Family sells resort hotel after 90 years

The landmark Esplanade Hotel in Llandudno, North Wales has been sold for the first time by the family that has owned it for more than 90 years.

Blackpool-based care provider Safehands acquired the four-storey Victorian property from the Payne family for an undisclosed sum from an asking price of £1.2m and plans to convert the building into a holiday venue for disabled people and their carers/family members.

The 59-bed hotel on the resort promenade was owned by the Payne family since being created from five Victorian townhouses in the 1920s by Jack Payne, the founder of JE Payne Ltd which operated other renowned Llandudno businesses including the Winter Gardens Ballroom and Payne's Cafe Royal.

His son Charles "Charlie" Payne, who welcomed many dignitaries to the hotel including Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the Duke of Kent, passed the hotel to his daughter and current operator Gwenda McDonald who is retiring from the hotel trade.

Neil Thomson, associate director in the hotels team at the North West office of Colliers International in Manchester, secured the sale to Safehands, and said: "The sales process was carefully managed and a number of parties expressed keen interest in acquiring the hotel.

"The sale of the Esplanade Hotel completed an exceptionally busy year for our hotels team in Manchester with more than £18m of hotels and guest houses being sold during 2013 in the North West alone.

"The number and value of transactions shows that market conditions are starting to recover for good quality commercial hotels, with North Wales being of particular interest for hotel operators."

Thomson added: "Gwenda and her family are genuinely happy to have sold the hotel to a business that provides an excellent service to people with a range of disabilities and offers respite for their families."

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