Alexander Hotel Collection said in a statement: "Despite the long shadow that will be cast by Peter's death, Deborah and the senior team of the Alexander Hotel Collection are as committed as ever to preserving his extraordinary legacy and driving the hotels from strength to strength."

Hinchcliffe co-founded the Iceland supermarket chain alongside Sir Malcom Walker in Oswestry, Shropshire, while working as a trainee manager at Woolworths in 1970.

He sold his shares in 1994 and, alongside Deborah, purchased the Rowhill Grange hotel in Wilmington with the aim of creating a property with a spa at its heart. The pair launched the Utopia Spa brand before growing the hotel to 38 bedrooms. It now holds four AA silver stars and two AA rosettes for its restaurant.

The couple went on to acquire Langshott Manor and Alexander House, both in West Sussex. Ever the entrepreneur, Hinchcliffe decided to name the collection Alexander Hotels as it would mean the company would appear in the beginning of the phone book.

In 2016, the Hinchcliffe's purchased Barnett Hill in the Surrey Hills and began a complete renovation of the property. While the paint was still drying, they acquired the Great Fosters Estate in Surrey in 2018 and renamed the business as the Alexander Hotel Collection.

Following a renovation, Great Fosters Estate was awarded five-star status by the AA in 2021, while its restaurant, the Tudor Pass, holds a Michelin star.

The statement added: "Peter's legacy is quite undeniable, having built with Deborah a formidable collection of four and five-star properties, that are both unique yet individual, with a team of passionate staff behind them.

"Peter's loss will undoubtedly change the company and the industry landscape, but his passion and commitment will live on through the [Alexander Hotel Collection], which will continue to delight guests for many years to come."

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