Hunley Hotel & Golf Club
Originally opened as Hunley Hall in the 1990s, the hotel and clubhouse are of unexceptional design - Hunleys Hall referred to a grand old building demolished over 50 years ago. So it made good sense to rebrand as Hunley Hotel and Golf Club the name may sound less important, but the resort itself is a delight.
The rooms are of generous proportions, having plenty or room for those wishing to share a great favourite for golfing trips all have wifi and en-suite bathrooms. The main golfing traffic flows through Morgans Bar, which benefits from Sky TV, different styles of seating, and of course the superb view. Upstairs, The Lookout restaurant offers fine dining and an ideal venue for special birthdays, wedding receptions and parties of all sorts. In addition to the 31 bedrooms, the old management cottage, now known as the Rockcliffe Lodge, is the perfect place for families or small groups wanting their own private dwelling with three bedrooms, the lodge sleeps six in comfort.
Since taking over, Elliot Hamilton has brought his considerable business mind to the operation. One of the most interesting changes that he has implemented is in relation to membership. Elliot explains
'It is increasingly difficult to find new members and sustain them in the UKs golf market. This is principally because the traditional membership systems do not work well with the needs of modern society. We have made some useful changes for young people, so that any golfer from the age of 18 to 21 pays just one third of the full adult membership. From the age of 22 to 28, there are other substantial discounts available. Typically, these ages of golfers are finding their way in life, so do not have the resources to retain their membership at a golf club. They also have lots of other activities to tempt their spare time, so in offering them a heavily reduced fee, there is little risk for us in becoming swamped by many of these young golfers, as there are so many demands on their time. But, importantly, we keep them involved at Hunley.
'Another popular change that we have introduced has been the one price for life annual membership fee. In essence, a golfer joins at whatever price the market dictates at that time, and this is the price that he will pay throughout his life at Hunley, providing there is no break in his or her membership. This has been very popular with our members, who no longer resent the inevitable rise in annual subscriptions, as this does not affect them. It rewards our loyal, long-term customers and acts as a deterrent to those who might be tempted to leave for a year or two, as they know that their protected membership price would then be lost. Many clubs have a problem with their older golfers who often play the most golf each week thinking that they deserve a discount based solely on their age. Our system neatly sidesteps this issue.'
Richard Weeks has been a PGA professional for many years, most recently as one of the senior teaching team at The Roehampton Club in Surrey. Richard was recently appointed as Director of Golf, and together with Karl Parks, makes up the professional team at Hunley. Richard spoke to Golf Resort Finder
'I was raised not far away in Knaresborough, so it is wonderful to return to the area, and to such an interesting and demanding role Karl and I are able to teach all types of golfer in one of the most picturesque settings in the British Isles. We are currently redeveloping the golf range to bring it up to the standard of the other features at Hunley despite being floodlit, our location means that the range is predominantly used in the day by those already visiting the golf club, or staying at the hotel. The refurbished range will give us the opportunity to target more residential golf packages linked to the hotel, and we are also changing our retail area, increasing its size so that we can best serve the needs of our customers.'
There are 29 holes all together at Hunley and these can be played in a variety of different configurations. The main layout the Morgans Course named after John Morgan, the late European Tour and Seniors player, has a par of 73 and, at just under 7,000 yards from the back tees, is a real challenge. John Morgan was a local, turning to golf design near the end of his playing career, and is warmly remembered by many of those still playing today. The Imperial Course is shorter and with a par 72, whilst the Millenium and Jubillee Courses offer two more choices, so members and guests have a never-ending variety of layouts to enjoy. This may sound complicated, but with the various different groups of customers a busy, healthy membership, and a vibrant stay-and-play market it allows for lots of golfers to start and finish their golf in a convenient time frame. The various layouts are carefully explained by the hotel and golfing staff. Like many golfing resorts, Hunley Hall manages to attract business residents to the hotel during the week, and those keen for a golfing vacation at the weekend. Elliott elaborates
'Having worked for most of my career in the property business in London, my family has always enjoyed our breaks to this area when the opportunity arose to take on the business, we were delighted to step in. Compared to the grimy toil of the capital, Hunley is so beautiful and energising, I find it hard to leave. I know this is the appeal for many of our customers. In truth, the business had more than slightly lost its way we have just added some logical business-like management to the exceptional staff, most of whom have been with us for many years. We are pleased with the hotels room capacity and delighted that the hotel and golf side of the business works so well together.'
When Elliott took over the club, nothing made economic sense, with an uneconomic food and beverage operation, combined with dowdy and dated rooms, the hotel was not a prime destination. Over the last few years, the improvements are clear for all to see and the three star rated hotel sparkles with care and attention and the staff provide delightful and professional service at all times. The future is bright for Hunley, and further improvements to the business are in the pipeline.
Exclusive Rooms - even more spacious than our Classic Rooms and have the most spectacular views over the golf course, rugged cliffs and beyond. Each room includes a well-appointed en suite bathroom, digital flat screen television and room service.
Rockcliffe Lodge - light, spacious and designed for maximum comfort, this three-bedroom property is perfect for families or small groups of friends wanting to come and go at your own lesiure, a haven which can be made yours for the duration of your stay. Rockcliffes three bedrooms, all with en suite - two with a shower, the third with a shower and bath, will generously accommodate six people. The lounge provides impressive and inspiring views of the golf course and the coastline beyond. With a dining area, conservatory and kitchen, you can choose to stay in and relax, though you will be wholeheartedly welcome should you wish to join the friendly buzz of Morgans bar or the sense of occasion in The Lookout restaurant. The Rockcliffe is ideally located close to the hotels facilities, though being self-contained, offers the additional benefits of privacy, serenity and its own beautiful and well-tended gardens to front and rear.
Food and Drink
The Lookout - A sumptuous retreat, The Lookout restaurant provides a great dining experience with well-crafted dishes accentuated by a unique and unrivalled view and friendly service refreshingly devoid of stuffy formality. Reserve a table by one of the windows to enjoy views of the spectacular cliffs and immense sea.
Morgans Bar - Informal and welcoming, Morgans offers diners fresh and tasty dishes throughout the day served in a relaxing and comfortable environment overlooking fantastic views of the coast. Morgans is popular with guests and locals alike, from couples and families to larger groups of friends or colleagues getting together for a quick drink or or a good catch-up. Enjoy a morning coffee whilst reading the papers or try a lunchtime favourite like the Hunley club sandwich or a classic Caesar salad. Afternoon tea is perfect for a get together with friends.
Private dining - The Saltburn Suite provides the ideal environment for special celebrations, business meetings or society get-togethers where private dining is desirable. Flexible in its design, the Saltburn Suite can be adapted to suit your particular needs and can cater for up to 40 guests. Guests are free to choose from our restaurant menu on the day and we will happily cater for any special dietary requirements.
Golf Tuition and Practice Facilities
Enquire & Book Direct
Tel: 01287 676216
All prices quoted are subject to change and availability. Please contact the resort directly to confirm all costs, dates and booking arrangements.
Hunley Hotel & Golf Club
Nearest airport: Durham Tees Valley Airport
Travel options: just 26 miles from Durham Tees Valley airport, close to Middlesbrough and Redcar railway stations as well as Darlington which is on the mainline from London to Glasgow, and within 3 miles of Saltburn railway station.
- Covered Bays