Highland Cottage is a purpose-built substantial and attractive modern hospitality business, ideally situated within the village of Tobermory. This 4-Star (Gold) (VisitScotland) small hotel presents an easy-to-operate trading model. The subjects cover a deceptively large footprint offering spacious trading and owners’ accommodation. There are 6 en-suite letting bedrooms supported by 2 guest lounges and a spacious dining room. The business operation is aided by excellent support areas including a full commercial kitchen and separate preparation area, a commercial laundry plus additional storage. The owner’s accommodation is private and consists of 2 bedrooms, a family bathroom and a lounge with office. The external areas offer excellent amenity space plus there is a stone storage building presenting some development potential. The business is in true walk-in condition, radiating a character and charm offering a genuine professional Highland welcome. However, the trading aspects will allow new owners to impart their own desires and style without recourse to significant cost.
Highland Cottage is a well-established business trading very profitably whilst offering a comfortable lifestyle for proprietors. The business trades seasonally (Easter to mid-October) generating income from 6 quality en-suite letting bedrooms plus a limited liquor and meals service for guest’s resident at the property. Circa 75% of the turnover is achieved from accommodation income and where new owners were inclined to operate on a bed and breakfast basis only, the revised business model would still generate a solid income.
However, new owners could choose to run the business on a full hotel basis and generate an income in excess of the present owners trading figures. The present model is restricted through choice by the vendors at this time but there is potential to increase food sales. There is also capacity to increase trade by developing a further letting room on the first floor in place of the guest lounge and also renovating the stone-built shed into a self-contained annex; both would require the consents of a planning officer.
The business generates a strong level of trade through their own modern website (www.highlandcottage.co.uk). Highland Cottage is featured on a host of on-line marketing websites such as VisitScotland, AA and the Michelin Guide which are used to promote the business plus several additional community platforms. However, the business does not rely on on-line booking agencies due to the demand for its services but has an automated website booking platform (FreeToBook). In addition, the business also uses a tour operator who provides a consistent stream of business. Highland Cottage has a strong reputation which is reflected on review websites such as TripAdvisor and amongst the local community.
The existing operation employs a range of part-time seasonal staff who assist with room change-overs and kitchen support.
Tobermory, a former fishing port, is now famous for its colourfully painted buildings. The village is situated on the North-East corner of the Island which boasts some of the most dramatic scenery Scotland has on offer. Highland Cottage has an excellent trading location set to a conservation area yet only a short walk to the iconic Tobermory Bay on the enchanting Isle of Mull. Situated on Scotland’s West Coast, Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides (after Skye) and is one of the most accessible Inner-Hebridean Islands with car and passenger ferries arriving daily from the mainland. There are a number of options to reach the Island; the 45-minute ferry from Oban, the services from Lochaline on Morvern and Kilchoan on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. A local bus service covers the Island and there is a small airstrip at Glenforsa suitable for private aircraft. A main line train service operates from Glasgow to Oban, with most trains connecting with the ferry.
The Island is a popular holiday destination and is famed for its wildlife and outdoor pursuits, including walking, cycling, fishing, golf etc. Cycling the during the Sportive Challenge which normally takes place in June, offers cyclists a 43- or 87-mile route but cycling is popular for participants of all abilities all year-round. Sailing is an increasingly popular pastime encouraged by the extensive harbour developments of recent years. A bustling destination with tourists from around the globe who come to visit the famous Isle of Iona, known as the “Cradle of Christianity”. Iona is Scotland’s second most popular tourist attraction and one of the most visited destinations in the UK, therefore driving a strong level of trade through Mull. Other one-off events such as the music festival and the Mull car rally help to provide income during the shoulder months of the main season. Mull has a population of around 2600 with the majority (c1,000) living in Tobermory to the north of the Island. The number of visitors to Mull throughout the year swells the over-night population significantly. The Islands landscapes include stunning beaches and rugged coast lines with towering mountains. The unique nature of Mull attracts many film / TV programme makers including films such as Entrapment and the popular BBC children’s program Balamory. Also known as ‘Eagle Island’, Mull has significant numbers of breeding pairs of sea eagles and golden eagles. Mull is renowned for its wildlife both on land and sea and is frequently featured in television documentaries such as ‘Spring Watch’.
