Highclere Castle, the picturesque home of the famous television series “Downton Abbey” and current home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, has been sold to an Chinese-based hotel investment company that plans to turn the famed historic estate into a luxury boutique hotel, scheduled for opening in early 2015.
First Class Holdings, LLC, the property’s new ownership group, says that the new property will have fewer than 100 rooms, including a presidential suite in what was formerly the Earl and Countess’ bedroom.
The property’s existing features will be converted for use in a hotel – with the former servant’s quarters housing staff and the existing kitchens revamped for use in the hotel’s restaurant, which will serve traditional English fare.
A full-service spa will take the place of the former estate stables, and a rooftop swimming pool is planned, offering scenic views of the English countryside.
The cost of the project? An estimated $350 million. The planned hotel development is not scheduled to impact the filming of the beloved television series – the hotel will be closed for one month out of each year to allow for production to continue as usual.
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