Five-star Boath House in the Highlands turns its back on Michelin

Luxury five-star Boath House hotel in the Scottish Highlands is to turn its back on Michelin as the family-owned hotel undergoes a complete overhaul.

The hotel, situated near the cities of Inverness and Elgin, boasts four AA Rosettes and one Michelin star, has revealed plans to ‘re-evaluate’ its relationship with the globally recognised guide, in a bid to reflect current customer demands for a more relaxed dining experience.

The nine-bedroom hotel first gained its Michelin star ten years ago, but now the owners say that the expectations from the guide are ‘at odds’ with achievable profit margins, putting ‘enormous’ stress on the small family-run business.

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The decision comes ahead of the announcement of the 2018 Michelin Guide, due to be unveiled on October 2.

Boath House Hotel is owned by husband and wife team Don and Wendy Matheson, along with son Sam and head chef Charlie Lockey.

Wendy Matheson explained: “Whilst we are extremely proud of the Michelin star we gained ten years ago and it undoubtedly enhanced our reputation, our restaurant has consistently made a loss. The feedback we are hearing time and time again from our customers is that they want an experience that is more informal and relaxed and this extends to the restaurant, the food and even how it is served.”

Now Boath House is planning major changes across the whole operation, with a new café due to open in 2018 in the historic walled garden of the grounds of the Regency house. The café will be casual and rustic and complement the dining room in the main house which has also recently changed to offer a more laid-back option.

A major refurbishment of the rooms at Boath House is already well underway and will be completed this winter. Wendy Matheson added: “The aim is to provide a warm, comfortable touch of contemporary luxury combined with homely charm. Using local artisanal suppliers, the interiors of this design led restaurant with rooms intends to deliver a Highland experience without undue formality. We are confident that this is where the accommodation and dining market is going and that we will have a more sustainable product. It will be interesting to see whether this will be reflected in subsequent reviews of our restaurant with rooms by industry bodies in the hospitality sector.”

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