The five-red-AA-star, 20-bedroom Seaham Hall in Durham has become the latest former Von Essen hotel to be sold. Originally put on the market for £12.5m, the price was later slashed to £5m. It is believed that the new owners Seasons Holidays paid less than the asking price.
Bristol-based Seasons Holidays owns five self-catering holiday resorts in the UK and the County hotel, a members-only property in Bath. It also has resorts in mainland Spain, Lanzarote, Portugal and Ireland.
It is believed that the dramatic drop in the value of Seaham Hall reflected the fact that the hotel and extensive spa, which has 19 treatment rooms, had been neglected in recent years and is in need of some refurbishment.
Set in 37 acres of gardens, the 18th century Seaham Hall was originally launched as a hotel in 2001 by computer software magnate Tom Maxfield. He spent about £20m on transforming the property that had been derelict for several years into one of the North-east's most prominent hotels.
The hotel's restaurant held a Michelin star under one-time head chef Kenny Atkinson, who has now moved on to Rockliffe Hall.
Maxfield sold Seaham Hall and its sister hotel, the Samling, overlooking Windermere in Cumbria, to Von Essen in 2008.
There are now just two hotels from the portfolio of 27 Von Essen hotels, which collapsed into administration with debts of nearly £300m a year ago, that are still to be sold - Ston Easton Park in Somerset and Sharrow Bay in Cumbria.
The hotels are being marketed by Christie & Co.
By Janet Harmer
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