A LUXURY Northumberland hotel has closed without warning, throwing 30 staff out of their jobs.
The Otterburn Hall Country House Hotel, which charged between £130 and £400 per night for a room, shut on Monday, taking the village unawares.
The London-based Angel Group told The Journal the four-star hotel had “closed for business” on Monday and said that all calls were being handled by the group’s headquarters in the capital.
The 65-bedroom hotel just outside Otterburn, boasting an AA Rosette, cost £1.4m when it was sold to the Angel Group by the YMCA in 2002.
Yesterday, telephone calls to the hotel were being answered by an automated message system and the internet booking service was inactive.
Though the hotel last week hosted a major wedding, it is understood another wedding planned for this weekend has been cancelled.
An Angel Group official said: “The Otterburn Hall Hotel closed for business on Monday and all calls are being handled by London. We cannot give any further information at this stage.”
The Angel Group was set up in 1999 by multi-millionaire Julia Davey, who is 17th on the list of Britain’s top 50 businesswomen and the 15th-richest in property. Mrs Davey, who has operated in the care and accommodation of asylum seekers, has business interests in London, Eastern Europe, Cyprus and Israel.
In 2011 she was said to have business assets of £80m and a further £51m in property and personal wealth.
In 2002, it was widely rumoured that the Otterburn Hall Hotel was to be used to house asylum seekers.
Up to 250 were thought to be lined up to go there before the rumours were finally scotched in 2003.
Since then, the hotel has been built up into one of the North East’s most opulent venues.
Around a dozen self-catering lodges stand in the hotel’s 500-acre grounds of deer park and woodland. Martin Chilvers, clerk of Otterburn parish council, said: “There was a big wedding at the hotel at the weekend involving an Indian family.
“And we as a council were due to have a face-to-face meet with the hotel management over a footpath issue.
“It is a shock to us all that the hotel has now closed so suddenly.”
Gordon Moore, of the Border Reiver village shop in Otterburn, said the hotel was paying up minor trade debts on Monday.