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Region's five-star hotel in sell-off.

Byline: Graeme King

THE only five-star hotel in the North East, Seaham Hall, has been sold in a multi-million pound deal - seven years to the day since it opened for business.

Millionaire owners Tom and Jocelyn Maxfield have agreed a deal to sell both Seaham Hall and their Lake District hotel The Samling to Somerset-based Von Essen Hotels.

The deal also includes Seaham Hall's renowned White Room restaurant, the only restaurant in the region with a Michelin star, and the award-winning Serenity Spa.

The exact value of the deal has not been revealed but Mr Maxfield said he was very happy with the price agreed with Von Essen's chairman Andrew Davis.

Mr and Mrs Maxfield also still operate the Fisherman's Lodge in the middle of Jes-mond Dene, Newcastle.

The Von Essen company operates some of the UK's most exclusive hotels, including Cliveden in Berkshire and the Royal Crescent in Bath.

Mr Maxfield said: "We were not looking to exit the business, but we had an approach. We were very keen that if we were ever to sell, we would sell it to the right sort of company - somebody who would continue with the same culture. That was important to us.

"Von Essen have a very good reputation and are very good operators."

Andrew Davis, chairman of Von Essen Hotels, said: "I am delighted with the acquisition of these two very special hotels, our first in 2008, which will complement our existing collection and expand the reach of Von Essen into Northern England.

"Seaham Hall and The Samling are real treasures and we look forward to sharing them with our customers in the years to come."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 20, 2008
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