Flamboyant hotelier Jonathan Davies finally forced to quit his beloved Rose and Crown

FLAMBOYANT hotelier Jonathan Davies has been forced to quit the Rose and Crown in Wisbech as the troubled 600 year-old hotel fell into receivership.

A management team has been installed by the receivers who have pledged to keep the hotel open for the immediate future while they assess its trading potential.

Paul Whitwam, a spokesman for RSM Tenon Recovery, the receivers appointed by the mortgagees, said today: “We have a duty to assess the situation to see if the hotel can be traded on.”

He said the hotel was, for now, still open for business and a decision on its future would be made shortly. In the meantime Tenon has asked Colliers estate agency to find a buyer.

“We have a specialist management team in to deal with day to day operations to see if the hotel can be run successfully until a buyer is found,” said Mr Whitwam.

“The next few days will tell.”

Staff has been kept on while the business stays open and Mr Whitwam said to his knowledge there were no deposits being held for future events such as weddings.

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“If there is any the people involved need to contact us we can walk them through what claim they might have,” he said.

He said Tenon had no responsibility for anyone owed money by the partnership of Mr Davies and Jacqueline Noot who ran the Rose and Crown until this week.

Mr Davies- who famously turned his nose up at advice offered to him on the Channel 5 series The Hotel Inspector- left the 30-bedroom hotel on Wednesday accompanied by his long term partner Ms Noot, a former nurse.

The appointment of receivers comes three months after Mr Davies vowed to fight off a winding-up petition from the taxman.

The hotel is now in the hands of the receivers who, in turn, have asked Convivial Management Services of Bolton to work on a turn around plan.

Mr Davies had declared in October that he would fight against the winding-up order, just as he had done on four previous occasions.

“Winding-up petitions get issued the whole time and we have never let it beat us,” he said the time.

“We have engaged a legal team to contest the application but the fact remains we are still here, still in business and still doing our best for the people of Wisbech and for the staff we employ.”

The hotel has been in difficulties for some times and bailiffs were seen arriving in October to seize goods to settle an unpaid council tax bill. Mr Davies was seen resisting attempts.

The Rose & Crown had been one of the projects tackled by TV’s straight talking ‘hotel inspector’ Alex Polizzi - the niece of renowned hotelier Sir Rocco Forte.

The Channel 5 show, screened in July 2009, saw Mrs Polizzi try to revive the business which she claimed was being ruined by mountains of paperwork and collectables hoarded by Mr Davies, an ex-antiques dealer.

Channel 5 felt that Ms Polizzi never really stood a chance of getting to grips with the problems at the Rose and Crown.

“His mountains of paperwork and ‘antiques’ are ruining what could be a beautiful building and killing off any potential business,” said a Channel 5 programme editor.

“Has the hotel inspector finally met her match?” asked the editor after describing how Mr Davies had not taken sufficient note of Ms Polizzi’s recommendations.

Mr Davies, however, said he “hated the way the TV crew came in and for two weeks just treated the hotel as if it was a film set.

“I was so angry that on the second day of filming I just went off.”

He argued at the time that: “The hotel is not in crisis. We are doing OK.”

However Mr Davies also had to fight off rulings by the fire service over safety and also had to contend with demands from Fenland Council.

At one point he accused the council of being unhelpful and threatened to launch a compensation claim against the council for failing to promote the town and his hotel.

Last year it looked as if Mr Davies was moving out of financial difficulties having agreed to take over the White Lion hotel in North Brink.

An official notice on the hotel’s website says: “PLEASE NOTE:

Mr J Davies and Ms J Noot t/a The Rose & Crown Hotel entered into Law of Property Act Receivership on the 2 February 2011.

“Tim Dolder and Trevor Binyon of RSM Tenon Recovery were appointed Joint Law of Property Act Receivers.

“Contact Address: RSM Tenon Recovery CBX II West Wing Midsummer Boulevard Milton Keynes MK9 2RG Telephone: 01908 847 551 The affairs, business and property of the Company are being managed by the Joint Law of Property Act Receivers, who act as the Company’s agents and without personal liability.”