Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

This Fast Moving Investor Relies on Instinct

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

This Fast Moving Investor Relies on Instinct

Article excerpt

Hotelier Mukesh Chawla is a man who appreciates the value of investment. Having built up a near pounds 10m turnover business in fewer than 20 years, he has shown again and again the value of backing his judgment in making acquisitions.

It all started for Mr Chawla with buying a care home in 1989. Having come to the North-East some years before to work as an occupational therapist, he spotted an opportunity to be his own boss and grabbed it with both hands.

Having built up a six-strong chain of homes, he eventually sold to national operator Advantage Care in 1998, though his family still retains an interest in two homes in Northumberland.

On exiting the care business, Mr Chawla and his wife Rani entered the hotel industry, making The Grand Hotel in Hartlepool their first purchase, though they no longer own it.

They then started to look farther afield.

The second buy was a hotel serving the corporate market in Manchester, the Old Rectory in the suburb of Denton, then there was the distinctive Craiglands Hotel, high above Ilkley in West Yorkshire.

Then it was Mere Court, near Warrington in Cheshire, before the George Washington Hotel & Country Club at Washington, County Durham, in 2003.

And Mr Chawla and his Ailantus team are currently in negotiations to acquire another hotel in the North-West.

He says: "Total turnover is currently around pounds 8m and with the acquisition of the new hotel it will be pounds 10m."

Ailantus is also ploughing a lot of money into the George Washington, as the Chawlas look to double turnover in coming years.

They are having a 1,000-seat function room built, along with investment in a new golf clubhouse and extra food and drink outlets.

Mr Chawla says: "When we bought this place, it was under-performing. The golf course was run down, so we put in investment of pounds 2m to improve it, and to improve the bedroom stock, and that has really helped us to increase occupancy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.