“We want to create a new Feathers Hotel that pays tribute to its history, by restoring the beautiful historic building to its original status, Daniel Ede, Managing Director of Ede Homes Ltd, explains.
‘we are not going convert The Feathers into flats, but dedicate ourselves to the restoration that it deserves’
“So our plan is to restore The Feathers to its former glory and as we have a lot of experience in dealing with Grade II listed buildings, we already have the know-how.”
Recent news that Ede Homes in Witney had recently bought The Feathers sent shock waves through the local community in case the hotel was being turned into housing, allegations Daniel is keen to address.
‘I am from Woodstock so I understand how integral The Feathers is to the town’
“No, we are not going to be converting The Feathers into flats, but instead are dedicating ourselves to the restoration that it deserves,” he confirms.
“I am from Woodstock so I understand how integral The Feathers is to the town, and how great the local community is, so I want to see The Feathers thrive. There is such an opportunity here and we are really excited to be the ones seeing it through.”
“Aiming to close on NYE and hoping to reopen in April 2024, “depending on what we find when we peel everything back”, his plans include a glass terrace bar at the back, extensive redecoration of its 21 rooms and suites, and general refurbishment, with an estimated budget so far of £1.5 million.
“The Feathers needs a lot of work. But instead of papering over the cracks we will see what needs to be done and do it. The exterior needs attention, the plumbing is antiquated and the decor a bit dated, plus the original features deserve some care and attention.
‘The Feathers needs a lot of work. But instead of papering over the cracks we will see what needs to be done and do it’
“In short, The Feathers needs investment and expertise, and we can do that. We have an incredible team of interior decorators, restorers, experts and builders, so we are really excited and keen to get started.”
Does this include the Churchill Restaurant? “It has only recently been redecorated and thanks to our chefs Luke Rawicki and Shannon Mulholland, READ OUR REVIEW HERE, the food is amazing, so we’ll just tweak the lighting and acoustics to make it more intimate and romantic.”
‘there is a big difference between property development and running a hotel and that’s why the team here is so integral’
As for the staff, Daniel says he can’t do without them. “The Feathers has such an excellent team under general manager Mihaela Panayotova and I realised that if we could retain them and invest in the hotel itself it would be a marriage made in heaven.
“I know there is a big difference between property development and running a hotel and that’s why the team here is so integral. We couldn’t do it without them.”
So why a hotel instead of a building project? “Development sites have dried up, so we’ve had to diversify and post Covid, buying hotels and B&Bs and doing them up keeps the ball moving and our staff employed,” Daniel explains.
Putting his money where his mouth is, Ede Homes has already set a precedent with its new hotel 192 on Iffley Road (formerly Heather House B&B) converted over six months into a technology-led, contemporary rooms with kitchenettes, which recently opened and took off immediately.
‘We want to bring back the locals and restore that buzz’
Next came Old Abbey House Hotel in Abingdon, formerly council offices, which is opening in October 2023 with 27 rooms after a two year refurb.
The company also acquired The Victoria Hotel on Abingdon Road which has been in the planning stages for two years. The 38-room project has just been given the green light, and the former B&B demolished, as building starts on their new self check in, energy efficient hotel, renamed The Edge.
And last, but not least, The Feathers, which Ede Homes bought for £2.75 million, even though its last owner only took it on last year.
“We want to bring back the locals and restore that buzz while keeping the Feathers legacy and tradition alive,” Daniel continues, eyes flashing with enthusiasm. “We are really excited and want people to know all about our plans to bring people back.”
The Feathers, Woodstock is at https://www.feathers.co.uk