EXCLUSIVE: Red tape forces operator to convert care home into boutique hotel

A Saltburn care home owner says over-regulation has forced her to branch out into the hotel business.

Heather Garcia, who runs the Seaview Care Home and Greta Cottage care homes in Saltburn, originally intended to open a third care home at the historic Brockley Hall site after purchasing it in January 2015.

Ms Garcia told Care Home Professional: “I decided to drop my plans to open another care home because of the over-regulation in the industry. I wanted to open something a bit more fun and positive.”

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The hotel, which dates back to 1875 and boasts luxury bedrooms, a fine dining restaurant and brasserie, opened in June.

Ms Garcia has no plans to leave her care home business, however, despite her shift into the hotel world.

“Running a hotel and a care home is s a very different experience,” Heather said. “It can be quite brutal in the hotel business but they are both very similar in terms of wanting to please people.

“We have always leaned towards the premium end of the care home market anyway. Our homes have chandeliers and stylish furnishings, which people are very impressed by.”

Having a boutique hotel has also enabled Ms Garcia to upgrade the service she is providing at her care homes.

“We have a very professional and passionate chef at the hotel and we have been able to bring our care home chef in to learn from him,” Ms Garcia said.

She has also introduced the same local fresh food supplier she uses at the hotel to her care homes.

Seaview Care Home and Greta Cottage provide residential and dementia care for 25 and 29 residents, respectively. The homes are rated 5 star by Redcar and Cleveland Council.

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