Uncertainty Over Future Of Scilly Hotel

St Martin's Hotel

St Martin’s Hotel

There’s uncertainty over the future of the St Martin’s Hotel after its owner unexpectedly closed the business for the season.

A notice posted outside says that owner Peter Sykes, who lives in the Bristol area, has decided to liquidate the company with immediate effect.

Three staff members have lost their jobs.

The hotel, which opened in 1987, has enjoyed some successes including gaining a Michelin star for its restaurant and becoming a favourite destination for celebrities including Jude law and Gary Kemp.

But more recently there have been difficulties. Planners approved a refurbishment and extension of the hotel with the introduction of some self-catering units in 2010.

Regular visitors were told that the hotel would be closed for the following season and many re-booked accommodation elsewhere. But the work was not carried out and the business instead remained open.

Last year a judge forced the hotel to be sold after people in charge of the estate of the owners’ late wife wanted to realise the value of her share of the business.

Ben Julian, owner of Churchtown Farm, St Martins’ biggest employer, says the situation is very sad, primarily for the people who worked there and whose families and livelihoods depended on the income it provided.

He says that the impact on the island economy with no pub or hotel cannot be underestimated. But he adds that St Martin’s has several excellent businesses who will pull out all of the stops to serve visitors to the island.

Ben says this may act as a catalyst for islanders to pull together for the common good with a, “creative solution to the situation, at least for this season.”


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