Business broker Hilton Smythe is helping an iconic Tees Valley hotel get a stylish make over, by arranging its sale to a prolific lifestyle blogger.

Durham Tees Hotel (Formerly the Spa Hotel Darlington), which is situated a short distance from Durham Tees Valley Airport and famed for the model Harrier on its roof, has been purchased by Michelle Lyndon-Dykes, of the successful blog ‘Barefaced Chic’. It was on the market after its previous owner took retirement.

Michelle and her husband Andrew found the hotel on Hilton Smythe’s website, and contacted them to purchase the North East landmark. The couple, who are both qualified business consultants, decided to purchase a number of businesses following an accident, which left Andrew out of work. They have invested in a range of industries across the UK, from biotech and inventions to hospitality. Durham Tees Hotel Darlington is their first business investment in the region.

Liam Miccoli, Sales Progressor at Hilton Smythe, managed the sale personally to ensure that the couple were fully updated throughout the process, and to make sure the sale went through smoothly.

Gareth Smyth, Group Managing Director of Hilton Smythe, said: “Durham Tees was a fantastic business for us to sell because it’s in a great location and had all the fixtures and fittings to start trading straight away. It’s incredibly close to the Durham Tees Valley Airport, so it’s perfect for travellers preparing for an early flight, as well as for people visiting to use the airfield.”

Liam worked closely with Michelle and Andrew to ensure the sale went smoothly. At Hilton Smythe, our Sales Progression Team take a personal interest in the clients and their purchase, and will do everything they can to help them. We always go the extra mile for our customers. The Lyndon-Dykes had such a fascinating story and a wide range of business interests, so this sale was a very exciting one for Liam to work on.”

Michelle Lyndon-Dykes, Director of the Durham Tees Darlington, said: “My husband and I have spent most of our lives on the other side of the hospitality industry, as customers. Between us, we’ve had more than 5,500 hotel visits, so we know what works and what doesn’t.

“We spoke to some of the employees at the local airfield, and it really sold us on the Hotel. The Tees Valley is an up and coming area, and we know it is going to be a major player in the UK as a whole in the coming months, so we were keen to set up a business here. We can also see how our business experience will contribute to the ongoing development of the area.

“We have nothing but praise for Hilton Smythe for its help with buying the hotel. Liam was absolutely wonderful throughout the whole process, keeping us regularly informed about what was happening. We would certainly buy a business with Hilton Smythe again, as it was so easy and hassle free.”

You can find out more about the Spa Hotel Darlington by visiting