The BEST WESTERN Sysonby Knoll Hotel is the largest and longest established family run hotel in Melton Mowbray and carries the highest quality rating in the town of a 3 star standard hotel. As such, many guests may assume that what they see today is the way things have always been. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, with the period since 1965 seeing constant development to change a 6 bedroom family home into a 3 star hotel and restaurant with all the facilities to ensure that our guests are as comfortable as possible.
The following is intended to give an insight into what the owners see as a continuing process of development and improvement, in a business which is in its second generation.
The original house (Sysonby Knoll) was built in 1911 by Mr Thurman for his second wife. He had previously lived at the farm down the lane but didn't wish for his second wife to live in his first wife's house. Subsequent occupants have been as follows:
- 1911-1923 Thurman
- 1923-1947 Easom
- 1952-1961 Pitt
- 1961-1965 Russell
- 1965- present Booth
- 1996- present Howling
Richard and Stella Booth bought the house in 1965 as a family home. Little did they realise they had also acquired some 'sitting tenants'. The Russell’s had taken in lodgers from PERA, a company in Melton and Mrs Booth was persuaded to carry on the tradition. As trade and the family built up, the house was extended. The first extension was built out towards the east.
The Gazebo or Victorian summerhouse was built with the house and provides an interesting feature in the garden. It is our intention to restore this and the fishpond below in the near future.
The courtyard was finally completed in 1987 with the purchase of the neighbour’s house and extension across the front. The frontage was then landscaped, including a statue of Bacchus, the god of wine. To add authenticity Bacchus was painted with yoghurt to make him go green!
Mrs Booth ran the hotel until the time of her death in 1996 and the family run tradition is continuing with daughter Jenny joining the business full time in 1996 and her husband Gavin in 1997. James arrived in 2002 and Zoë in 2005. Both are being trained in all aspects of hotel work from an early age!
The purchase of the field in 1997 means that guests (and their dogs) can take advantage of 4.5 acres of grounds and the hotel owns the fishing rights on the river Eye. Guests are welcome to fish free of charge.
A new annexe providing six executive bedrooms was opened in 2002, this is on the opposite side of the lane to the hotel and has proved to be very popular with guests.
New in 2004 was our restaurant and function room extension which has provided a much improved dining environment with panoramic views over the gardens and river. This has also enabled us to provide additional lounge space in the existing conservatory.