That’s according to hotel director Simon Wells from Colliers International, who has been called in to market the 38 room Crescent House Hotel on Fore Street.

Under instructions from joint receivers Jon Cookson and Harry Dunger , the 19th century hotel has been put on the market at £450,000 freehold.  West hospitality sector specialist Simon Wells said: “This is a well situated hotel in a popular seaside destination and really is a blank canvas for new owners”.

“The building has already had consent to convert just under half the property into flats, retaining the rest as a smaller hotel, so this offers tremendous flexibility for new owners.

“Some conversion work has been started and some refurbishment to the hotel has been completed, so buyers looking for a hotel or a development opportunity, or a bit of both, should be interested in the Crescent.”

The 19th century  hotel was started as a small bed and breakfast in 1883 and contains many original features including a split level conservatory, a grand dining room/ballroom, stained glass windows and handsome staircases as well as views to Capstone Hill.

Colliers International are acting for the Receiver as the hotel is closed.

Simon Wells went on: “Ilfracombe is a charming and popular seaside destination which the Victorians put on the map.  The hotel retains many original features dating back to the Victorian era, including a split level conservatory which is a gem, with mosaic flooring and pitch pine wainscot, heavily turned ‘newel posts’, bronze figurines and wrought-iron verandas.

“The Crescent House Hotel offers visitors a chance not only to explore the fabulous Exmoor countryside but is also handy for the surfing hotspots of Woolacombe, Saunton Sands and Croyde just along the coast.

“Damien Hirst’s 20m tall statue, Verity, stands on the end of the pier and has helped to boost the town’s profile especially among the younger generations which new owners might be interested in attracting.”

Set in the heart of  the North Devon and Somerset coastline the Coastal Path runs through the town linking visitors with any number of   hamlets, coves, inlets and villages.

The area is always bustling with a traditional seaside atmosphere complete with the charming harbour,  pavement cafes and offbeat shopping streets.

Simon Wells said: “Over the years the hotel trade has become more focused and seasonal opening makes a lot of sense, giving owners a busy season and time to themselves in the winter months.”

Standing on the corner of Sommers’ Crescent and Fore Street, the hotel is laid out on lower ground, ground and three upper floors with 38 letting bedrooms and covers a massive 17,463 sq ft. 
“There is scope for a buyer to build out the development and reduce the number of letting rooms to 29 or so with one flat.

“A number of those rooms to be retained as the hotel have had some refurbishment and perhaps it wouldn’t be too difficult to open in time for the 2014 season. Other parts of the hotel have been stripped out or are part refurbished.”

The main entrance is on Fore Street with a porch to the reception. There is a dining room come ballroom for around 100 plus which boasts high ceilings, dance floor and views.

The rooms are, in general, of a good size for comfortable doubles. Furniture is scattered so a buyer would need to refit. Nearly all the rooms are en suite, some of which have been refurbished to a good standard.
On the lower ground floor, or garden level, is a spacious flat with at least two bedrooms, a large lounge/living space and a fitted kitchen and family bathroom. On the top floor is a second two bedroom flat with large lounge/living space, a small kitchen and family bathroom.

Simon Wells said: “With so much accommodation to hand a new owner can make the property and business their own. 
“Buyers will need to satisfy themselves that any work done is of an acceptable standard and that any consents granted or required are both appropriate and current for their own purposes. No guarantees are given by the Receiver or his agent.”