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Christie & Co sell one-of-a-kind beachfront resort to renowned hotelier

Specialist business property advisor, Christie & Co is delighted to report the sale of the beachfront Cooden Beach Hotel in Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex, to international hotelier Grace Leo and her Singapore-based partner, shipping entrepreneur and hotel investor, Tim Hartnoll.

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Their acquisition of The Cooden Beach Hotel follows on from their recent purchase of The Red Lion Hotel in Henley-on-Thames less than six months ago. The Red Lion, which overlooks The River Thames, will re-open as “The Relais Henley” later this year, having undergone a full refurbishment program which has been personally overseen by Grace.
The Cooden Beach Hotel was built in 1928 and has been a landmark feature of this beautiful stretch of coastline ever since, boasting expansive sea views and a popular beachside restaurant. The 41-bedroom hotel will benefit from Grace’s global reputation for creating exceptional hospitality businesses in unique locations.
Grace comments, “Once I had seen The Cooden Beach Hotel, I was in awe of its unique location and possibilities. I have developed upscale resort hotels in far-off destinations like St Barth’s, Mustique and St Jean Cap Ferrat, so my instinct says that there’s no reason why we can’t recreate that idyllic resort experience in a hotel that’s on the English coast, despite the cooler climate. Our plans are to create a haven for our guests to rest, relax and be nourished in a beautiful seaside setting.”
Grace’s partner, Tim Hartnoll, is the executive chairman of X-Press Feeders, part of the Sea Consortium group, a global shipping company based in Singapore. An avid sailor and rower, who grew up between England and Singapore, Tim is a global investor whose hospitality interests include the Bawah Reserve in the Anambas Archipelago in Indonesia.
Christie & Co acted for James Kimber in the sale of the hotel. James has owned and operated the property successfully for 16 years, having originally purchased the business through Christie & Co.  James is ready to handover the keys to Grace Leo, and he is looking forward to a maintaining a neighbourly relationship with Grace and her team in the years ahead.
James comments, “After 16 wonderful and successful years it is a pleasure to hand over The Cooden Beach Hotel to Grace Leo, whose design skills will capture the uniqueness of this very special location. We are very much looking forward to being able to relax and enjoy the guest experience of this truly hidden gem.”
Andrew Moore, Director in Christie & Co’s Hospitality team brokered the deal and adds, "The sale of The Cooden Beach Hotel represented a rare opportunity to acquire a hotel in an enviable location directly on the beach, owning the beach up to high tide, together with huge scope to increase the business still further. Such opportunities do not come along every day, so we received a high volume of interest from buyers hoping to capitalise on the ongoing UK staycation boom forecast to take place this year once COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted."

The business was sold off a guide price of £6,900,000 on a freehold basis.

For further information on this press release, contact:
Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Executive
P: 07721 420 656 or E:
Contact the agent:
Andrew Moore, Director – Hospitality
P: +44 (0) 7725 574794

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