Red Lion Hotel Owner Acquires Beach Front Hotel and is Excited About Relais Henley Opening

Grace Leo, new co-owner of the The Relais Henley at The Red Lion has also last week acquired The Cooden Beach Hotel, in Bexhill-on-Sea.

With 41 rooms and suites, the 1920s landmark building features a beachfront restaurant with a spacious open terrace offering unspoilt sea views.  The hotel will remain open throughout the busy 2021 staycation season and is set to undergo a full renovation, benefiting from Grace’s global reputation for creating exceptional hotels and resorts in unique locations, and reopening as a full-service beach resort in Spring 2022.

Grace comments, “Once I had seen The Cooden Beach Hotel, I was in awe of its unique location and possibilities. I have developed upscale resort hotels in far-off destinations like St Barth’s, Mustique, and St Jean-Cap-Ferrat, so my instinct says that there’s no reason why we can’t recreate that idyllic resort experience in a hotel that’s on the English coast, despite the cooler climate. Our plans are to create a haven for our guests to rest, relax, and be nourished in a beautiful seaside setting.”

Grace and her business partner Tim Hartnoll, Executive Chairman of X-Press Feeders plan to grow the portfolio of UK hotels in unique waterside locations, reinvigorating iconic properties and unearthing hidden gems.

The Relais Henley will be opening from 15 July and bookings are now open for rooms starting from £300/night.  Mosimann’s of London will provide all day-dining in the Clipper Restaurant which will feature a picturesque courtyard.   An ideal eatery for an intimate dining experience, corporate event, celebrating a special occasion or experiencing our quintessential afternoon tea.

Grace added, “I am truly excited about re-launching the Red Lion as The Relais Henley, there is a long history of the name of the hotel and we honour and respect its heritage. As we regenerate the property, now is the time to embrace the past and look forward to a new future where The Relais Henley will continue to play an important role in the life of Henley.”

“We have been very focused on refurbishing the hotel to higher standards to provide a friendly, sophisticated and charming venue where greater Henley residents as well as out-of-town visitors will come to have a glass of wine, eat a meal, and meet their friends and associates in a relaxing atmosphere. It’s not about the number of stars we are trying to achieve, our goal is to create an upscale lifestyle hotel with a feel-good factor of being there. We want to deliver an authentic Thames river side experience that is unique to Henley. ”

For more details to go The Relais Henley website at


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