"Substantial offers" are being sought for the freehold of the 29-bedroom Langdale Chase hotel in the Lake District.
Managing director Thomas Noblett, who is believed to have been the first British hotelier to have swum the English Channel, a feat he has achieved on three occasions, said that after more than 23 years at the hotel, he and his fellow directors have decided to retire and sell the property.
Originally built in 1895, the Grade II-listed country house hotel is located on the shores of Windermere, the largest lake in England. In 2004, the hotel won The Caterer's View with a Room competition for the "spectacular" aspect enjoyed from every room of the property.
Langdale Chase is a popular wedding and function venue, which added a £1m 24-bedroom staff accommodation block, earlier this year. The site includes a Lake House with eight guest bedrooms, a boat house and two private jetties. There is also a 15-bedroom former staff house which could be converted to provide further guest accommodation, a spa or a separate function facility.
JLL's Hotels & Hospitality team has been instructed to sell the hotel.
Gavin Wright, director of JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group, said: "There is enormous potential to capitalise on the existing reputation of the hotel though expansion and marketing. The Langdale Chase is undoubtedly one of the finest locations in the Lake District and we anticipate strong interest in this most beautiful and popular parts of the UK."
Noblett said: "It was a very long and emotional decision that myself and my board of directors came to. We always said we'd go as a group. We've decided that we've taken it as far as we can and it's time to move on, and not necessarily to other hotels. I think it's time to hang up our aprons."
He said they were waiting for the "right person" for the sale, adding: "The potential for it is huge. We'd like someone to come in with fresh eyes and take it that stage further."