Hand Picked Hotels

Hand Picked Hotels

Hand Picked Hotels, set up by financier Guy Hands and his wife Julia, owns and operates a collection of individual and historic country house hotels. Julia, a former lawyer, now runs Hand Picked Hotels.


  • 1999: Early in the year, the Hands purchase seven hotels from Virgin for around £20m and name their new company Hand Picked Hotels. In November, they buy 11 Arcadian hotels from Wyndham International for £75m.
  • September 2001: A refurbishment programme, costing over £50 million, begins.
  • October 2003: The refurbished estate is relaunched as "Hand Picked Hotels" and the Arcadian name disappears. By this time, 12 hotels have been awarded two AA rosettes, seven have improved their star rating and four have won Red Star status, putting them in the AA top 200 hotel bracket.
  • December 2007: Major extensions completed to Rookery Hall (adding 24 bedrooms, spa and banqueting suites), Rhinefield House (adding 16 bedrooms, meeting rooms and health club), and Norton House (36 bedrooms, banqueting suites and leisure spa)
  • February 2008: Audleys Wood, Hendon Hall and New Hall bought from Bridgehouse Hotels, adding 190 rooms to the group

Number of hotels: 17

Number of bedrooms: approximately 950

  • Audleys Wood, Basingstoke, Hampshire;
  • Brandshatch Place, Fawkham Green, Kent;
  • Buxted Park, Uckfield, Sussex;
  • Chilston Park, Maidstone, Kent;
  • Crathorne Hall, Crathorne, North Yorkshire;
  • Ettington Park, Stratford-upon-Avon;
  • Hendon Hall, Hendon, London;
  • L’Horizon, St Brelade’s Bay, Jersey;
  • New Hall Manor, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands;
  • Norton House, Edinburgh;
  • Nutfield Priory, Redhill, Surrey;
  • Priest House, Castle Donington, near Derby;
  • Rhinefield House, New Forest, Hampshire;
  • Rookery Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire;
  • Seiont Manor, Snowdonia;
  • Wood Hall, Linton, Wetherby, West Yorkshire;
  • Woodlands Park, Cobham, Surrey.



Commercial Director: Ken Arkley

Operations Director: Douglas Waddell

Finance Director: Mandy Newton


  • The Times February 5, 2008: Hands-on approach puts hotel chain among the nation's star performers
  • Caterer & Hotelkeeper September 5 2002: A hands-on approach / Rosalind Mullen
  • Caterer & Hotelkeeper October 2, 2003: A Show of Hands / Karl Cushing
  • The Daily Telegraph October 9 2004: Hotel boss wins award without helping Hands / Kate Rankine
  • Caterer Interview with Julia Hands July 29 2011

External links