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• Beautiful Highland hotel in a stunning coastal setting overlooking Loch Sunart with a spectacular rugged mountain backdrop.
• Striking trading location offering 6 superior, well-appointed en-suite letting bedrooms plus a self-contained holiday apartment.
• Excellent and spacious public rooms plus attractive external areas, all supported by quality service facilities.
• Operating on a year-round restricted basis profitably, providing a “home and income” lifestyle opportunity, the business has undoubted potential for new owners to expand trade further.
• Includes spacious and separate 1-bedroom owners accommodation with kitchen, large lounge / dining room and shower room.
• Outstanding external buildings with realistic development potential plus ample parking and amenity space.
The owner’s accommodation is known as the Coach House and has 2 private entrances plus access to the trading areas via the resident’s lounge. Historically the lounge was a dance hall / bar area, however, has recently been converted and modernised to offer a new kitchen with walk in pantry and a substantial lounge/dining room with feature sandstone fireplace and inset wood-burning stove. To the rear of the lounge is a hallway giving external access and a family bathroom plus disabled W.C. Stairs lead to a double bedroom on the first floor. The current owners utilise 2 en-suite bedrooms for their own purposes but these could be brought back into use as letting accommodation if required by new operators.
The hotel is situated in the village of Sròn an t-Sithein (Strontian) in Sunart which has a selection of shops, a craft and visitor centre, campsite, post office with petrol points, café, restaurant, and a wide selection of tourist accommodation. The head of Loch Sunart has a jetty, visitor moorings and a moorings association. Kayak, canoe trips and bike hire are available in Strontian. Many tourists visit the Ariundle National Nature Reserve and its Atlantic Oak woodlands home to fabulous mosses, ferns and lichen and the rare chequered skipper butterfly.
The village was a booming lead mining centre in the 1700’s employing over 500 people, with the inn being constructed in 1808 as part of the growth of the settlement. Remnants of the mining activity can be traced on many walks in the area. The village gave the name to the mineral Strontianite and the element Strontium after it was discovered in the mines around 1790 thus becoming the only Gaelic village name in the Periodic Table.
The area around Strontian is renowned for its outdoor activities including walking, cycling and climbing in the summer months. For walkers the range of terrain provides a great variety in the level of challenge from non-technical hill-walking to more strenuous mountaineering. There are numerous mountains within easy reach of the hotel including Ben Nevis plus many other Munros and Corbetts. Outdoor activities, the unique scenery and array of wildlife within the region generates a constant stream of trade for the accommodation providers in the locality. The hotel is also a regular stop-off point for people travelling to the Isle of Mull.
There is both primary and secondary schooling in the village. Fort William is 23 miles distant and is accessed across the short ferry crossing at Corran. Fort William has a wide range of services and facilities plus a main-line railway station. Two examples of this vibrant community are in October 2018 the pupils of Strontian Primary School moved into a brand-new school which was built by and is owned by the local community, and in March 2019 ‘Oakwood’ – a new community-run Visitor Information and Craft Retail Centre – opened in the village, which not only helps local businesses to thrive, but is generating funds for charity.
The Strontian Hotel is a well-established business in a traditional B-listed building dating from the areas lead mining boom of the 1800’s, enjoying an enviable loch facing position. The hotel is a substantial building with a strong history offering 6 quality en-suite letting bedrooms, a self-catering unit (Sunart apartment) plus a resident’s lounge and breakfast dining room. The food and drink aspects of the business are focussed around the Bothy Bar offering a 25-seat restaurant and cosy bar plus external beer garden. There is also flexible and spacious owners’ accommodation. The business has been attractively and intelligently developed and refurbished by the current owners making it a true ‘turn-key’ operation. An attractive feature of this sale is the potential, subject to consents, to develop the possibility of extending the accommodation offering.
