HISTORIC Hampton Manor - once one of the grandest residences in the Solihull area - has entered an exciting new era as a conference centre and hotel.
The new owners paid more than £3 million for the Victorian mansion and estate, and have spent £1 million-plus on restoration and fitting it out for its new purpose.
Built in the 1850s by Sir Frederick Peel MP, son of Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, it was once the setting for top-level political meetings and glittering balls.
Now the manor, which in more recent times was a care home, has been transformed into an upmarket venue for business conferences, company board meetings and private parties.
Accommodation consists of 12 luxury hotel rooms, priced from £140 a night and including a sumptuous bridal suite.
What used to be Sir Frederick’s library has been converted into a meeting room and so has his oak-panelled study. The former laundry has been fitted with a 50-inch plasma screen for video conferencing.
“Modern technology is a must in today’s business world and it is important we give people what they need,” said director James Hill, whose parents, Derrick and Janet Hill, from Worcester, own Hampton Manor.
“Other key ingredients for a successful event are a relaxing environment and good service, superb accommodation and of course great food and wine. We can provide all of them.”
The manor is set among 45 acres of secluded woodland and gardens, yet is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Birmingham Airport, the NEC and the motorway network.
NEC boss Paul Thandi headed up a recent breakfast meeting of senior executives and the manor is busy taking bookings for other business events.
“One company is taking over the whole place - all the bedrooms, everything - for three days in July, added Mr Hill. “Because of the recession, businesses generally are cutting back but I’m confident we can succeed by giving good value for money.”
Mr Hill envisages the manor employing at least 40 full-time and part-time staff eventually. There are current vacancies for a head housekeeper, restaurant manager, receptionists and cleaners.
Visit www.hamptonmanor.eu for more information.