The team at Crathorne Hall hotel in Yarm, North Yorkshire, is working "flat-out" to get the business operational again following a devastating fire which caused extensive damage to one wing of the Victorian property.
Douglas Waddell, operations director of Hand Picked Hotels, which owns and operates the four-red-AA-star, 37-bedroom hotel, arrived at the property yesterday afternoon, four and a half hours after the blaze broke out in the property's 17-bedroom York wing.
"It was heart-wrenching to see the hotel essentially fighting for its life with flames leaping 20 feet high above the property," he told The Caterer.
"But the most important thing was that the team did a wonderful job in evacuating the building and no-one was hurt. It is very humbling to hear what a wonderful job they did."
Twenty guests and 20 staff escaped from the building after the fire is believed to have broken out in the roof of the Edwardian hotel.
Around 100 fire fighters from three services in North Yorkshire, Durham and Darlington and Cleveland took more than eight hours to bring the blaze under control. The cause of the fire is currently being investigated.
Crathorne Hall, which stands in 15 acres of grounds on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, is now expected to be closed for the immediate future.
"Our immediate priority is to find alternative venues for wedding and other guests booked into the hotel," explained Waddell. "We had weddings booked in on Friday and Saturday this week and we have already found alternative accommodation for them.
"We will then work flat-out to get the hotel back up and running again. We are currently assessing the extent of the damage.
"The main part of the hotel, which contains 20 bedrooms and the Edwardian dining room has suffered smoke damage, while the York wing will need to be re-roofed and totally restored."