New owners for Wensleydale hotel

The Stone House Hotel near Hawes has new owners.

It has been purchased by Joe and Holly Hobson from the current owners Peter and Tracy Westwood and Tracy’s brother Chris Taplin, who all plan to retire from hospitality following the sale.

The hotel was originally built in 1908 and has 24 bedrooms, a 50-cover restaurant and bar, and employs around 40 members of staff.

The acquisition represents a career change for Joe and Holly, who recently relocated to the area with their two-year-old daughter after leaving their full-time roles as lawyers in London.

Joe and Holly have family roots in Yorkshire and Cumbria, and Holly’s family are former owners of the Grange Hotel in Grange-over-Sands.

Holly said: “My family has a strong history and experience in the hotel industry and I’m delighted that Joe and I will be able to continue this tradition in a community that has already been so welcoming to us.

“We hope to give back where we can by ensuring an enjoyable working environment for the team, using local suppliers, and supporting local businesses wherever possible.”.

Joe added: “The Stone House already has an excellent reputation, a loyal customer base and an incredible team in place. Our primary goals are to retain and support this team as best we can and to build upon the hotel’s extremely high standard of guest experience.

“We are very excited to be part of the local community and to be involved in shaping the next chapter of the hotel’s history.”

Chris said: “Peter and myself have been hands-on running the Stone House for over 30 years now, and this means that it is not just a business, it has been a home, it has seen many family members work alongside us.

“After much thought and discussion, we have decided that the time is right to let new owners take up the mantle and take the hotel on to new successes and new horizons.”

Peter said: “The Stone House is in our blood, and it is really satisfying to have established a venue which will be passing to new owners for the enjoyment of future generations.

“The Stone House has been an indelible piece of the landscape for over forty years, and we feel extremely confident that moving forward it is in excellent hands and will continue to be a jewel in the crown of Wensleydale.”

The couple were assisted through the acquisition process by business advisory and accountancy firm MHA Moore and Smalley’s corporate finance team. Napthens provided legal advice.

Simon Carruthers, MHA Moore and Smalley said: “MHA Moore and Smalley has supported Joe and Holly throughout their relocation to the area and the acquisition process.

“They are passionate about the area in North Yorkshire and the hospitality industry.

“I’m proud we have been able to assist them in their acquisition of an excellent well-established business and look forward to seeing the business thrive and grow in the coming years.”