Paul Szkiler, owner, Glenapp Castle


With his savvy entrepreneurial approach to hotelkeeping, Paul Szkiler has transformed Glenapp Castle from a flatlining business to a prospering hotel with innovation and excellence on the front foot, doubling its revenue and upping occupancy as a result.

Together with his wife Poppy, the couple acquired the epic property in summer 2015, 15 years after it had been restored and brought back from disrepair by the previous owners, Scottish family the McMillans. In just three years, the couple have doubled revenue and seen a rise in occupancy across the business as the pair work to put Glenapp Castle back on the map.

They have, to date, invested over £1m into the property with Szkiler’s ability and desire to think firmly outside the box fuelling the momentum.

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First on the agenda was to reassess all the marketing activities for the property and after thorough analysis, Szkiler conjured up a number of new package ideas that utilise the hotel’s facilities. Next up were the gardens and the start of a ‘grow your own’ ethos for the kitchen and head chef to implement, making the most of Glenapp’s impressive surroundings.

The MICE market was also important to build for Szkiler and he began a push towards this sector of the market, resulting in a ‘significant rise’ in corporate bookings with business coming in from a variety of big-name companies.

2017’s October occupancy, a traditionally quiet month for hotels in the Highlands, stood at 83%, while Szkiler continues to look at new ideas such as a stable block conversion and new corporate space as the business flies into 2018.


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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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