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All change for Torquay hotel

A Torquay hotel that until now has catered exclusively for convalescing transport workers is to open to the public.

The 30-bedroom Fonthill, owned by the Transport Benevolent Fund, has been leased to local hoteliers Steve Parker and Barbara Mayers. The pair already own the 30-bedroom Elton Court hotel and the 10-room Tree Tops hotel, also in Torquay.

The property, which the fund shut last May because it operated at a loss, was marketed by Bettesworths Commercial Estate Agents. It includes a swimming pool, games room and bar.

Mr Parker said he planned to seek a three-star rating from the AA and RAC for the hotel and did not anticipate there would be any requirement for refurbishment before getting such a rating.

“We need to see what work we need to do, but it will be mainly on the service side to give the hotel the right feel,” he said.

For its first summer season, Mr Parker said the hotel would be promoted to the group and coach operator market, but the intention for next year was to target the more lucrative individual traveller market.

Room rates range from £19.50 to £42 for dinner, bed and breakfast, depending on the season.

“I think the hotel will be a good one for us. It has a good position in an attractive part of town,” he said.

Transport Benevolent Fund chief executive Chris Godbold said the fund had decided that in the current market it was better to lease rather than sell the property.

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