The Altnaharra Hotel provides an outstanding business opportunity set within some of the most rugged and stunning scenery Scotland has on offer. The Altnaharra was originally a 17th Century Drovers Inn with the current building dating from the early 19th Century (c1820). This Georgian period property is resplendent demonstrating many original features but benefiting from many subsequent extensions and upgrades to make a most effective hotel. The property has always been an important landmark being strategically placed on the route to the north of Scotland through central Sutherland. The hotel has a substantial footprint with spacious grounds extending to 2.6 acres. The business has undoubted charm and is one of the most iconic ‘fishing hotels’ in the UK. With a quintessential appeal and an abundance of fishing memorabilia on display, the hotel has its own fishing rights on Loch Naver and the River Mudale as part of a long-lease, as well as being able to arrange fishing access to many other locations.
The earning aspects of this most attractive sale can be summarised as 14 good quality en-suite letting bedrooms, 3 self-catering apartments and a 3-bedroom bunk-house type facility. In addition, there is a small cocktail bar, an attractive dining room seating 30 covers and a popular public bar; this is all supported by 2 impressive lounges. The hotel generates high levels of income through the many cyclists who visit and may be undertaking the official Lands’ End to John O’ Groats route, as well as those travelling the North Coast 500 route and general tourists who favor this stunning region. It is estimated that 50% of the income is derived through the provision of fishing related services. This key income driver is possible as the Hotel has renewable leases for the fishing covering a number of lochs across a wide area. The Hotel has 7 boats and other ancillary equipment which will be included in the lease. Full details of the fishing on offer are available from the sales agent and information on the leases will be provided post viewing. The nature of the business ensures that the hotel benefits from a high percentage of repeat visitors but has the capacity to build on new markets which are fast becoming established in the Northern Highlands. The present owners operate the hotel for a 7-month period during the main season, closing during the winter months.
The leasehold sale of the Altnaharra Hotel represents an exceptional opportunity for new tenants to enjoy a prestigious property and operate an impressive business which has a strong tradition and iconic status amongst the fishing community. Set amidst some of the most stunning scenery in the UK, the hotel has been run successfully under management, and in a manner which suited the owner. The proprietor has now decided to provide the opportunity for an experienced operator to run and manage their own business, developing the Altnaharra further to take advantage of the many opportunities open to a hotel and business of this stature. The hotel is presented in "walk-in" condition.
The Altnaharra is located in the heart of the North Highlands in a popular tourist area. The hotel is set about 16 miles off the North Coast 500 route and on the popular Lands’ End to John O’ Groats route. The latter is a classic cycle challenge that many enthusiasts undertake each year. Altnaharra sits within a scenic highland location some 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive north of Inverness. Altnaharra and the surrounding hamlets have a population in the region of 170. There is a small primary school, two bed & breakfasts and a few homes within the village. The region and the Altnaharra Hotel is famous for sporting activities with salmon and trout fishing on the adjacent Loch Naver and its close proximity to Loch Hope, approximately 2 miles away. The area is popular with climbers and walkers with Ben Loyal (764 m), Ben Klibreck (961m) and Ben Hope (927m) all easily accessible; the latter two hills are classified as Munros. The Highland region offers an abundance of trails, forest and wilderness riding to suit all levels and abilities of cycling and mountain biking. The area is also popular for the sedate tourist simply taking in the stunning scenery.
Within a rugged and remote location, the hotel is surrounded by and is close to an array of flora and fauna. The Scottish Highlands is renowned for its enormous variety of birds; coastal birds include puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes, auks and shags. Within the heathland white-tailed eagle and the tiny peregrine falcon can sometimes be seen, to name but a few. On the land otters can be seen in waterways and, on the shores, common and grey seals are often observed. Deer are also a popular favourite with stalking available nearby.
