A York hotel which has been a home from home for thousands of visitors – and the occasional music star – is to close this month.
The Mount Royale hotel has been sold to developers who are planning to turn it back into houses.
It has been a hotel for more than 50 years – but the family owners say that it is no longer viable, after hundreds of new hotel rooms have been built in the city.
Wetherby-based Oakgate Group has bought the hotel on The Mount, with plans to convert the Grade II listed buildings back into two grand family villas restoring them to their former glory.
It will be submitting a planning application shortly for the change of use of the buildings.
This will include the complete removal of the modern extensions at the rear and side together with the removal of front parking and reinstatement of the gardens. The homes will also be given back their original names of Daresbury and Beech.
Planning permission already exists for two new residential properties in the grounds at the rear of the hotel, which was granted in January this year.
The property has been in the Oxtoby family since 1967 when 119 The Mount was converted into a hotel, before it was expanded to include 117 and 119 The Mount in 1978.
It was opened by Richard and Christine Oxtoby, whose hard work and determination transformed the building into a wonderful hotel.
The Grade II buildings were originally built in 1834 as grand villas and the current use as a hotel will cease at the end of April.
Among its many guests, star of Pop Idol and many West End musicals Gareth Gates stayed here in 2018, along with his then girlfriend, Coronation Street star Faye Brookes.
Stuart Oxtoby said: “Unfortunately, running a 24 bedroom hotel in 188 year old listed buildings is no longer viable. The hundreds of new hotel bedrooms that have been built in the city over recent years has substantially changed the hotel market in York.
“It is therefore with great sadness that we are closing this family business but we are confident that Oakgate will secure the future of these important buildings and breathe new life into them for many decades to come.
“Maintaining these buildings in their current use is unfortunately no longer viable.
“On behalf of Christine, Karen and myself, I would like to thank all of our loyal guests over the years and say a special thank you to all the wonderful staff members who truly made it a special place.”
Oakgate MD Richard France said: “It is always sad when an institution such as The Mount Royale Hotel comes to the end of its economic life.
“I’m pleased however that we are taking on the responsibility of ensuring that fabric of the buildings can, with care, be given a new lease of life. Albeit that we will be restoring the buildings back to their original residential uses.”
Oakgate Group has been involved in various York city centre development projects, including the transformation of Stonebow House, the former Tramways WMC and the conversion of part of the Barnitts store into new homes.