The Whitebridge Hotel is a most substantial and attractive Victorian hotel set within the region of Stratherrick, close to the Highland capital Inverness. The business benefits from a dramatic and tranquil trading location in a spectacular setting. The property has a long history and was previously known as the King’s House which was destroyed by fire then subsequently re-built in 1899, still in keeping with its Victorian origins.
Located some 3 miles from Loch Ness, the area presents some of the most stunning scenery in the Highlands. Within the foothills of the Monadhliath Mountains and with the meandering River Fechlin on the edge of the subjects, the hotel boasts a most peaceful outlook. The 12 letting bedrooms and charming public areas are well-presented and offer a range of service options. The comfortable and cosy bars benefit from homely solid fuel fires and there is a games room popular with tourists and local inhabitants alike. The residents lounge boasts excellent views toward the mountains. There are options for dining to include a formal dining experience or the more relax bar fayre.
An appealing aspect of this sale is the modern detached 6-bedroom house which is ideal for an extended family or could be used for staff or further letting accommodation. This spectacular home provides a quality of living space seldom seen within the sale of such a hotel. The vendors during their tenure have undertaken a range of infrastructure and decorative upgrades to include upgrades to the roof, kitchen / pot wash areas, new bedroom furniture in many rooms, new play area etc. to name a few improvements.
REASON FOR SALE
The current owners purchased the hotel in 2016 and since then commenced a series of intelligent upgrades developing the business further and providing an excellent home and income lifestyle. During their short tenure they have maintained trade to a high standard. However, it is due to unforeseen family medical issues that brings this attractive proposition prematurely to the market.
The hotel is ideally situated to take advantage of the many walkers, cyclists and tourists who utilise the South Loch Ness Trail. This is a new and exciting trail for all types of users and was officially launched in August 2011. The trail stretches for approximately 28 miles between Loch Tarff near Fort Augustus to Torbreck on the edge of Inverness via Whitebridge, Foyers, Inverfarigaig and Dores. The business trades with a STB and AA 2-Star grading plus holds a Green Tourism (Bronze) accolade and also features in the Good Beer Guide. Income of this successful hotel is drawn from the traditional streams of beverage sales, food sales and guest accommodation. The hotel’s peak trading period is during the main tourist season from Easter to September. Many guests pre-book their accommodation via a number of portal websites, however, there is significant passing trade. Throughout the year an element of accommodation income is generated through local and business-to-business trade and by game sportsmen and fishermen during the shoulder months of the peak season. The hotel has fishing permissions on Loch Knockie and there is a broad range of fishing options locally.
The current proprietors operate the hotel throughout the year with a small group of staff. The business has a strong track record but the vendors believe that new owners could raise the business to the next level building upon their recent improvements and successes. There is scope to develop trade further through the provision of an extended service in the off-season months. However an attractive feature of running a hotel in this locality is that Loch Ness and the rural nature of the business draws in a high level of trade in the summer months.
The village of Whitebridge is situated just three miles from the shore of Loch Ness and has unspoilt views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel is located on the B862, Inverness to Fort Augustus route which runs parallel to Loch Ness’ south shore leading to the villages of Foyers and Dores. This lesser well-used route along Loch Ness has a rugged backdrop and is dotted with numerous lochs which appeal to a wide range of tourists and outdoor enthusiasts. This idyllic setting attracts a regular stream of visitors throughout the year who are also drawn by the mystical appeal of Loch Ness. The enchanting scenery coupled with the abundance of wildlife encourages field sportsmen, naturalists and ornithologists alike. The region has many holiday homes, lodges, campsites and B&Bs which adds to the hotels footfall. Many take advantage of the challenging hill and loch walks in the region whilst the more sedate sightseer may visit the many places of historic and cultural interest. The region is popular with those who wish to undertake touring holidays to the Cairngorms, Fort William, the West Coast and Northern Highlands. Many social and welfare services are situated in Fort Augustus and Inverness benefits from a full range of facilities associated with a modern city.
The hotel is arranged over two floors with the original building dating back to 1899. The building is of stone construction under slate roof. The property is generally in good order and is presented in walk-in condition. Due to the unforeseen nature of this sale the current owners have not implemented the full scope of their improvement program.