The current operation is set up to suit the lifestyle choices of the owners and consequently, in 2017 they leased out the ‘Bothy Bar and Restaurant’ to their chef. This innovation enables them to focus on the accommodation aspects of the business. The lease operates on a rolling 3-month contract but we understand the tenant would welcome the opportunity to continue with the extant arrangement, should the new owners be interested in doing so. A copy of the lease will be made available to interested parties post viewing only. However, new owners may wish to take full control of the catering aspects and therefore the business can be sold without the lease in place.
The spacious owners’ and letting accommodation within the property allows for a flexible approach to a range of business models depending on the requirements of new owners. This business and accommodation combine to provide a highly profitable “home and income” lifestyle opportunity.
The Strontian Hotel is a thriving business under a unique trading model with the catering elements being leased out, as detailed above. The accommodation aspects operate on a restricted seasonal basis, fully trading from April to November but during the quieter months on a more selective basis. In addition, the Bothy Bar and Restaurant business offers evening meals to be served to resident and non-resident guests throughout the year (operating 5 days out of 7 during January and February.) Most of the room occupancy is pre-booked and forward bookings are always at a high level. New owners could, if they so wished, resurrect a full food service operation offering lunches as well as evening meals. The restaurant is very popular and benefits from a marquee in the beer garden. This hybrid model trades successfully, achieving a strong level of turnover and high profitability whilst maintaining high standards of customer care and service.
There is little doubt that new owners could approach the trading aspects differently by operating throughout the winter/shoulder months and offering a broader range of catering service which would undoubtedly increase turnover and profitability.
The business draws in a high level of repeat custom and is highly commended on numerous visitor review websites. The Strontian Hotel operates from a modern website, a good social media presence and utilises several portal websites.
Over the summer months the customer base is mainly drawn from the many tourists who visit Fort William, the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and the surrounding areas. The Strontian Hotel benefits from the many visitors who are undertaking an odyssey in the West, or travelling between regions of the Highlands including Skye, Mull and Glencoe: all of which are within easy driving distance. The location and stature of the operation is such that it is easy to locate for those who have booked via the internet or for the casual passer-by.
The Strontian Hotel is an extensive property with a significant footprint originating from c1808 with 2 additional wings being added subsequently. A grade ‘B’ listed building the main building is of stone construction with pitched slate tiled roof. The hotel is set over 2 floors, is excellently presented with a high standard of décor and furnishing, providing an enviable business. There is extensive parking situated to the rear and front of the property accessed from the curved driveway leading from the A861.
Due to the current trading model, the hotel has two distinct trading areas; the accommodation plus its support facilities and the Bothy Bar and Restaurant and its service areas.
Accommodation support areas
Access to the property is via large black wooden doors leading into a reception hallway which reflects the excellent level of décor seen throughout the public areas. From here stairs lead to the first floor and 4 of the letting bedrooms. To the left of the reception is the main residents lounge set to leather sofas and bookcases, giving the lounge a library feel. There is a solid-fuel stove with attractive cast iron period fire surround. This charming lounge has a lovely ambience plus 2 windows affording beautiful views across Loch Sunart.
Off the resident’s lounge is a smaller private dining room which is used as a resident’s breakfast room but could be brought back into use as a supplementary dining area. To the right of the reception is a small office that has a linen cupboard, office computer/desk and new LPG gas boiler as well as fire alarm board and general storage facilities. The office can also be accessed by a further door that leads to the middle kitchen.
An attractive feature of this high-quality establishment is the beautifully presented guest bedrooms which have been individually decorated, all offering quality and comfort. All rooms have well-presented en-suite shower rooms and beautifully appointed quality fixtures and fittings. In-room facilities include, TV, hospitality trays, hairdryers and toiletries. Rooms 1 to 5 are located off the reception via stairs on the first floor. Rooms 6 and 7 are currently occupied by the owners for their personal use. These rooms are situated on the first floor and can be accessed from the stairs leading from a small hallway just off the resident’s lounge (door currently locked) or through the Coach House. Each room has thermostatically controlled centrally heated radiators and are configured as follows:
Room 1 – Woodland view twin room with en-suite shower room.
