The Knipoch Hotel is a most attractive and impressive building set in a breath-taking location nestling beside Loch Feochan. The original subjects were built in the 15th century and have a long-established history with a notable event being in 1592; Campbell, Thane of Cawdor, was assassinated at the "house of Knipoch in Lorne". The current owner’s family developed the property and in 1981 opened the hotel. The subjects are in generally good condition but would benefit from an element of upgrading and inward investment. The hotel offers a tremendous platform to new owners / operators wishing to develop the business, as it is situated in a popular destination location for many visitors during the main season (Easter to October). The business boasts many exceptional features including a large lounge with bar to the rear, 3 distinct and charming dining rooms with beautiful views, as well as 18 en-suite letting bedrooms. The property also benefits from excellent owners’ accommodation plus 5 attic bedrooms for use by staff. With sweeping lawns to the foreground and stunning vistas, these facets combine to make this a superb home and business proposition.
The Knipoch Hotel (pronounced neepoch – och, as in loch) is a very prominent business on a busy tourist route in a stunning location. Historically a high-performing business generating a solid level of turnover and producing a sound level of adjusted net profit, in recent years the owners have decided to reduce their input into the business operation, restricting activity levels through choice. The hotel trades on a part seasonal basis opening from February to November. Income streams are generated between the 18 letting bedrooms and wet / food sales. Food service is restricted to evening meals for resident guests only except where external parties have pre-ordered. There is real potential to develop the food and function trade further, especially where a new operator wanted to capitalise on the wedding market. The hotel has enjoyed a good level of repeat business, thus ensuring a consistent occupancy level. The owners take great pride in ensuring that their guests receive a particularly warm and friendly welcome, maintaining the trading elements to a very high standard, however, they do accept that new owners may want to upgrade certain trading aspects. Tourism is a key driver of trade and includes those who undertake water sports (kayaking and diving), fishing, walking / climbing holidays or partake in a more sedate excursion of the Highlands taking in the many scenic sites and historical features. Other visitors include ornithologists and naturalists who find an abundance of wildlife to keep them busy for an extended stay. The situation of the business is such that it is easy to locate for those who booked via the internet and the casual passer-by seeking accommodation / refreshment. The business is well-signposted and is supported by a website (www.knipochhotel.co.uk). The hotel is marketed through a number of portal websites and has a solid presence on the internet and through social media sources.
The hotel operates to a restricted level and therefore comfortably operates with the 2 owners and a small team of staff including an assistant Manager, 3 waiters and 2 house staff.
REASON FOR SELLING
The vendors family have operated the hotel since its original development but now are seeking to retire from the hospitality sector and therefore present this excellent property to the market.
The Knipoch Hotel is conveniently located just 6 miles to the south of Oban, the ‘Seafood Capital of Scotland’, on the A816. With approximately 8,000 residents, Oban is one of the most popular tourist destinations within the West Coast of Scotland hosting up to 25,000 people during the tourist season and boasting a magnificent sandy beach known as 'Ganavan sands'.
The town of Oban offers a full range of amenities including offices, leisure facilities, schools, medical facilities, hospital, 3 dentists and vets plus a wide range of retail options. There is a high school which opened in August 2018 plus 5 primary schools in the area. Rich with attractions including dramatic scenery over the coast and mountains as well as Oban’s famous distillery, with regular ferry trips from the town centre harbour to the surrounding islands including Mull and Iona. This makes it an ideal hub for tourists looking to explore the Western Isles.
Oban's proximity to the mountains and the sea means that a wide range of sports are available to visitors and locals. The town is fast becoming the yachting, kayaking and cruising capital of the West Coast. A new harbour and pontoon area opened in 2018 to attract more yachts and cruise ships into the bay.
The Knipoch Hotel is a 2-storey detached property; stone built under a tiled roof with the original subjects dating from before the 15th century. The extension to the original subjects was completed in 1981, when the hotel commenced trading. A most attractive feature of this sale is the stunning location with its expansive loch views. The hotel is fronted by a spacious gravel car park and large areas of lawns.
Entry to the hotel is via a vestibule directly into the spacious reception where there is a reception desk and comfortable sofas. The initial impression of the hotel is one of grandeur with the feature stone fire place and the baby grand piano. Off the reception area is the spacious lounge with more sofas and occasional tables. The residents lounge offers copious space for guests to relax after a busy day’s activities. Set to the rear of the lounge is the bar area with tables and chairs for casual diners. The bar is well-stocked and offers a wide range of Scottish malt whisky plus a varied listing of quality wines.
An appealing aspect of the trading areas is the three distinct dining rooms providing a flexible option for service. All dining areas and the guest lounge face to the front of the hotel and as such offer superlative views. Each dining room has its own unique ambience. The first and smallest is the Red Room, which is oak panelled using materials recovered from the ruins of Ypres Cathedral after the first world war. The panelling and feature fire place adds to the cosy atmosphere. The second and largest dining room is the Gold Room, which is also wood panelled, offering a charming dining experience. Lastly the Stone Room, which would have been the original Knipoch House, was built in 15th century and is believed to be the site of the assassination of Campbell of Cawdor.
There are ladies and gents’ washrooms off the reception plus a corridor leads to the 8 guest bedrooms on the ground floor which are ideal for guests with mobility issues. Wide stairs from the reception lead to the 10 first floor letting bedrooms.
The hotel’s 18 guest rooms are furnished to a good standard and all benefit from en-suite bathrooms with showers over bath. In room facilities comprise of television, Wi-Fi, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. There is ample hanging space / storage within each room. The majority of the rooms benefit from loch facing views. Eight rooms are situated on the ground floor with a further 10 rooms being located on the first floor. Accommodation is configured to 11 doubles, 5 twins, 1 triple (double and single plus rooms 17 and 18 are let as a king-size suite. The bedrooms are presented to a common standard but presents new owners with an opportunity to stamp their own personality on the business.
With a fully provisioned commercial kitchen and supporting storage facilities, the food production aspects of the business are of a good standard. There is a separate pot-wash area and supplementary food preparation space. There is ample kitchen storage with a walk-in chill, ample refrigerated and freezer storage plus a dry-goods store. Additionally, there is a laundry, kitchen office, staff bathroom facilities and ample storage throughout. There is a further office to the rear of the reception.
An attractive feature of the sale is the most spacious owners’ accommodation which is in need of some modernisation and development. Set to the first floor within the original wing of the property, there are 8 rooms which offer flexible accommodation and could be utilised as by an extended family. Two rooms have been made into a small self-contained unit benefiting from an en-suite bedroom plus a small lounge / dining area and a kitchenette. There are a further 5 en-suite bedrooms and a large sitting room. New owners may consider utilising some or all of the owner’s accommodation, after a period of upgrading, as further letting capacity and therefore income generating.
There is a suite of 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms within the main hotel located on the attic floor. These rooms are in need of decorative upgrades but present an excellent staff facility.
The Knipoch hotel is set to an area of flat ground with the front aspects being laid to a gravel driveway plus large lawn area. To the rear of the hotel the ground is steep rising. The hotel boasts a good level of guest parking with over 20 parking slots. There is an area housing a dilapidated workshop which could be redeveloped, subject to consents. There is a metal general purpose garden store, plus a potting shed.
The subjects benefit from mains electricity. Water and drainage are private. The building is partially heated by an oil-fired heating system with electric panel heaters in the letting bedrooms. The hotel utilises LPG gas for cooking and for the fires in public rooms. Wi-Fi is available throughout. The property is fire compliant and meets Environmental Health standards.
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