The original subjects date from c1820 and benefit from many fine Georgian features presenting an excellent example of a country house hotel. The property has been significantly extended and improved over many years with extensive recent upgrades to provide spacious accommodation. The hotel is mainly of stone construction under a slate roof and is presented in superb "walk-in" condition. The accommodation is set over two levels and today reflects modern standards in keeping with its fine reputation. The property boasts comfortable guest facilities bringing together modern amenities without compromising the Hotel’s traditional character. The public areas are lavishly furnished and attractively decorated. The sumptuous feel of the hotel, especially with its strong links to fishing, adds an element of charm seldom experienced in a hotel with such wide appeal. The property’s inspiring location surrounded by lochs and hills provides a high level of appeal affording both the proprietors and guests exceptional amenity space and a wonderfully relaxing environment.
The Hotel’s main entrance leads via a vestibule into the spacious reception area where there is a reception counter. Off the reception hallway is a quiet lounge (library) which has a feature fire place with its original Victorian tiles. Behind the library is an office affording ease of access to guests as they arrive or seek assistance. Off the main hallway are both ladies and gents washrooms. The main lounge areas are divided into two distinct sections with a capacity to seat approximately 40 guests. The lounges have a feature back-to-back open fire place. One of the lounges has a charming and small cocktail bar which is situated only a short walk from the Ghilies Bar for ease of service. The attractive dining room which comfortably seats 30 covers is located just off the main lounge. The hotel’s main bar is used for bar meals and incorporates free-standing tables and chairs, comfortably seating 15 diners. Off the bar are ladies, gents and disabled WCs.
The letting bedrooms are configured as follows:
Clan Chieftain – Large double room with feature fire place and spacious en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Sika – Single bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Hope – Large double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Wisdom – Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Klibreck – Single bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Christie – Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Lily Maclaren – Single bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Altnaharra Blue – Twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Pennel – Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Loyal – Twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Ptarmigan – Twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Teal and Blue – Single bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Naver – Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Sutherland – Twin bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower over bath
Each room is individually appointed and all are in keeping with the functionality and character of the hotel. All of the bedrooms have attractive en-suites and electric heaters, and are also equipped with Sky TV, radio/alarm, tea/coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
To the rear aspects of the hotel are three self-contained cottages. All are similar in nature having two double / twin bedrooms (to sleep up to 4 people each), a fitted kitchen, family bathroom and spacious lounge. The units are connected and therefore would be ideal for larger groups or extended families. All three units are set over 2 floors and are attractively presented.
To the rear of the hotel is a log cabin which in part has been utilised as letting accommodation comprising of 3 single bedrooms, separate 3-piece bathroom and additional W.C. This unit is ideal for small groups looking for budget accommodation.
The main commercial kitchen is well-equipped, spacious and functional with good ancillary preparing and support rooms including excellent dry-goods/ veg store, refrigeration and freezer storage. There is a separate pot wash and still room. In addition there is a beer cellar, wine cellar, numerous housekeeping cupboards, laundry room, boiler room and staff washrooms. There is also a spacious office set of the library.
There is no dedicated owner’s accommodation at present, however, there are many opportunities to create this. New owner / operators could utilise one of the self-catering units or the ground floor letting bedroom if required. The property would suit a couple or an extended family and there is tremendous flexibility within the subjects to develop private accommodation subject to personal requirements.
On the first floor of the hotel is a staff double bedroom with en-suite facilities. This could be utilised for letting purposes if required. There are also options in the external buildings to dedicate additional space to staff.
The property benefits from fishing leases providing; Loch Naver: a right for three boats to fish for salmon and brown trout and River Mudale: a right to fish for salmon and sea trout along a 2-mile stretch. Full details will be provided as part of the selling process.
The Altnaharra Hotel is set within spacious garden grounds extending to about 2.6 acres which includes a walled frontage and deer fencing surrounding the property. The property has excellent signage and a most accessible gravel driveway. Laid mainly to lawns with some trees etc. there is ample car parking for up to 20 cars in total. Numerous outbuildings include 5 boat sheds, a garage plus a number of general utility storage / workshop buildings to the rear. There is an external laundry, a rod room, boot room and drying room.
Mains electricity, water and private drainage. LPG gas for cooking. Oil-fired boiler producing hot water. Electric storage heating throughout. The subjects are mainly single glazed.
LEASE HEADS OF TERMS
In-going Premium - £45,000
Annual Rental - £25,000 pa
Rent Reviews - Every 5 years in line with RPI
Lease Length -12 years
Photographic Condition Survey