Highland Coast Hotels, the Highlands-based hotel company has acquired the 14-room Plockton Inn and its adjoining seafood restaurant.
Plockton Inn joins the four hotels acquired by the group last year; Kylesku Hotel, Newton Lodge, Unapool, the Royal Golf Hotel Dornoch and the Royal Marine Hotel Brora. The Plockton Inn will retain its name and become part of the Highland Coast Hotels Collection.
Founded in spring 2021, Highland Coast Hotels is investing in and developing independently-owned hotels in the region and supporting local communities and suppliers.
The group is setting up a Community Liaison Group in Plockton which will act as a forum for locals to give feedback on the Group’s plans. Anybody living within a 15-mile radius of the Plockton Inn will also be eligible for the new Highland Coast Hotels Community Card which provides a 30% discount in its restaurants and bars, all year round, and a 50% discount off an overnight stay at any hotel, from October to March.
Highland Coast Hotels are inviting suppliers and experience providers in the local area to get in touch. The group aims to offer opportunities for those companies to expand and develop with the potential for new businesses to be created in and around Plockton which, in turn, should create further tourism and hospitality careers.
Highland Coast Hotels Chairman, David Whiteford (pictured, left) explains: “We are absolutely delighted to be acquiring The Plockton Inn, one of the West Coast’s best-loved hotels.
“It’s a daunting prospect to be picking up the baton from Kenny and Mary Gollan and Susan Trowbridge, who have nurtured and developed the hotel into such a landmark in this beautiful part of the world. However, with a clear focus on working closely with the local communities around our properties, and investing back into the local economy, we very much hope we can add even further value to the hotel and the surrounding area.
“We will continue to operate the hotel on a year-round basis, and expect to create further permanent employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly through our support of local producers and activity providers
Whilst it’s early days, we have exciting plans for the hotel which we anticipate will undergo a substantial refurbishment this coming winter.’’
Existing employees at the Plockton Inn will be positively impacted by the Group’s status as a Scottish Living Wage Employer. There will be wage increases to reflect this, alongside additional training and development opportunities for the 30-strong team which will grow in size as the hotel is integrated within the wider group.
Over the course of the last year, Highland Coast Hotels has built a strong leadership team who will implement these changes, CEO Roddy Watt explains: “As someone who was brought up in a hotel on the West Coast at Ballachulish, I am thrilled to be involved in another wonderful hotel in this beautiful part of the world. I very much look forward to meeting the many members of the local community and to working with all to support the Plockton Inn on the next stage of its journey of excellence.’’
Kenny Gollan (pictured, second right), departing owner of the Plockton Inn, commented: “After 25 years of ownership of the Plockton Inn, Mary, Susan and I are very sad to be handing over our wonderful hotel after all these years. It has been a source of huge satisfaction and pride to us, and we will be forever grateful for the unstinting support we have received from the local community, and our many regular guests from further afield. To you all, ‘Thank you’.
“We have also been very mindful of ensuring that we only sell the hotel to a company that we believe share our values, and will carry on the hard work we have personally invested over the years. We are delighted to be selling to Highland Coast Hotels and from our dealings with the senior team, we believe they will build on our legacy, and we wish them every success in taking the Plockton Inn on, on the next stage of its journey.
“We also very much see that the opportunities for our team will be opened-up by being part of a larger organisation, and one that clearly respects the importance of ‘community’, understands this part of the world, and is very focused on supporting the local economy and the broader environmental agenda.”
Highland Coast Hotels is building on a successful first year of operation with strong occupancy levels across the Group into the summer season and for the rest of 2022. This acquisition comes ahead of the reopening of Royal Marine Hotel in Brora following an extensive refurbishment of all bedrooms and public areas and a face-lift of the exterior of the building.