Idlewyld bought by Farhi Holdings, to reopen in spring
The historic Idlewyld Inn & Spa on Grand Avenue has been purchased by Farhi Holdings, and will remain an inn, restaurant and spa.
Shmuel Farhi of Farhi Holdings says "I always look for opportunity and this is something that will fit with our thought about heritage and a boutique hotel."
In a statement on its Facebook page, the company said "We are excited to announce that Old South gem, Idlewyld Inn & Spa is joining our portfolio. We look forward to reopening the Inn, Restaurant, and a Spa in Spring 2014."
The Idlewyld Inn & Spa, a unique three-story Victorian mansion, joins The Elm Hurst Inn & Country Spa in Ingersoll as part of Farhi's hospitality portfolio.
Built in 1878 for former mayor Charles Smith Hyman, it was transformed into an inn in 1986.
But in October, the inn's then-owner Marcel Butchey announced it would be closing just two years after he had taken control due to a decrease in business.
The closure took with it 20 jobs and left a number of people with planned events in the lurch.
Now interior designer Nadia Kuhni is working on a facelift for the property and says "We're going to keep the flavour of the Idelwyld, but then we're going to expand and modernize it. No one likes to sleep in a double bed, so we're going to bring in king-size beds and things like that."
By the grand re-opening in April 2014, Farhi says he is hoping to employ between 30 and 40 people.
"We want to bring to this great Old South something that complements the neighbours and the buildings...I like old because it's our past, I like old because we have to learn from the past so we can make the present and future better."