Entrepreneurs look to transform Seaton Burn Holiday Inn into key wedding venue

Father and son entrepreneurs Mike and Neel Chawla hope to  transform Seaton Burn Holiday Inn into a key wedding venue

The Holiday Inn at Seaton Burn
The Holiday Inn at Seaton Burn

A father and son team have bought a well-known North East hotel with plans for a £2m transformation – with weddings as a key focus for its development.

Mike and Neel Chawla are both entrepreneurs and experienced hotel owners and operators. They currently own several hotels in the North East, including the Mercure Newcastle, George Washington in Washington and the Quality Hotel in Boldon, as well as several others across Yorkshire and the North West.

Neel Chawla of Ailantus Hotels, whose £12m turnover chain also includes luxury hotels in Cheshire, Oldham, Yorkshire and Manchester, said the 154-bedroom Holiday Inn in Seaton Burn fits in well with his portfolio.

Newcastle Law Firm Mincoffs advised on the multi-million pound deal.

The hotel already includes 11 meeting rooms and leisure facilities with a heated swimming pool, sauna and steam room.

Mike Chawla now hopes to increase the hotel’s turnover of around £3m by 25 per cent over the next two years.

Speaking of their plans for the hotel Neel Chawla said: “We are excited to have acquired the Holiday Inn Newcastle Seaton Burn.

“The acquisition process was extremely efficient. Looking forward we have plans to invest £2m in to the property, with expenditure geared towards the bedroom stock, conference and banqueting facilities, and leisure club. This will complement the already refurbished reception, bar, lounge and restaurant facilities.”

Mike added: “We would like weddings to be a key focus of what we offer as there are two beautiful function rooms and scope for marquees outside. We will also be investing in state-of-the-art equipment for our health club with the possibility of moving the gym to the upper floor. We would also like to expand our exisiting facilities with planning permission.

“We have a marketing plan to help maximise potential and the restaurant is already established as somewhere to go for lunch. Our key catchment areas to begin with will be Cramlington, Blyth, Ashington, Seaton Burn, Wideopen and the surrounding areas.”

Acting on behalf of Moat House Hotels, the Christie + Co team of Mark Worley and Jeremy Jones completed the sale of the 154-bedroom hotel, at the junction of the A1 and A19 motorways on the northern edge of Newcastle.

Associate director Worley, said: “We were challenged by our client, to find a buyer for the hotel on a highly confidential basis, meaning that no open marketing of any kind could be carried out and only a highly select and very small number of buyers were approached. Fortunately, such is our knowledge of the local, regional and national markets, we were able to source a buyer very quickly and at a price which matched the expectations of our client.”

Christie + Co Director of Corporate Hotels, Jeremy Jones, added: “The most pleasing aspects of this sale were, first, the speed of the transaction and, secondly, that we were able to keep the whole deal entirely under the radar, meaning that there was minimal disruption to the operation of the hotel.”

Confidentiality is something which is highly important, both to our clients on this occasion and hotel owners in general.”



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