Shropshire Star

Ludlow hotel at centre of Legionnaires' disease outbreak is put up for sale

A hotel believed to be at the centre of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in which one guest later died is now up for sale for more than £2 million.

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The Feathers Hotel was closed for two months last year after laboratory tests established links between legionella bacteria from the hotel plumbing and two separate confirmed cases in guests, both from Merseyside, who stayed at the hotel.

The first case was diagnosed in April 2017 and has recovered. The most recently diagnosed guest, Elaine Brown, 69, who stayed at the hotel in July, died.

The Ludlow hotel reopened in November after remedial work was carried out, and samples came back clear. But samples from the hotel are still being monitored and Shropshire Council also opened a formal investigation.

The 40-bedroom hotel is now up for sale with Christie & Co as the owners are now looking to retire after 16 years.

The website says that the hotel "offers the combination atmosphere of a 17th century coaching inn with the facilities of a modern hotel", and is "an ideal venue" for business meetings, conferences and private dining.

Also included in the sale are four retail units, which are currently rented as well as a four-bedroom residential flat. The hotel has a guide price of £2,650,000, or if interested parties want to buy the hotel without the four retail units, £2 million.

Charles Jones, senior agent for hotels, pubs and restaurants at Christie & Co is handling the sale.

Fantastic opportunity

He said: “The Feathers is widely regarded as ‘the most handsome inn in the world’ and is a fantastic opportunity for an owner operator to purchase their own piece of history in one of England’s prime market towns.

“We expect to see high interest from local, national and international operators who will recognise The Feathers as an exceptional addition to any portfolio.

"The current owners, who are now looking to retire, who built the business to an exceptional standard over the past 16 years, in which time they have achieved strong occupancy and The Feathers continues to be a destination hotel.”

Early symptoms of the disease include a ‘flu-like’ illness with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever which can then lead to pneumonia.

The bacteria is widely distributed in the environment and can be found in hot and cold water systems and in forms of industrial and commercial water cooling systems.

Mrs Brown’s family have instructed legal firm Irwin Mitchell’s to investigate the circumstances surrounding her death, and to found out if more could have been done to protect her.

The hotel was built in 1619 and is known as one of Ludlow’s best-known listed buildings.

The Feathers was contacted for a comment by the Shropshire Star.