Highclere Castle, Home Of ‘Downton Abbey,’ Being Transformed Into Luxury Hotel

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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