A PROMINENT seaside hotel is being sold to help a major hotel company wipe its debt.

The Macdonald Marine Hotel & Spa in North Berwick, owned by Macdonald Hotels, is one of 27 hotels that the company has decided to sell in order to repay in full its current Bank of Scotland debt and invest in its remaining properties.

The properties will be sold to a private equity and real estate investor.

The hotel chain has pledged that the Marine and the other properties sold will continue to operate as hotels and staff will be retained.

Donald Macdonald, the group’s founder and executive chairman, said: “It’s been 30 years since I started the business along with my fellow board members Gerry Smith and Gordon Fraser, and it’s been a privilege to have shared such an incredible journey with both of them and with so many other fantastic colleagues.

“I am extremely grateful to have led a team of talented and hardworking people who have built such a significant business, but it’s now the right time to move onto the next stage of the journey."

The Marine joins many more iconic hotels that the company is letting go of, including the Rusacks Hotel overlooking the 18th green of the Old Course in St Andrews, the five-star Randolph Hotel in Oxford, the five-star Bath Spa, and the Compleat Angler, located on the banks of the River Thames in Marlow.

Mr Macdonald added: “The board carefully weighed up all the proposals and unanimously agreed that selling the majority of the hotels to a new, well-funded investor will enable them to realise their full potential, both as hotels and in terms of the significant development potential on several of the sites.

“This is excellent news for the 2,200 loyal employees based at these hotels, their 190 colleagues in our central support team and also for our valued customers and suppliers.

“I’m hugely grateful to every one of our staff for their continued contribution and dedication to the business. We never lose sight of the fact that we can only provide great service to our guests through a talented and valued workforce.

“Throughout this process, potential investors have regularly commented on both the strength of our management team and the dedication of our staff, and this deal will give them a superb future.”

The company will still retain 11 of its hotels across the UK and Spain.

The sale is due to go through at the end of August to an undisclosed sum.