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Hotel where George Orwell penned 1984 is bought for more than £1.2m

Only hotel on the remote Hebridean isle of Jura where George Orwell penned 1984 is snapped up by the City’s biggest hedge fund trader nicknamed ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for more than £1.2million

  • The 17-bedroom Jura Hotel is popular among visitors and locals and boasts ‘open views over Small Isles Bay’
  • It has been purchased for more than £1.2 million by locally-based Ardfin Estate, owned by Greg Coffey
  • The hedge fund star is nicknamed ‘Wizard of Oz’ after making hundreds of millions as a young City trader
  • Hotel has been extensively renovated over last decade and is powered by biomass and solar panels systems

The only hotel on the remote Hebridean isle of Jura where George Orwell wrote 1984 has been purchased by the City’s biggest hedge fund trader, nicknamed ‘The Wizard of Oz’ for more than £1.2 million. 

The 17-bedroom Jura Hotel is popular with both locals and visitors to the island and boasts ‘a superb prominent position with open views over Small Isles Bay’. 

The island, which has a population of around 230 people, is also home to a ‘distinctive and world renowned whisky’ that is a favourite of former Prime Minister David Cameron and where Mr Orwell was living when he his famed novel.  

However, the hotel was placed on the market when its owners decided it was time to try something new after 11 years.  

After just three months, it has been snapped up by the locally-based Ardfin Estate – owned by hedge fund star Greg Coffey. 

Mr Coffey was nicknamed ‘The Wizard of Oz’ after making a reputed £430m as a young City trader.

His obsessional style meant he would have his trading terminals flown to his hotel wherever he was on holiday, then re-assembled to allow him to trade through the night while his wife and children slept. 

The Australian first rose to fame when he walked away from a $250million (£156million) golden handcuffs deal in 2008 before building up a cult following in the financial markets because of the extraordinary success of the £3.5billion ’emerging market’ funds he ran.

He announced his retirement in 2012 to spend more time with his family, but has a portfolio of luxury properties dotted all over the world. 

The Jura Hotel and Isle of Jura distillery, where its ‘distinctive and world-renowned’ is made a short distance away

The remote island of Jura is located off the west coast of the Scottish mainland and has a tiny population of around 230 people

Greg Coffey (left) purchased bought Ardfin Estate for £3.5 million in 2010 and has spent around £20m creating an 18-hole golf course on the island’s rugged terrain

An aerial view of the hotel, which boasts ‘a superb prominent position with open views over Small Isles Bay’ from its coastal position

The Jura hotel is located on an island with a tiny population of 230 people, with much of the island uninhabitable due to its terrain

The Jura Hotel (left) pictured alongside the adjacent distillery where its famed whiskey, popular with former Prime Minister David Cameron, is produced

The hotel was snapped up by locall-based Ardfin Estate after just three months on the market

The ‘Wizard of Oz’ hedge fund trader who built up cult following after making  reputed £430m in the City

Greg Coffey was nicknamed ‘The Wizard of Oz’ after making a reputed £430m as a young City trader. 

Mr Coffey graduated with a degree in actuarial studies from Sydney’s Macquarie University and started trading emerging-market equity derivatives in 1994 at Bankers Trust Corp, which was bought by Deutsche Bank AG in 1999.   

The Australian first rose to fame when he walked away from a $250million (£156million) golden handcuffs deal in 2008 before building up a cult following in the financial markets because of the extraordinary success of the £3.5billion ’emerging market’ funds he ran. 

His obsessional style meant he would have his trading terminals flown to his hotel wherever he was on holiday, then re-assembled to allow him to trade through the night while his wife and children slept. 

Mr Coffey has mansions in London and Sydney, and bought the sprawling Ardfin estate in the Hebridean Island of Jura in 2008 when it was on the market for £3.5million.

He announced his retirement in 2012 to spend more time with his family, but has a portfolio of luxury properties dotted all over the world. 

Willie McDonald, of Ardfin Estate, said following the acquisition: ‘Ardfin Estate are delighted to be the new owners of Jura Hotel and intend to continue the operation in the same vein as the previous owners and hopefully, if possible, build on the success that Andy and Cath McCallum have had in their 11 years of owning the hotel.’

Mr Coffey bought Ardfin Estate for £3.5m in 2010 and has spent around £20m creating an 18-hole golf course on the island’s rugged terrain.

Estate agents Graham and Sibbald described the Jura Hotel as a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for the right person.

Over the last decade, the Jura Hotel has been refurbished by its former owners and is ‘green’ powered through biomass systems and solar panels.

The hotel contains two bars, a restaurant, lounge and a five-bedroom house for its owners and staff accommodation. 

At the front of the site is an alfresco terrace and bar and café overlooking the hotel’s camping and event field.

Alistair Letham, a hotel and leisure consultant with estate agent Graham and Sibbald, said: ‘The availability of the Jura Hotel for sale, almost unique in this idyllic island location, attracted interest from a wide range of potential buyers and hoteliers.

‘The purchase by the local Ardfin Estate not only secures the future of the Jura Hotel – an essential element of this island’s community – but also offers excellent business growth opportunities when “marrying” it with hotel and leisure/sporting facilities at Ardfin.’

The business is understood to have a turnover of around £880,000 net.

Graham and Sibbald’s description of the hotel added: ‘The Jura Hotel has a superb prominent position with open views over Small Isles Bay. The many visitors – leisure; tourists; commercial – all enjoy the island and hotel warm hospitality with a good mix of custom to the hotel. 

‘The hotel has been extensively refurbished and renovated, to provide excellent hotel facilities, which has included installing biomass and solar panel systems and creating a new 5-bedroom house for owners. 

The hotel is home to where author George Orwell (pictured) lived when he wrote his famed novel 1984. above, he is pictured in 1943

The hotel contains two bars, a restaurant, lounge and a five-bedroom house for its owners and staff accommodation 

Over the last decade, the Jura Hotel has been refurbished by its former owners and is ‘green’ powered through biomass systems and solar panels 

A view from the front of the Jura Hotel, showing its close proximity to the world famous Jura Distillery

One of two bars within the hotel, which also contains a restaurant, an alfresco terrace and bar and café overlooking the its camping and event field

A restaurant at the hotel, which is popular with both locals of the sparsely populated island and visitors

As well as the hotel, the site is home to a five-bedroom house for its owners and staff accommodation

At the front of the site is an alfresco terrace and bar and café overlooking the hotel’s camping and event field (pictured above)

‘A mountainous island, with its Paps and extensive deer forests, Jura is probably best known for its distinctive and world-renowned whisky, with the distillery adjacent to The Jura Hotel. 

‘Whilst the Isle of Jura, with its sense of wilderness and remoteness, is undoubtedly an excellent escapism retreat and the island has a huge sense of history to explore, it was also where author George Orwell lived when he wrote his famed novel 1984.’

The west coast of Jura is uninhabited due to its difficulty to access, but is home to some of the finest beaches in the world.

Its whisky is also a favourite of Mr Cameron, who has strong links to the island.

His wife Samantha’s stepfather, Viscount Astor, owns a six-bedroom cottage on the island as well as the 20,000-acre Tarbert estate.

Mr Cameron previously revealed his love for the island and its famous whisky on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. His luxury item was ‘a case of malt whisky from Jura.’

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