Find a fresh home from home with ex­tras of top tourist ho­tel

There’s a new breed of lux­ury hol­i­day home that’s has­sle free and comes with all the frills of a top ho­tel. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

BUY­ING a hol­i­day home is some­thing many of us dream about at this time of year.

A bolt hole by the sea would be lovely or maybe a lit­tle cot­tage in the coun­try, we think, as we frit­ter away time drool­ing over prop­er­ties that we’ll prob­a­bly never buy.

Even if the price is right, the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of hol­i­day home own­er­ship of­ten dampen our ar­dour.

But where there are prob­lems, there are so­lu­tions and two com­pa­nies at op­po­site ends of the coun­try have both come up with the same bright idea.

York­shire-based Skel­with Group, which is de­vel­op­ing the Raith­waite Ho­tel and Spa in Sand­send, near Whitby, and CMR Leisure, which has cre­ated The Corn­wall Ho­tel and Spa in St Austell, are both pi­o­neer­ing a sim­i­lar con­cept.

They have both bought small es­tates, turned the main houses into lux­ury ho­tels and are build­ing hol­i­day homes in the grounds.

The beauty is that hol­i­day home own­ers also have the use of the ho­tel and its fa­cil­i­ties right down to or­der­ing din­ner to be de­liv­ered to their door, break­fast in bed to tak­ing a dip in the pool.

The ho­tels will also mar­ket and man­age your prop­erty as a hol­i­day let, or­gan­ise clean­ing and main­te­nance and al­low your guests to use the fa­cil­i­ties, which is a big at­trac­tion for hol­i­day­mak­ers.

It means the prop­erty gen­er­ates an in­come and you feel less guilty about only us­ing it for a few weeks a year.

At Raith­waite Hall, there are seven cot­tages rang­ing in price from £195,000 to £345,000 with a ser­vice charge of £1,000 a year and gym mem­ber­ship of £500 a year. There has been buyer in­ter­est lo­cally, re­gion­ally and na­tion­ally

Toby Cock­roft, of DHP Croft, which is mar­ket­ing the cot­tages, says: “There was a def­i­nite gap in the mar­ket. There are car­a­van and log cabin sites that op­er­ate a sys­tem where guests have use of fa­cil­i­ties and where they will man­age your prop­erty for you, but they are noth­ing like this, where you have the use of a five star ho­tel.”

In Corn­wall, the con­tem­po­rary Wood­land Homes close to the ho­tel and lux­u­ri­ous spa cost from £285,000 for a fur­nished and equipped two-bed­room prop­erty, but this in­cludes VAT at 20 per cent. If you want to let your home you can claim 100 per cent of the VAT back, which works out at £57,000. The com­pany is also of­fer­ing a guar­an­teed re­turn of 6 per cent for the next two years if own­ers use its Plat­inum Stay and Let Scheme, which means a min­i­mum profit of £13,738 a year. The ser­vice charge is around £3,000 a year.

The Corn­wall’s sales di­rec­tor Sam Weller says: “Some peo­ple have bought for them­selves to use, oth­ers want to use it for a few weeks and let it the rest of the year. They love the fact they can have all the ben­e­fits of the ho­tel, its restau­rants and the spa on the doorstep. We can also clean their home, stock their fridge and pro­vide linen and we can look af­ter the main­te­nance.

He adds: “I have been sell­ing prop­erty in Corn­wall for 40 years and I’ve seen peo­ple buy­ing hol­i­day homes that be­come a millstone round their neck. The first week they ar­rive they spend do­ing the gar­den and the sec­ond week of their hol­i­day is spent dec­o­rat­ing and when they get home 300 miles away they worry about whether the place is al­right, With this con­cept you don’t have any of that.”

Build­ing new homes linked to a ho­tel also has an ad­di­tional ben­e­fit to the lo­cal com­mu­nity, says Sam.

“It brings in tourists and that is good for the lo­cal econ­omy but cre­at­ing pur­pose-built ac­com­mo­da­tion means that the buyer isn’t us­ing lo­cal hous­ing stock.”

This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in Corn­wall, where al­most half the prop­er­ties in some ar­eas are hol­i­day homes. Al­though both the York­shire and Cor­nish de­vel­op­ments look set to be a big suc­cess, both Toby and Sam be­lieve that there won’t be many copy­cat schemes.

“It’s not some­thing that can be eas­ily repli­cated,” says Toby.

“You need the right lo­ca­tion, the right prop­erty. A lot of es­tates come with too much land or the house isn’t right for con­ver­sion to a ho­tel. Then you have plan­ning to con­tend with. Gain­ing per­mis­sion for some­thing like this is not easy. It has taken a long time We were lucky we have ben­e­fited from work­ing with Scar­bor­ough Coun­cil and they were happy that we were re­gen­er­at­ing the es­tate and cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment. There was noth­ing else like this on the coast, which was also a ben­e­fit.”

Fund­ing for such a big un­der­tak­ings is also lim­ited and both The Corn­wall and Raith­waite Hall have been funded mainly by pri­vate fi­nance, rather than by bank loans. Bank fund­ing for such projects have dried up since the credit crunch.

“The work­ing cap­i­tal for Raith­waite was raised in a very cre­ative way thanks to Mark Pep­per from Grosvenor Fi­nan­cial Con­sul­tants,” says Toby.

“It was raised util­is­ing SIPPs, self in­vested per­sonal pen­sions.”

“It takes a lot of brav­ery to un­der­take a pro­ject like this, he adds, not least be­cause you have to build be­fore any­one will buy.

“They want to know that the ho­tel is up and run­ning and ev­ery­thing is in place and that’s un­der­stand­able,” says Toby

Both CMR leisure and Skel­with Group plan to build more hol­i­day homes on their sites over the next few years.


The con­tem­po­rary Wood­land Home at The Cormwall Ho­tel and Spa, top. Above, from leftt: the in­fin­ity pool at The Corn­wall Ho­tel’s spa; the Raith­waite Es­tate, set close to the beach; and the cot­tages at Raith­waite Hall.

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