Historic hotel closes

THE new owners of a hotel in a Grade II Listed building have closed it after they found they could not attract enough guests.Wood Hall, a three-storey detached 16th Century building at Shottisham, near Woodbridge, will no longer be run as a hotel but some of the facilities will be available for private hire.

THE new owners of a hotel in a Grade II Listed building have closed it after they found they could not attract enough guests.

Wood Hall, a three-storey detached 16th Century building at Shottisham, near Woodbridge, will no longer be run as a hotel but some of the facilities will be available for private hire.

The property has a nightclub and function room in the grounds. Alan Coggen, who bought the hotel last year, said they would still take weddings and private parties.

Mr Coggen said: ''It was not viable. We got good chefs in, we tried to get the restaurant going, but we hardly had any visitors. It had been in steady decline for the last five or six years.


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''The building needs work doing on it and it would be difficult to do that if it was being used as a hotel.''

In May last year the district council approved a plan submitted by the then owners Harvey and Carole Storch to convert the hotel into a house. The couple had bought the property in 1990 for £750,000.

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But estate agents Strutt and Parker said Wood Hall was isolated and in a poor location. They estimated the owners needed to spend between £2,500 and £3,000 each month on advertising to bring in business – and even then they could not secure an occupancy rate above 45%.

The imposing building is more than 400 years old and was used as a hotel for 35 years until the recent conversion back to a house. There were 13 letting bedrooms and seven acres of grounds with sports facilities.

The Elizabethan mansion was for many years the dowager seat of Suffolk's famous Quilter family. Mr Coggen moved from Braintree to take up the challenge of making the hotel work but the English Tourist Board four crown rated hotel was not economic to run.

This is the second hotel in the Woodbridge area to close in recent years. The Melton Grange Hotel shut in 2000. Ipswich-based Chater Homes has bought the Melton Grange and has been considering different options for the future.

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