From Singapore to Shepton Mallet

[The official opening of the Montigo Resorts Somerset, at Charlton House, Shepton Mallet. L to R. Mayor of Wells, Cllr Tanys Pullin; Chair of Street Parish Council, Cllr Bryan Kickerbocker; the MP for Wells, James Heappey; Mr Mark Battle, Director of KOP Properties UK; the Mayor of Glastonbury, Cllr Indra Donfrancefco; Ms Leny Suparman is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of KOP Limited; and Ms Ong Chih Ching is the Executive Chairman and Executive Director of KOP Limited]

Think Shepton Mallet, and l bet the older ones amongst you will say that’s the home of Showerings – or maybe even Mulberry bags. Well there’s a new kid on the block and they’ve come a long way to be here!

The last time l visited Charlton House – on the outskirts of the town – was many years ago when Roger Saul – the founder of the Mulberry Fashion label – bought this former 16th century manor house to turn it into an hotel.

Later it was taken up by Dragons Den presenter and businessman Duncan Ballantyne as part of his hotel and leisure chain.

Then, in February of this year, along came Montigo Resorts – all the way from Singapore – and decided to buy the property. For them it was a case of dipping a toe in the UK water – to see how successful their company – which boasts established luxury resorts in Batam and Bali – could be in Europe.

Yesterday, Friday, July 7th, the owners hosted a VIP preview tour and lunch, to introduce themselves and to look at future collaborations. I was amongst wedding, local and travel media, local dignitaries and tourism representatives.

We had a good look around and enjoyed lunch on a sunny terrace. while around 30 local businesses – all specialising in weddings and events – were busy preparing for the Somerset Showcase Celebration festivities being held this weekend – the 8th and 9th of July.

Click on the link to find out more.

It was great to meet everyone and l was pleasantly surprised to discover this Singaporean company is the first to be run by women! It’s a real family affair and l wish them well.

After lunch l met up with Ms Leny Suparman, who is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of KOP Limited.