A COUPLE that fell in love with a hotel 25 years ago on a visit to the Lakes are ‘thrilled’ to now be its proud owners.

Kate and Simon Hustler from Bradford, West Yorkshire, have been regular visitors to the Lake District after first holidaying in the region in 1998.

They fell in love with the Grasmere Hotel when they stayed there on one of their trips.

When Kate spotted the hotel was up for sale, the couple decided to follow their dream and put an offer in to buy it.

The couple sought a £1.3 million finance package from NatWest to help with their offer, securing the 11-bedroom Victorian country house hotel in March.

Kate said: “We’re thrilled to be able to say we’re the owners of the Grasmere Hotel.

“It feels incredibly emotional to have fulfilled a dream that we have held for so long and I’m so pleased that we went for it. We’ve been in love with the Lake District since our very first visit 25 years ago and with the hotel since we first stayed in it. It is such a beautiful hotel and in a stunning location.

“We’re particularly excited to become part of the community and we intend to work really closely with other local businesses as everyone has been so welcoming and helpful to us over the years and we really want to be able to be in a position to pay this back.”

The Grasmere Hotel was built in 1871 as a private Country House and the couple, who already run three holiday lets in Ambleside, plan to bring a new chef to the hotel to further develop the food offering for guests ahead of the holiday season beginning in earnest.

Mark Ward, Senior Relationship Manager at NatWest, said: “It has been fantastic to help Kate and Simon with a finance package that has turned their long-held dream into a reality. Kate and Simon’s passion for the region and for the hotel really shines through and I wish them every success in their new business venture.”

Janette Burnard of brokers Stewart Hindley & Partners said: “We were delighted to introduce to Kate and Simon to NatWest, whom we have an excellent working relationship with and as a result were able to offer the most cost-effective loan solution in a timely manner despite the current climate of uncertainty.

“Kate and Simon were an absolute pleasure to work with and we wish them every success in their new venture at The Grasmere Hotel.”