The hotel’s main entrance is to the side of the subjects and entry is via an attractive portico which leads to a vestibule and thereafter into a spacious and attractive reception hallway. The entrance doorway is partially glazed with stained glass side panels. Immediately the grandeur and character of this Victorian property is evident. The abundance of wood fixtures adds a feeling of splendour and is replicated throughout the public areas within this magnificent property. Immediately to the left upon entry is the comfortable and attractive residents lounge, set to soft furnishings. Its double aspect windows (bay window to the side) provide excellent natural light whilst affording outstanding views to the hills. The lounge has an open fire with a wood surround and a marble hearth which makes this relaxing room very cosy. Off the main reception hallway are the dining rooms which also benefit from a bay window framing some glorious views over the surrounding countryside. The main dining room accommodates up to 32 diners with double doors leading to an ante room which is used as an over-flow or private dining room and has a feature fire place.
The hotel boasts two characterful bars which can be accessed via the main hallway or a separate entrance to the front of the hotel. The ‘Wee Bar’ as it is known is very popular with residents with its multi-fuel stove. This cosy lounge bar with double aspect windows oozes character and charm. The bar servery is situated back-to-back with the main bar servery providing ease of staffing and control. The ‘Wee Bar’ leads to a seated area with tables and chairs with windows to the front of the property; this has a small servery hatch. This area proves highly popular with diners and opens up into the main bar which also has a solid fuel fire. Beyond the bar is the games room with a pool table and darts board. Off the reception hallway are ladies and gents washrooms plus there are additional washrooms off the pool room. All public areas are present in good condition and exude character and charm.
Access to the letting bedrooms is from the main hallway via a period wooden banister staircase. The hotel has 12 comfortable en-suite letting bedrooms which are all set on the first floor with a number boasting spectacular mountain views. The rooms are all en-suite and configured as follows:
Room 1 - Family room (king-size and 2 singles) with shower over bath
Room 2 - Double room with shower room
Room 3 - Double room with shower room
Room 4 - Double room with shower over bath
Room 5 - Double room with shower room
Room 6 - Double room with shower room
Room 7 - King-size room with bathroom
Room 8 - Twin room with shower room
Room 9 - Double room with shower over short bath
Room 10 - Double room with shower over short bath
Room 11 - Double room with shower over bath
Room 12 - Family room (king-size and 2 singles) with shower over bath
All rooms are attractively furnished and well-appointed with new TVs, modern lights, hospitality trays and ample storage. The bedrooms are double-glazed and are centrally heated.
The hotel has a well-appointed kitchen with a full commercial catering capability and new vented extractor system. Many of the kitchen appliances and facilities have been newly acquired and this space has mainly new wall coverings. The kitchen is well-located to support food service to the bar areas and the dining rooms. There is a spacious preparation / servery room just off the main dining room. The hotel has ample storage areas including linen store, laundry, beer cellar, dry goods store and spirit store. There is additional W.C.s on the first floor.
A most delightful aspect of this sale is a modern detached 6-bedroom house built in 2009. Access to this family home is via a courtyard which has a large single farm gate. The house could accommodate an extended family or could be used for staff accommodation. This beautifully appointed home includes:
An entrance hallway leads to a large kitchen / dining room with modern fitted wall and floor mounted units. The kitchen offers views towards the hills and there is a patio door leading to a decking area. An inner ‘L’ shaped hallway leads to all other rooms on the ground floor. At the end of the left hand corridor is a small kitchenette which is well-fitted out and was designed for use by staff or extended family members providing a degree of autonomy. Adjacent to the kitchenette are two double en-suite bedrooms, both have modern shower facilities, good storage and are well-proportioned. One of these rooms has been developed into a small retail unit displaying locally produced goods and produce. A further two double bedrooms utilise the large family bathroom. Also situated on the ground floor is a spacious office /study plus adequate storage and airing cupboard.
Stairs from the kitchen lead to a spacious lounge on the first floor. This commodious living space has a solid fuel fire. There is a patio door leading to a veranda which has tables and chairs and affords spectacular views down to the river and beyond. To either side of this room are two large bedrooms with en-suit bathrooms, each have ample fitted storage and are well-appointed.
The subjects are located within the village of Whitebridge on the main road and extend to approximately 2.1 acres. To the rear of the ground is the River Fechlin. There is car parking to the front and side of the hotel which can accommodate about 20 standard vehicles. There is an outdoor seating area situated on a lawn to the rear of the building. There is a garage with a double car-port. The current owners have recently developed an enclosed children’s play area. There is a large log store.
The subjects benefit from mains electricity and water supply with private drainage. There is oil fired central heating. LPG Gas is provided for cooking. The building is partially double glazed.