REASON FOR SALE
Highland Cottage was purpose-built and commenced trading in 1998, offering the vendors a successful lifestyle to date. It is their desire to retire from the hospitality trade that brings this highly attractive business to the market.
Set within a conservation area of Tobermory, Highland Cottage is a purpose-built hotel of modern construction being built in 1997 with more recent extensions. This substantial detached property is laid out over two floors under a pitched tile roof. The building is presented in excellent condition and at a generally high level of repair.
From the main road the main entrance leads into a spacious reception hallway. From here access is gained to the stylish restaurant and the resident’s sun lounge. The dining room is tastefully presented, with attractive decor and furnishings with free-standing tables and chairs. Currently set to 18 covers, there is capacity to increase dining volume should new owners wish to develop this aspect of the business further. The sun room is laid to Chesterfield style sofas, wing-back chairs and occasional tables, providing a peaceful retreat to recount the day’s activities. This room also affords access to a patio area, where guest can enjoy the pleasant spring and summer evenings. An en-suite letting bedroom which is ideal for less able guests is accessible from the reception area. Also, off the reception hallway, is a unisex disabled guest washroom. On the first floor are the remaining letting bedrooms plus an additional guest lounge. This first-floor lounge is a charming place to relax after the day’s endeavours.
Highland Cottage has 6 boutique style letting bedrooms, 2 of which have 4-poster beds. All bedrooms are beautifully appointed and well-equipped ensuring a comfortable stay. Each room is fully en-suite with full-size bath and over-bath shower. Facilities include controlled central heating, hospitality tray, flat-screen TV with Freeview plus Wi-Fi. In-room services include dressing gowns, quality towels and cosmetic products. Each room is individually decorated to a high standard with excellent fixtures and fittings.
Iona – Twin bedroom with ease of access through to all guest facilities. There is an en-suite bathroom with shower over plus aids to assist less able guests.
Tiree - A super-king bedroom set to the front aspects with an en-suite bathroom with shower over bath.
Coll - A queen-size bedroom with an en-suite bathroom with shower over bath.
Ulva - Superior king-size room offering views over to Tobermory Bay, Calve Island and the Sound of Mull. There is an en-suite bathroom with shower over bath.
Staffa - A superior king-size (4-Poster) bedroom with an en-suite bathroom with shower over bath. This room also offers views over to Tobermory Bay, Calve Island and the Sound of Mull.
Nantucket - A king-size 4-Poster double bed with an en-suite bathroom with shower over bath. This room is set to the front of the property.
The business benefits from a commercial kitchen which is well provided for by way of facilities and equipment. Within the kitchen there is ample storage units plus there is a separate preparation area. To the rear aspects there is a modern extension with a laundry and dry goods store. There is adequate general storage throughout.
An attractive feature of this sale is the private owner’s accommodation, located on the ground floor, which is accessed from the rear aspects or through the kitchen. Consisting of 2 bedrooms (1 double and 1 single) and a family bathroom with shower over bath. In addition, there is a lounge with adjoining office area. The owners’ facilities would suit a small family.
Highland Cottage is a substantial detached property and benefits from a prime trading position with stunning views from the rear aspects over Tobermory Bay towards the Sound of Mull. There is ample on-street parking plus additional parking to the rear of the property. To the rear aspects is a private garden which is set to gravel plus patio paving areas, designed with low-maintenance in mind. One such area has patio furniture for guest use plus there is bench seating. A further patio is enclosed and has a drying area. Surrounded by a stone wall, this area offers a private space for the owners. There is a stone-built shed and a timber shed, both used for general storage.
The subjects benefit from mains electricity, water and drainage. Heating is by way of electric storage or panel heaters. The property has a zoned heating system which offers economies of use during periods when the business is closed. LPG gas is used for cooking. The business has a modern fire alarm system. The building is double glazed throughout.
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