The future of a four-star hotel in Banchory, Scotland, has been secured as it comes under new management.
The Tor Na Coille Hotel in Banchory has been leased to David Littlewood and Nigel Hake, who also look after The Kildrummy Inn in Alford and have big plans to bring back trade to Tor Na Coille.
Former Scottish Chef of the Year Littlewood and his business partner Hake have taken on a long-term lease and management of the property with an option to buy in the future.
They now plan to develop the business, which had faced an uncertain future following a period of decline, by investing in the hotel and focusing on service.
A 60-cover restaurant is part of the plan, which will reintroduce weekday lunch service and reinstate the dining room for ‘casual fine dining’, as well as a new afternoon tea menu.
The hotel has also recently refurbished its function suite and tapping into the weddings market is high on the agenda for the new owners.
Littlewood says: “The quality of the rooms and the public areas of the hotel is outstanding, having been refurbished relatively recently and we aim to market the hotel for leisure tourists as well as to sportsmen and fishermen.
Littlewood, who has been a chef for 17 years and worked previously at both Milton of Crathes restaurant and Raemoir House Hotel in Banchory is a Masterchef of Great Britain and has won several industry accolades including Scottish Chef of the year in 2013/14.
“Nigel and I have proven that our combination of culinary skills, industry experience and business acumen works in taking a rural inn and making it a foodie destination with an excellent reputation for quality. Although there are fewer rooms at The Kildrummy Inn, our occupancy levels are high, and we have little reliance on corporate business. We believe that we have developed the blue print for how we will operate the Tor Na Coille, whilst ensuring the continued success of the Kildrummy Inn.”