Room 2/3 (Sunart Suite) – Loch facing king-size bedroom with separate lounge and en-suite shower room.
Room 4 – Double bedroom with en-suite shower room providing loch views.
Room 5 – Twin bedroom with en-suite shower and bath offering woodland views.
Room 6 – Loch facing double room with en-suite bath/shower room.
Room 7 – Twin or super-king room with double aspect views towards the loch and woodland at the side of the property. This room has an en-suite bath/shower room.
The Sunart apartment is located above the Bothy Bar and Restaurant with its own private entrance to the rear of the property. Offered as a self-catering unit, as well as on a bed and breakfast basis, the apartment is self-contained comprising a well-appointed kitchen, family bathroom including bathtub, separate large shower and W.C. In addition, there is a loch facing lounge with a sofa bed plus a large wall mounted TV. The master bedroom offers a queen-size bed plus a single bed; this room also enjoys loch views.
The bothy bar & restaurant
The Bothy Bar and Restaurant has 3 access points; one from the main hotel entrance leading into the conservatory dining room plus other access points directly into the bar including one from the kitchen to allow for ease of service. This charming facility offers a cosy bar area set to a mix of furnishings and has a wood-burning stove. The lovely bar servery has a cellar immediately to its rear allowing the efficient service of keg beers plus a range of other wines, bottled beers and spirits etc. The attractive sun room dining area off the bar offers uninterrupted views of the loch and can comfortably seat 22 guests. There is access to the ladies washroom from the restaurant and access to the gents W.C. from the bar. Externally is the beer garden where a marquee can be erected for functions and events. The bar and restaurant are popular with both locals and tourists alike and periodically is a destination venue for events such as Ceilidhs, live bands and functions etc.
The bar and restaurant are serviced from a highly functional commercial kitchen and a good suite of support areas. The main kitchen is well-appointed with an array of good quality catering equipment and extraction unit. A secondary preparation room also benefits from an extraction unit. Throughout there are ample storage areas for both ambient and freezers / refrigeration units.
There are 2 mobile homes within the subjects which are utilised by staff. Both are situated to the rear of the hotel; 1 behind the kitchen and the other in a secluded location behind the stone store. The former is a self-contained 2-bedroom and the other benefits from 3 bedrooms.
With excellent roadside signage, The Strontian Hotel is a substantial and prominent property with an imposing stature. The subjects have a significant footprint with a beer garden to the side offering capacity to take a large marquee for weddings etc. The hotel has an elevated position offering bench seating overlooking Loch Sunart and to the rugged landscapes beyond. To the rear aspects of the hotel is beautiful woodland with a track leading into the village. A shared access leads to parking for up to 20 vehicles at the front and rear of the property. Within the grounds there is ample general storage. A large stone-built unit offers undoubted development potential plus there is a further workshop area and garden units including green house and woodstore. There is a private patio area off the coach house for owners use.
The property benefits from mains electricity, water and drainage. LPG gas central heating is provided in the hotel, Sunart apartment and all letting bedrooms. There are electric convector heaters in the owner’s accommodation (Coach House) which is supplemented by a wood-burning stove. The resident’s lounge and the bar benefit from wood-burning stoves. There is provision to place a further wood burning stove in the breakfast room. LPG gas is used for cooking in the main hotel, with all electric facilities in the owner’s accommodation and Sunart Apartment. The business is fully compliant with fire regulations and environmental health requirements. The property is mainly double glazed. Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the hotel.
Within the grounds there is a large stone-built store which may offer a potential development opportunity either as further letting accommodation or additional residential space subject to consents. There is also an area of grass to the side of the hotel which could potentially offer a further development prospect.
The present owners purchased The Strontian Hotel in December 2008 and made successive improvements in fixtures, furnishings, infrastructure and layout. They have enjoyed operating this impressive and rewarding business which functions at the heart of the community. However, it is their desire to retire from the hospitality sector which brings this successful business and stunning family home to the market.
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