Poppies Hotel in Callander, a nine en-suite bedroom hotel which includes an award winning whisky bar, together with a 40 cover restaurant, has appointed Drysdale & Company to handle their sale. At a freehold asking price of £675k the deal includes a separate three bedroom detached house to the rear of the main hotel. The property also includes private landscaped gardens with a front licenced beer garden.
With the main House built around 1894, Poppies remains one of the most popular hotels in Callander, within an hour’s drivetime from Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“We’ve been very fortunate to represent a number of well established “stalwart” hospitality businesses in Scotland of late, such as the Lake of Menteith Hotel, with Poppies in Callander now coming to us to access our very specialist services,” said Stuart Drysdale. “The pandemic has been extremely challenging for our sector, but has also created opportunity, with some owners retiring or moving onto fresh interests, freeing up stock for other operators to come in.”
“Poppies Hotel represents yet another strong opportunity coming to the open market,” he said. “Callander and The Trossachs has enduring popularity with visitors from all over the UK and indeed abroad, once the travel sector is fully opened again. This is an award winning hotel with an established food and drink provenance. The separate accommodation also represents an additional opportunity if the owner or operator wanted to stay elsewhere, freeing up this property for private self-catering use, subject to local permissions.”
Owners since 2004, John & Susan Martin have been instrumental in creating the award winning business that Poppies is today.
“We have loved it here,” said John Martin who, having been in the hospitality trade for over forty years, fulfilled his ambition of ownership of his own hotel when he purchased Poppies which at the time was trading as a Guest House.
“The main house is rich in history and charm,” he said. “Originally, it was used as a Private House, and during the war housed families from Glasgow. From the mid 1970’s it was turned into a bed and breakfast, then in the 80’s a hotel called the Glen Orchy, with only its restaurant themed around Poppies due to the owners love of the flower. She had poppies everywhere, on bedspreads, on wallpaper, on crockery, poppy ornaments, paintings, and even on her car! She then decided to call the whole place Poppies Hotel, and the name stuck.”
“The name has been retained since then as all subsequent owners, including ourselves, realised how “well known” it had become,” said John. “After our first year trading we set about a gradual total refurbishment of the Hotel, adding the three bedroom house that is immediately adjacent to the hotel in 2007.”
“In 2009/10 we commissioned a local craftsman to design and build a new local oak bar, which would house and display our growing collection of Single Scotch malt Whisky,” added John. “This later became an award winning whisky bar which has been featured in many magazines, and achieved a listing in the top 100 Whisky Bars.”
John’s wife Susan explained that at this time they had also renewed the fixed furnishings and flooring from the same oak that was used in the completion of The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
“It was a big undertaking but really enhanced the Hotel,” she said. “We went from strength to strength with increasing occupancy and a diverse, and very successful, food & beverage operation. Over the years we have run private functions/weddings, theme nights, Ladies lunches, Jazz Suppers, Murder Mystery Weekends, Group High Tea parties, Fashion shows, funerals, food and wine nights, Christmas and Hogmanay Celebrations, and so on. We had a strong local trade for our quality restaurant offering and built a very solid “regular” clientele for accommodation and special breaks – something a new owner can easily build up again as we come out of the pandemic.”
Stuart Drysdale finished by saying: “We wish John and Susan well as they now look to retire after their many years of hard work here. They have certainly put Poppies on the map. We were delighted to be approached by them to handle the sale.“