Look inside the '˜unique' cave room at the newly-renovated Marsden Grotto hotel
A room without a view at a new and landmark South Tyneside hotel is making waves.
Bosses at the Marsden Grotto say its Smuggler’s Cove suite has clocked over 123,000 views from potential customers on Facebook in just a week.
It is the seventh of 10 planned rooms to open at the beach front venue – and the only that does not look out over water.
In fact, it has been entirely created in a cave which dates to work carried out at the site in the 18th century.
Its entirely internal position means the most guests can hope to see is the side of Marsden cliffs.
Despite the limited panorama, Grotto owner Terry Maughan, 51, says the £132-a-night double is proving widely popular – and has had its first booking.
He added: “There can’t be many hotel rooms that are built into a cave by a beach, it has to be pretty unique.
“Social media has gone wild with interest since we advertised it last Friday, and we had someone stay in it the next night.
“The cave was part of the original complex, and so could very date back to 1782.
“It was previously used as the reception area for the Grotto’s upstairs restaurant before we developed the area as a hotel earlier this year.
“The room has been done out to a very high standard with a double bed and bath. It’s a very interesting place to stay.”
Mr Maughan bought the well-known Coast Road pub and restaurant, in South Shields, in early 2017 and is investing £500,000 creating 10 bedrooms.
The first five opened in September and work is continuing on the final three, which are expected to be ready by the spring.
When finished, nine suites will have stunning views over Marsden Beach and of Marsden Rock.
Redevelopment began in January when workmen moved in to remodel its then vacant first floor, with the venue maintaining its ground floor bar and restaurant.
Mr Maughan operates the Grotto through his Northumberland Castle and Country Lodgings Ltd company.
Rooms cost from £82 to £132 a night and include breakfast for two.
He also runs The Sun Hotel at Warkworth and the Manor House Hotel on Holy Island, both Northumberland.
The renovation project went ahead despite initial concerns by South Tyneside Council, which had concerns about the possible impact of building work on the local environment.
The Grotto sits within the Durham Coast Special Area of Conservation and the Durham Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest.
It is also close to designated sites of importance, including the Northumberland Coast Special Area of Protection, the Leas, Marsden Lime Kilns, and Lizard Lane Cutting.