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Our history

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From small local business to one of the country’s leading hotel groups

The Brend Family have played a prominent role in the life of the West Country for nearly a century. Having run a successful butcher’s shop in Barnstaple since the 1920’s, Mr and Mrs Percy Brend built the Exeter Motel in 1955. This was the beginning of a passion for hospitality and for delighting customers that would last for generations to come.

In 1969, the historic Royal Hotel at Bideford was purchased and the company of Percy R Brend (Hoteliers) was formed. Such was the success of the company that the Brend family went on to build the Park Hotel in Barnstaple the following year. The Royal and Fortescue in Barnstaple was purchased in 1971, followed by the Devon Hotel in Exeter in 1975 and the Royal Duchy Hotel in Falmouth in 1977.

Percy Brend had always loved the Saunton Sands Hotel in North Devon, with its stunning beachside location.  He and his wife, Florence, would visit it when they were courting and he promised her that he would buy that hotel one day. In 1977, he finally fulfilled that dream.

The Brend Family gained a reputation for top quality luxury hotels with excellent attention to detail and outstanding levels of service. At this time, transport links to Devon and Cornwall were also improving greatly, allowing more visitors to come to the area. This enabled the family to expand their portfolio over the next two decades, with the addition of the following five hotels:

  • The Victoria Hotel, Sidmouth in 1980
  • The Carlyon Bay Hotel and Golf Course in 1982
    The Belmont Hotel, Sidmouth in 1987
    The Barnstaple Hotel in 1992
    The Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple in 1999

Over the years, the family has invested heavily in regular refurbishments and improvements to the hotel facilities, to ensure they offer their guests the very best experience. They have also built up an exceptional team of staff who are as committed as they are to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for all their guests. This has led to Brend Group receiving a number of major national awards for their service.

The Group has steadily grown to the point where it now encompasses 11 luxury hotels in Devon and Cornwall, 18 top quality restaurants, 5 spas and a championship golf course.

Today, the Brend Group remains very much a hands-on family business. The second and third generations of the Brend family are actively involved in the day to day running of the hotels, and the fourth generation is being trained for future management.

The current directors are all immensely proud of their family history and the strong sense of values that have driven their success and remain firmly at the heart of the business.

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