Family sells St Michael’s Manor Hotel in St Albans after 50 years in charge

A heron sits on a tree stump outside St Michael's Manor Hotel

A heron sits on a tree stump outside St Michael's Manor Hotel - Credit: Archant

A change of ownership at a top hotel in the city closes the chapter on its long-running link with three generations of the same family.

The Newling Ward family said members were “very pleased” to announce that after 50 years of running St Michael’s Manor Hotel in Fishpool Street, St Albans, it had been sold to another family.

Sheila Newling Ward explained: “My parents-in-law, late husband David, son Richard and daughter Philippa and I have all been involved in improving the buildings, grounds and business over the years.

“With no clear succession within the family and most of my children and grandchildren in Australia, and after much soul searching, I decided it was time to retire and spend more time with my family.”

St Michael’s Manor dates back over 500 years, and was converted into a hotel in the early 1960s by the Newling Ward family.

Its new owner, Mauritian born Raj Gunputh, said it would be business as usual, adding, “I am very conscious of the long history of independence that St Michael’s Manor has enjoyed under the Newling Ward family and wish to retain this as we bring the hotel into my family.

“I have spent over 30 years in the UK, with various business interests, and we have long aspired to own a hotel.

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“St Michael’s Manor is the perfect fit with the location, condition, commercial opportunity and reputation of this beautiful award-winning four star hotel, making it a very attractive proposition.”

Raj said no immediate changes were being proposed, as the previous owners had “built up a thriving and respected business during their long tenure.

“Our goal is to build on that solid foundation and further cement the reputation of the hotel in St Albans and Herts by continuing to pursue even higher standards of service and quality.”