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Hotel in Clare has anew vision under new management duo

Daniel Esplen and Zainab Khan (3365499)
Daniel Esplen and Zainab Khan (3365499)

A couple with a combined 40 years plus of experience in the hospitality industry have taken over at the Bell Hotel in Clare.

Daniel Esplen and Zainab Khan officially took over the business on July 31 but it is now briefly closed so Greene King can carry out a three-week refurbishment to the downstairs area .

A further investment of the accommodation area is also planned in a few months time.

“It’s been a long journey to get here,” said Daniel.

“In January we decided this was what we wanted to do. "We quit our jobs and travelled around the UK, covering more than 12,000 miles in the end, but when we found the Bell Hotel it felt like the right opportunity.

“It’s a fantastic building, a Grade-II-listed old coaching inn, with a 28-seat restaurant, with a bar and lounge along with 15 guest rooms and two function rooms.

"It’s an amazing space that we want to make the most of.”

Daniel started off working in pubs in his home county of Essex before going on to manage renovations, rebrands and relaunches for bars, restaurants and hotels across five different countries.

He was most recently hotel manager at the Sofitel Heathrow airport.

Zainab has also worked in a number of different countries for the hospitality industry, including bars, restaurants and airlines with experiences in sales, marketing and public relations.

In recent years, The Bell Hotel has often been a pub first and hotel second.

While wanting to retain the pub feel and also create a two-AA-rosette-standard restaurant, the couple are aiming to enhance the hotel side of the business to make it a real destination venue under one roof, providing somewhere for visitors to Clare to stay overnight.

They hope to employ a number of staff from the local area, who can help make a visit to the hotel a special and memorable experience.

Zainab said: “The goal is that when someone leaves The Bell Hotel, we want them to say to themselves ‘It was worth every penny’ and walk away with a great experience.

"We want to invest in developing people and that’s very much a part of our vision for the hotel as well.”

John Forrest, managing director of Greene King Pub Partners, said: “I wish Daniel and Zainab all the best for their new venture at the Bell Hotel. They have ambitious and exciting plans for the business and I’m sure their passion and enthusiasm will be welcomed by the Clare community.”

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