A POPULAR seaside hotel near Hartlepool is up for sale for a cool £2.3million after an extensive refurbishment.
Mark Jones bought The Staincliffe, in Seaton Carew, in February this year, shelling out £1.3m to the Academy Hotel group for the 20-room hotel having initially started at the seafront venue as catering manager in 2001.
Since taking control of the hotel, Mr Jones has developed the adjoining Ocean restaurant – which is not included in the asking price – into one of the most highly-rated eateries in the area, while bedrooms and bar areas have all been refurbished.
Despite placing the Victorian building on the market, Mr Jones insists he is hoping to find investment partners to help further develop the venue.
He says he is not looking to quit the business despite putting the venue on the market.
Mr Jones said: "The Staincliffe is a very attractive proposition especially with the on-going regeneration of Hartlepool and the interest that the Tall Ships` Race is creating.
"We want to enhance the reputation of the hotel and make it one of the best known in the North-East.
"The Staincliffe needs to be the best it can be, and investment will help take it to the next level."
The Staincliffe, built in 1869, has been a popular visitor destination for more than a century with the eye-catching property commanding fine views across the Tees Bay.
The hotel has received Three Stars from Visit Britain for the past three years and is booked months ahead for functions and events in its ballroom and banqueting suite.
Mr Jones added: "I am a chef first and foremost and want to concentrate on the catering business which is growing rapidly with a number of new contracts.
"The hotel has been put on the market to gauge initial interest and the ideal scenario would be to attract a partnership of investors to take it forward.
"My aim is to continue at The Staincliffe and from initial discussions I am confident we will find the right investors.
"If the asking price is offered then I would have to consider selling but I would only do that if the deal was the right one to take The Staincliffe to the next level."
Newcastle-based commercial property experts Christie`s are handling the sale.
Spokesman Chris Parrott said: "We feel that an opportunity to purchase a good performing hotel and function business situated in Seaton Carew, which should benefit from the various re-generation schemes that have been proposed in the area, very rarely come onto the market."