering and Karma Salford Hall will become the flag-ship property of Karma Group in Europe.
“There are plans for a new indoor swimming pool, while the facilities which are here will be upgraded.
“We are looking to really elevate the offering, with a number of events, an improved spa facility and things like that.”
Cooper is the perfect leader for the hotel, having joined from the Falcon in Castle Ashby.
Here he worked on a £13 million redevelopment of the 15th century listed building under the direction of Lord and Lady Northampton.
The 18-month project was completed with a reopening last year.
“Our real strength at Karma Salford Hall is our location on the Vale of Evesham, this is great spot from which to explore the Cotswolds,” added Cooper.
“Towns like Broadway, Chipping Camden and a number of National Trust gardens, including Snowshill Manor, are within a few minutes’ drive, as well Hidcote.
“We are also not far from Cheltenham, for the racing.
“The property is just outside some of the main tourist attractions, so you are not in a small village that will be swamped by a coach-load of visitors.”
The bedroom décor at Karma Salford Hall celebrates the English arts and crafts style founded by one of the Cotswolds’ famous former residents, William Morris.
Think four posters, print wallpaper, oakwood furniture and colourful upholstery.
There are three room types to choose from, all en-suite and offering a choice of double, twin and four-poster beds.
“There are certain elements of this Grade I listed building which we cannot alter, but there is work we can do,” continues Cooper.
“It does make things interesting, making sure we are in compliance with the regulations.
“The other side, however, is the character that is here; we are not a cookie-cutter property, which guests do appreciate.
“A lot of hotels can be the same, but the history we have here makes it unique – not least that connection with Henry VIII.
“But we are at the start of the project, with a journey ahead.”
He concludes: “Our aim is to be fully developed by next summer, with the borders open and guests ready to travel.”