Hotel group unveil £15m investment commitment

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Craiglynne Hotel
Craiglynne Hotel

Crerar Hotels has reinforced its commitment to Scotland by announcing it is making significant inroads into a multi-million reinvestment to position its portfolio in the ‘top end’ of Scottish hospitality.

The move is being made to meet the growing demand from affluent UK custom and also more pointedly to meet demand from the significant growth in high-value tourism from the emerging Asian markets. Crerar Hotels intend to capitalise on the fact that Scotland is now an independent global player in tourism, recognised by a number of independent sources as, among other plaudits, “the most beautiful country in the world” and a must-visit destination for the international traveller. 

To match demand, Crerar Hotels are in the final stages of phase one investments at a numbers of their hotels, including Oban Bay (Oban), Loch Fyne (Inveraray), Golf View (Nairn), Glencoe Inn (Glencoe)  and Isle of Mull Hotel (Mull), with committed spend to date in the region of £10m.

Each hotel noted is now at or set to achieve a minimum of high 4-star status. 

The remaining retained hotels in its portfolio will follow the same investment route and market positioning, with phase two investment at £5m. 

The investment so far has all been self-financed by trading profits and profit from asset disposal. The final phase will also be funded from trading and, potentially, from the sale of up to three more hotels, announced last week.

Controlling shareholder and Chief Executive, Paddy Crerar CBE, said: “This is one of the most exciting times in our history where we can plainly see a global market itching to discover what we locals already know about Scotland. We are so fortunate to live in such a brilliantly beautiful country and a country that remains steadfastly hospitable as well as inclusive. It’s simply our duty to put our heart and soul into giving every visitor as good an experience as we possibly can.

“We also recognise that the debacle of Brexit is a true and dangerous threat both to how others see our country, by association, and also who will or can join our workforce. At a time when Scotland has record employment no one can afford to ignore the net negative impact that loss of freedom of movement will place on business and communities, particularly those in rural locations. That’s another reason why investing in our business is so important – with an inevitable shortage of labour, skilled and unskilled, we have to be the employer of choice. We have to be more attractive as an employer than anyone else, hospitality people need more than good wages – they want and need to believe in the business they join. We are confident that with the best hotels in the best location we will attract and retain the best.”

Crerar Hotels last week announced the sale of three of its properties in the North East of Scotland in what agent Colliers International described as a unique opportunity for a strong market entrant seeking a diversified portfolio packing the best of Scotland into a relatively small area.