Lobbying for Power ; the Mysterious 'Lord' Davis Owns Cliveden and the Royal Crescent Hotel and Now He's Planning to Buy the Lanesborough. But Who Is He? And Are Our Top Hotels Really Safe in His Hands Ask William Cash and Sonia Purnell

Summary


Drive up to the imposing Palladian entrance of Ston Easton Park Hotel, near Bath, formerly the family seat of Lord Rees-Mogg, and the chances are that parked on the gravel is a Bentley Continental. Standing on the front lawn is also likely to be a Sikorsky helicopter.

Ask who they belong to and you will get the hushed answer 'Lord Davis', as heads nod towards an energetic-looking figure in Hermes- belted jeans marching around the lobby barking questions in an estuary accent into a mobile phone.

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Lobbying for Power ; the Mysterious 'Lord' Davis Owns Cliveden and the Royal Crescent Hotel and Now He's Planning to Buy the Lanesborough. But Who Is He? And Are Our Top Hotels Really Safe in His Hands Ask William Cash and Sonia Purnell

On his 40th birthday last month, the little-known Andrew Davis appears to have had plenty to celebrate at the party he threw for 50 friends at his Devon manor house in the picturesque Culm Valley. On paper, at least, Davis now ranks as one of Britain's most successful young businessmen. His von Essen group owns a clutch of country- house hotels, including Cliveden and the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath.

He is now said to be interested in buying the Lanesborough, the five-star hotel on Hyde Park Corner.

But information about the man himself is surprisingly hard to come by.

Described by a colleague as 'manic, bright, exhausting and over- enthusiastic', and by another as 'Arthur Daley with crested cufflinks', aspects of his rise could feature in a Thackeray ...

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