UK: Scotland-based group Highland Coast Hotels has acquired several properties located along the North Coast 500 tour route.
Highland Coast Hotels will focus on supporting independently-owned hotels near the North Coast 500 route. Each hotel will retain its name and identity.
Hotels acquired thus far, and now part of The Highland Coast Hotels Collection, include Kylesku Hotel and Restaurant, Newton Lodge, The Royal Golf Hotel, and The Royal Marine Brora.
The group is overseen by chairman David Whiteford, who previously led the Northern Highland Initiative from 2009 to 2021.
Whiteford said: “Together with my colleagues at Highland Coast Hotels, we are delighted to be building on the work of previous custodians of such fine, landmark hotel properties. With the aim of developing a collection of high-quality hotels on and around the increasingly popular and successful North Coast 500 touring route, these hotels represent a very exciting first step in building our portfolio. We are very aware they are held in great affection by many regular guests, and this is a responsibility we take very seriously as we develop them for the good of the local communities, our employees, our suppliers and our stakeholders.”
The group’s executive team is led by CEO Roddy Watt.
Watt said: “Our aim is to provide memorable hospitality for those visiting the North Highlands. Our intention is to be recognised as the leading group of independent-spirited hotels on and around the route, for those wishing to welcoming, comfortable and authentic experiences in this spectacular landscape.
Watt continued: “We envisage that our substantial investment in the next few years will support sustainable growth in local Highland communities, extend the traditional season, and create many more full-time career opportunities within the hospitality sector. Our hotels will offer a broadening range of opportunities to our guests to immerse themselves in what the region has to offer. Crucially, we intend to do all of this while being environmentally sensitive and protecting and preserving one of the most beautiful and fragile landscapes in the UK, and one of Europe’s last great wildlands.”
Tanja Lister, co-owner of Kylesku Hotel, said: “We are so pleased to be handing on the baton at Kylesku, and that our much-loved hotel is to become part of The Highland Coast Hotels Collection. The new group’s forward-thinking culture, and its focus on great hospitality and environmental sustainability will deliver so much for our local communities and the region. We could not be happier to be passing on our legacy to such a professional and culturally aligned group, and all of our team are looking forward hugely to expanding their horizons and building on the success we’ve enjoyed over the last decade of our stewardship of Kylesku Hotel.”
Inverness businessman David Sutherland, who led a consortium which owned The Royal Golf Dornoch and The Royal Marine Brora Hotels, said: “Highland Coast Hotels have extremely positive plans for the hotels and intend to build on what has been achieved, so we extend our very best wishes to them for the future. They are fortunate to inherit a staff with outstanding levels of quality and commitment, to whom we express our gratitude. We’re confident that the new owners will make a valuable contribution to Sutherland’s visitor product and continue to underpin the communities of Brora and Dornoch in particular.”