A famous Fife hotel, which has links to the real Robinson Crusoe, has new owners.
The Crusoe Hotel on the quayside of Lower Largo, had been up for sale since February 2018 with an original price tag of more than £900,000.
The business has been bought for an undisclosed sum by Graham and Rachel Bucknall, who also operate the Ship Inn in nearby Elie and Bridge Inn in Ratho on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
In a statement posted by the couple on social media on Wednesday afternoon, they confirmed they will officially get the keys next week but have signed the deal.
The couple added: “We are really excited to be taking over The Crusoe.
“We already know the area well as we also operate The Ship Inn at Elie.
“The Crusoe is in such a fabulous location but we know it has had a rocky time recently and we know from talking to some of you how worried people have been about the future of the hotel.
“We see it as a wonderful spot and we can’t wait to start turning it again into a wonderful place to visit.”
The couple say that they will be sharing their plans for the hotel in the coming weeks but admit it must be seen as a long-term project.
They added: “We don’t want to give you any firm dates today, but we very much hope to be open in time for the summer holidays, even if that is only the bar and outside to start with.”
Having also bought a property in the village, the new owners say they plan to consult with residents to get an understanding of what locals love about the landmark hotel and what they would like to see improved.
The Crusoe Hotel lays claim to having tangible links to the real Robinson Crusoe, including a footprint in the restaurant supposedly left by Alexander Selkirk, the man said to have inspired author Daniel Defoe to write his classic tale.
Selkirk, who had been with a band of buccaneers in the South Pacific before being marooned, was rescued from Mas a Tierra Island, now renamed Robinson Crusoe Island, in 1709 and arrived in England two years later.
His story was told by the essayist Richard Steele in 1713 and it is widely accepted that Defoe drew inspiration from these accounts for Robinson Crusoe.
The hotel also hit the headlines in 2020 after one of the previous owners, Lesley Dykes was sentenced to two years in jail after admitting a £380,000 tax fraud.
Mrs Dykes operated a number of properties with her husband Andrew Dykes whose not guilty plea to the same charge was accepted by the Crown in October last year.