Oxford's Hawkwell House Hotel has appointed a new general manager to lead the 77-bed boutique venue.

Anuj Sagar will manage the Mercure property and its team, boost the guest experience and drive new business opportunities.

Former general manager Nick Jefford has left to take up a new role elsewhere.

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Mr Sagar has more than 15 years of senior hotel management experience having worked in properties across the UK, the Middle East and Asia.

He joins the team from Novotel Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire where he spent two years as general manager.

Oxford Mail: Before that, he spent two years as general manager of Ibis London Elstree Borehamwood.

Mr Sagar said: “After undergoing its extensive rebrand and refurbishment, Hawkwell House was transformed into a luxury boutique hotel perfect for staycations and celebrations in Oxford

“When the opportunity arose to take on the role of general manager I jumped at the chance because of its unique character and charm and its exciting potential.

“The brilliant location means we are close to all of Oxford’s biggest attractions, but guests can still escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre while enjoying first-class amenities.

“One of the key things that attracted me to the hotel was the home away from home feel.

"Our regular guests love the relaxed, friendly atmosphere and personal level of service – we aim to truly get to know the preferences of our guests and deliver memorable experiences.”

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Working closely with director of sales and marketing Isabela Dumbrava, Mr Sagar has devised a strategy to put the hotel on the map in Oxford with a focus on engaging the local community to use the venue and continuing to enhance its guests’ experience.

Oxford Mail: Isabela DumbravaHe said: “The hotel has strong occupancy rates and we will work hard to maintain that, but a key part of our growth strategy is actively working on building relationships with locals and the business community.

"We’re just a stone's throw away from Iffley Lock and sit within three acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. 

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“It’s a perfect location to meet up, host conferences and events for corporate functions or family celebrations including weddings and parties.”

The hotel’s restaurant Frank’s is open to visitors as well as guests and Mr Sagar and his team are focused on welcoming more people who live locally.

Oxford Mail: “Our plans on the catering side are exciting and, over time, we want to take our dining experience to the next level and make Frank’s a known dining destination in the city," he added. 

"Over the coming year, we will be launching several contemporary new dining options which we hope will become firm favourites.”

Hawkwell House offers all day dining to guests and visitors to the hotel in its main restaurant and lounge, as well as alfresco dining on the terrace all year round.

It also has three event spaces that can be booked for weddings, events, meetings and parties.

The hotel has been given a £3.5m refurbishment.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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