A 150-year-old building which was home to prime-spot seafront Napier B&B Mon Logis is set for a new lease of life after being bought by Havelock North couple Tom and Esther Seymour.
The couple have confirmed they will reopen as an upmarket B&B, with a bottom-to-the-top renovation of the large colonial-style house, starting possibly as early as today.
The purchase from short-term owner Ross Smith was completed last week and, with work including repiling set to commence, the Seymours hope to be open in time for a busy February 2020, including the Mission Concerts triple-header and Art Deco Weekend.
The couple plan to be live-in owner-operators, with five rooms, and Esther Seymour said: "There certainly is a need for some upmarket accommodation close to town."
The Seymours are former farmers but have about 20 years in the accommodation industry. The Napier property will be the couple's first B&B venture. Their biggest was operating the 28-unit Cornwall Motor Lodge in Palmerston North. They have also run motels in Gisborne, Whakatāne and Hawke's Bay.
According to a plaque beside the front door, the Mon Logis started as a terrace house built in the 1860s, and was extended from the rear on both floors to become the Capeview Private Hotel in 1915.
It survived the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, and entered its most recent era when former chef Gerard Averous bought the property in 2001 and established the Mon Logis to resemble a quality boarding house from his native France.
He sold in March 2017 but purchaser Ross Smith decided not to go ahead with his plans and put the building back on the market.
In the resulting Cox Partners Estate Agents advertisement, Tom and Esther Seymour immediately saw a new business venture, a new home on the Parade, and a challenge working with and protecting an historic building.