The covid downturn has led a businessman to put a much loved Highland Perthshire hotel on the market.
Loch Earn Brewery & Hotel is on sale for offers over £775,000.
The historic hotel sits on the shores of Loch Earn in the beautiful village of St Fillans. It features 39 bedrooms, three bars and restaurant areas, and a coffee shop.
Its grounds boast breath-taking views across Loch Earn and feature 10 moorings, three piers, a private slipway and a waterside beer garden. There is a separate building with owners’ accommodation to the rear of the hotel.
The hotel was bought by Arran Brewery in 2013. It set up a Cider Shack which produces 1,000 litre batches of cider. A beer brewery was added but has not yet been commissioned and it has the potential to brew 3,500 litres a day.
Plans are in place to add a further three buildings and open both a whisky shop and a local produce shop.
While the asking price may be less than that of a townhouse in St Andrews, any purchasers will need access to significant additional funds as the hotel is in need of extensive refurbishment.
Arran Brewing set about refurbishing the bedrooms in stages, but works were halted by a fire in 2016.
Arran Brewery Managing Director Gerald Michaluk said: “A bathroom fan went on fire and fell into the bathtub, causing it to burn. Because the decorators had been painting the smoke alarm was covered with masking tape.
“Eventually the smoke fed through and set off an alarm but the night manager switched it off. Doing so might have saved his life, however. The bathroom was internal and the fire was only being fed through the fan duct. Had he opened the door the sudden rush of oxygen would have produced a backdraft that might have killed him.
“The toilet had an old fashioned high level cistern. Eventually it burned through, which sprayed water everywhere and put the fire out.”
Insurers claimed the hotel was under-insured and only paid out 20% of the company’s claim. “Making up the shortfall used up the funds we had earmarked for renovation and led to the works being halted,” Mr Michaluk said.
One of Arran Brewery’s major investors recently sold 12,000 square feet of office space in Glasgow, which has freed up money that could finance the hotel’s renovation.
However, Arran Brewery recently acquired distribution firm Flying Firkin and is looking to expand aggressively into England.
“We are looking to move our focus into distribution and away from the hotel industry so we have decided to put the hotel on the market. It’s a beautiful building and it is the right thing to do by the hotel to have new owners come in and carry out the restoration work.
“However if we don’t match or exceed the asking price we do now have the funds and will carry out the renovation work ourselves.”
Mr Michaluk estimates the renovation works will cost around £600,000: “We have put the site on the market for offers over £775,000 but a new owner would need to have around £1,500,000 to acquire the site and to realise its full potential.”
The hotel is being marketed through Christie & Co. Business agent Tony Spence said: “This sale presents a fantastic opportunity to acquire a large hotel which sits on the banks of Loch Earn and offers prospects for further development, as the property is in need of an extensive refurbishment.
“The business has been in our clients’ hands since 2013 and has proved popular with tourists as well as people passing through the village.
“Yet to date, it has traded to limited capacity, opening for cafe and public bar service only, as the current owners are presently focusing on other business interests.”
A hotel has stood on the site occupied by the Loch Earn Brewery & Hotel since the 15th Century. First called the Star Inn, the original building had wings added to either end before the original structure was demolished and replaced with the C listed Victorian style hotel that is there today. It traded as the Drummond Arms before being renamed the Loch Earn Brewery & Hotel.
The Loch Earn Brewery & Hotel is on sale with Christie & Co for offers over £775,000.