Former two-Michelin-star chef Martin Blunos and Ross Grieve have been appointed executive chef and general manager respectively of Seaham Hall to breathe new life into the former Von Essen property.
The five-red-AA-star, 20-bedroom hotel on the north-east coast of England near Durham was acquired last year by Seasons Holidays off a slashed-down guide price of £5m. It originally went on the market for £12.5m following the collapse of Von Essen.
As executive chef, Blunos - who made a name for himself at his two-Michelin-starred restaurant Lettonie initially in Bristol and later in Bath - is overseeing the running of Ozone at Seaham Hall, a brasserie with eastern influences. He will also head the new Blunos Seafood Grill, which is set to open on 26 June.
In recent years Blunos has been executive chef for Crown Hotels in South Wales and culinary director of Hogarth's hotel in the West Midlands.
Meanwhile, Grieve has joined Seaham Hall after spending 10 years as manager of the Chester Grosvenor hotel.
"It was always going to take something really special to persuade me to leave the Chester Grosvenor and the challenge of restoring Seaham to its former glory is just that," he said. "It is an iconic building in an amazing location but had lost its reputation over the last few years.
"With the new ownership committed to on-going investment, an enthusiastic new team, and one of the country's top chefs in charge of the restaurants, I'm confident we can make it one of the best hotels in Britain again."
Prior to the Chester Grosvenor, Grieve worked at the Cotton House in Mustique, the Clarence in Dublin, and in London at the Westbury and the Ritz hotels.
Seaham Hall, which has undergone a £1.5m refurbishment of the bedrooms, bar and lounge, has recently been accepted into membership of the Pride of Britain consortium.