Hotel lease deal provides ‘affordable’ option

Simon Donohue

Colliers International has sold a 15-year lease for the Embleton Spa Hotel in Cumbria to a husband and wife team for an undisclosed sum.

The lease of the hotel, restaurant and self-catering complex at Embleton near Cockermouth, originally an 18th century farmhouse, has been acquired by Alastair and Jo Dixon from current owner Ray Blackburn.

Blackburn, who has owned the property for 22 years, recently completed a £250,000 renovation project to create an indoor pool, gymnasium and spa on the site, all of which are operated separately by a third party and not included in the lease but are free for use by residents of the hotel.

The hotel and self-catering complex has five en-suite hotel rooms together with seven self-catering suites and apartments over three floors, a bar, restaurant, lounge and a large beer terrace overlooking the Lakeland fells.

Neil Thomson, associate director in the hotels division of the North West office of Colliers International in Manchester, said many potential buyers find it difficult to secure affordable freehold hotels in the Lake District because of high property values and a lack of experience in operating such businesses deterring banks from lending.

He added: "Although some banks are starting to loosen their purse strings, the leasehold option remains attractive to buyers because they can get a lot more for their money and to existing hotel operators because they can retain the property as an investment.

"There are plenty of good quality and potentially profitable leasehold opportunities being overlooked by potential buyers focusing only on freehold deals."

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This is a beautiful character hotel and I’m so glad it’s being renovated. I often book similar hotels via for maximum discounts when I visit the UK. I stayed here in May and the service was very good and the room was clean and spacious. Looking forward to visiting again post revamp.

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