Deer Park Country House in Honiton has taken the decision to cease operation as a hotel, focussing instead on its wedding and events business. Formally an AA four star hotel with 33 bedrooms and an AA two Rosette restaurant, the owners of the property made the decision due to an increase in demand.
Mark Godfrey, MD, said: “We were very successful as a hotel, restaurant and venue for weddings and corporate events, and felt that the markets don’t go together very well. There are many challenges that come with running all three businesses.
“We were also turning guests away due to demand for events, so it was just a natural, logical progression, and something that we’re obviously good at. We host 120 weddings a year, but we’ve also seen a big increase in corporate events. I believe that with Brexit coming companies are investing in their employees more, holding training days, workshops, team building events and so on. At the moment we host 80 corporate events each year, and that’s because we have some very unique spaces inside and out, including our state of the art motor house situated directly above a fleet of rare and classic cars.
“Since we took over six years ago we have invested £3.3 million in the property. The previous owners had a marquee with no permission so we took that down and built a beautiful orangery that can seat 200. We also have three outdoor kitchens and have planted 1,500 apple trees, securing rural funding from the EU to create our own sparkling apple wine, which we can offer at our weddings and corporate events – guests can choose to have their own label and we also offer half and quarter bottles for takeaways.”
Deer Park will still be hosting charity events and summer and winter balls so that it doesn’t lose touch with its most popular guests and local customers.