Doncaster's 'hotel to the stars' snapped up in £5 million deal

The Crown Hotel at Bawtry.
The Crown Hotel at Bawtry.

A Doncaster hotel which has played host to a string of celebrity guests has been snapped up in a £5 million deal.

The Crown Hotel at Bawtry has been bought by Craig Dowie, the venue's managing director for the past 13 years, in partnership with the owners of nearby Bawtry Hall.

Singer Ronan Keating has stayed at the hotel.

Singer Ronan Keating has stayed at the hotel.

Mr Dowie has teamed up with businessmen Jason Cooper and Dave Pain to buy the historic High Street hotel from the previous shareholders - and the three are now planning on working together to help turn Bawtry into one of the area's leading tourist destinations.

The hotel has played host to a number of celebrity guests including comic Billy Connolly, singer Ronan Keating, the cast of Still Open All Hours and a string of other TV and music star names, as well as personalities from the world of racing.

Mr Dowie said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for two of the most iconic and historical venues in Yorkshire to come together to confirm the market town of Bawtry as one of the leading leisure destinations in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

Mr Cooper, managing director of Bawtry Hall, said: “I am delighted to have made this investment and to be working with Craig and his team.

Bawtry Hall.

Bawtry Hall.

"The Crown Hotel, Bawtry is a great business, run by an amazing group of people. It is also a very important property in the heart of the Bawtry community. I am also looking forward to seeing Bawtry Hall transformed into a fabulous wedding and events venue."

The brainchild for the deal dates back twelve months when the pair held discussions with Dowie’s son, Alex to see if there was any appetite in developing their fast growing media businesses together.

Alex was managing director of Keyhole Visuals - specialising in video creation and social media - and Cooper and Pain joint shareholders in Fluid Design, a company that specialised in Design, Search Engine Optimisation and web technologies.

They combined the companies, merged their teams and created Keyhole Creative Media at Bawtry Hall.

Comedian Johnny Vegas has also stayed at the Crown.

Comedian Johnny Vegas has also stayed at the Crown.

The merger led to Mr Cooper and Mr Dowie spending more time together and eventually discussions started on acquiring The Crown Hotel – both the freehold of the property and the operational aspect, in a single transaction from the previous majority shareholders.

Katey Dent, who has worked in the hotel industry for over 15 years and has been promoted to the board of directors for The Crown Hotel and Bawtry Hall, said “I’m really excited that The Crown Hotel have joined forces with Bawtry Hall to fuse all our years of experience with the Hall’s elegance."

Bawtry Hall will open as a luxury wedding venue in 2018 and will be taking bookings from September 2017.

Mr Pain said: "The Crown Hotel acquisition is another significant investment in Bawtry and demonstrates our faith in this affluent market town. We are looking for further acquisitions in Bawtry”.

Craig Dowie is heading up the new partnership.

Craig Dowie is heading up the new partnership.