Hans Rissman and wife Lydia have acquired their very first hotel – Strathaven Hotel in Strathaven. The couple, who took over the hotel at the beginning of February, are trading as The Rissco Collection and plan a major overhaul of the historic venue.
Hans told Hotel Scotland, “We’ve been looking for a hotel for two years, a rural venue with rooms has always interested me. “The Strathaven Hotel has been run by the MacIntyre family for the past 25 years and there is a tremendous amount of goodwill towards the hotel locally. I’m also delighted that Sheila, has stayed on with us to help us with the bedding-in period. She is a fantastic character, very well respected and a real asset.”
The hotel currently has 22 bedrooms, a West Lounge and an East Lounge, Lauders Restaurant and a function suite which takes 200.
Hans continues, “We have plans to totally refurbish the hotel and this includes changing the flow of the interior, adding an extension, and redecorating all the bedrooms and re-doing the bathrooms. We also have an opportunity to add on a further nine bedrooms. But first we are getting a feel for the building and making essential repairs.
“It was built in the 18th century, and is obviously a historic hotel which is bursting with character and Scottish charm and I am looking forward to continuing the great work of the previous owners with my own family. This is the first time that Lydia and I have worked together, and although her focus is still on our children, she is getting more involved as the days go by. Even my daughter Amber is getting in on the act – she is helping with the cloakroom, and it reminds me of when I used to help my father out at The Erskine Crest Hotel.”
He concludes, “I think the hotel has lots to offer – there are 8,000 people living locally and 500 new houses due to be built! We will be going for planning permission shortly and should everything go to plan we hope to have the work completed by October.”