Banbury's Whately Hall Hotel reopens to the public after being closed to the public for over a year

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The historic Whately Hall Hotel reopened on Monday (January 8) after being closed to the public for over a year.

Ben Hioco, director of sales at Countrywide Hotels Group, which manages the 69-room 17th-century hotel, announced that the hotel had reopened last week (January 5).

He said: “Very excited to welcome back Whately Hall in Banbury reopening on Monday January 8. The hotel is perfect for meetings, events and social gatherings.”

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Bookings for bedrooms, conference rooms, the restaurant and weddings are now available on the hotel’s website.

The historic Whately Hall Hotel has reopened to the public.The historic Whately Hall Hotel has reopened to the public.
The historic Whately Hall Hotel has reopened to the public.

Managing director of Countrywide Hotels, Darren Patt said “Having acquired Whately Hall during its period of closure, I am excited to welcome the people of Banbury, and guests from further afield back to the hotel.

"I understand how important the hotel is to the town of Banbury, as a landmark, but more importantly, as a place for people to come together. Our new team, led by our new general manager Leigh, want to embrace the local community, and we hope that they will be there to support us moving forward as we reopen.”

The town centre hotel has a rich history, with reports of Gulliver's Travels author Jonathan Swift, evangelist John Wesley and King James II spending time there.

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A Grade II-listed building, it has retained many of its original features, including stone slab passages and wooden staircases, making it one of the most recognisable buildings in Banbury.

The hotel was the subject of controversy in December 2022 when workers lost their jobs and were not paid after the hotel was contracted to the government to house child asylum seekers.

Many Christmas parties and events were cancelled, and staff were sacked, leading to protests taking place outside the building until the correct wages and redundancy agreements were settled.

Following this, former owner of the hotel Ravi Ruparelia released a statement saying that “young orphans between the ages of four and 17 were staying at the hotel”.

An appeal was launched to donate clothing and other necessities to the children, while local businesses such as New Foscote Hospital offered jobs to former employees of the hotel.

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