Chairman Andrew Davis started von Essen in 1994, and it now owns 29 hotels and spas in Britain and France, most of which are luxuriously converted historic buildings, including the Royal Crescent in Bath, Cliveden House in Berkshire and Amberley Castle in West Sussex. This year, the company plans to open its first London hotel, next to the London Heliport. The heliport is owned by sister company von Essen Aviation and managed by PremiAir Group, which are both owned by Davis. Profits at von Essen hotels have grown 44% a year from an annualised £3.3m in 2005 to £9.9m in 2008.
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