The Northern Sands Hotel is a prominent business on the A836 main route between Thurso and John O’Groats. The Hotel is situated within the sparsely populated village of Dunnet adjacent to the village church. This well-established trading entity has a strong reputation for good food and comfortable guest facilities. The hotel is open year-round with slightly restricted trading hours in the winter season. The current owners utilise a range of local produce in their menus wherever possible. The Hotel is popular with the extended community and provides a range of facilities for local groups and the village pool team. Attractively decorated and furnished throughout, the vendors have maintained all aspects of the property in good order with frequent upgrades in facilities and services presenting the business in walk-in condition. The Hotel represents a fine example of a home, lifestyle and self-employment opportunity trading upon the three main income streams; accommodation, food and drink generated from year-round trading. The business achieves circa 55% of its income from food generated sales utilizing the popular lounge bar and commodious function room. Accommodation income sits around 35% of sales from its good quality letting bedrooms. The main income drivers within the region come from business trade, tourism and local custom. The business generates a consistently sound level of income demonstrating a positive level of profitability.
The original aspects of the property were built in the mid-1800s but over many years the Hotel has been developed to achieve the current spacious accommodation that is available. The building is set over two floors.
The main access to the Hotel is from the front of the Hotel via a spacious vestibule with a feature fountain. The Caithness slate flooring immediately observed adds an element of local character; this hard wearing and attractive surface is a major feature in many public areas. Through the inner door is the large reception foyer with a reception area set to soft furnishings to the left. Off the foyer is a reception office with a small glazed hatch. The office is spacious making it a most useable room. A further door leads to corridor with access to all other public areas. Immediately to the right is the commodious function room which can comfortably seat 100 guests for functions and upwards of 140 for more casual events. The function room has its own bar servery plus solid fuel fireplace making this a self-contained venue for private events. Attractively furnished, this facility has been the focal point for a variety of gatherings and is a popular dining option for the regular Sunday carvery.
To the right of the main corridor is the games room with its pool table which leads into the small snug public bar. The public bar has its own separate access from the side of the Hotel just off the car park; it also has independent washroom facilities. The servery in the bar is attractive and the quality of décor in the public bar is of a high standard. Further down the corridor is the internal entrance to the lounge bar and dining area. This modern looking bar with its charming furniture has a bistro style feel and is indeed popular with locals and visitors alike. This ‘L’ shape bar has a feature fireplace providing a truly wonderful ambience and comfortably seats 32 guests. The lounge bar has a separate access from the side of the Hotel which has outdoor seating used by diners in the warmer months. Off the corridor are further washrooms.
The Hotel enjoys 12 good quality letting bedrooms which are accessed from the stairs off the main corridor. All rooms are en-suite and are configured to;
1 Family room with Twin beds and bunk bed plus - en-suite shower room
2 Twin room - en-suite bathroom with shower over
3 Double room - en-suite shower
4 Single room - en-suite shower
5 Double room - en-suite shower
6 Double room - en-suite shower
7 Double room - en-suite shower
8 Double or Twin room (Zip and Link bed) - en-suite shower
9 Single room - en-suite shower
10 Family room with double bed and fold-down double - en-suite shower
11 Twin room - en-suite shower / bath
12 Family room with double bed and fold-down double - en-suite shower
All bedrooms are comfortably furnished and equipped with TV, trouser press, toiletries and hospitality trays etc.
The commercial kitchen is well equipped with ample preparation and support facilities. The kitchen and support rooms present ample capacity to cope with large complex functions. There are ample refrigeration and freezer units. The potwash / still room is just off the function room. There is an ample chilled beer cellar plus wine and spirit store. Adequate storage over all floors is available for house keeping and general business usage plus a laundry and a further manager’s office.
The footprint of the Hotels grounds extend to circa 1.25 acres with two distinct parking areas to accommodate up to 40 cars. There is a modest outside area set to bench seats. Within the subjects are significant areas of grassed area with some bushes etc. There may be scope to increase the aspects of the property further subject to planning permission.
Mains electricity, water and drainage with propane gas for cooking and hot water. Heating is mainly electric storage heaters. The building is mainly double glazed except the conservatory to the front. The building is fully fire regulation compliant.
The Northern Sands Hotel has a solid trading record. Full trading P&L accounts will be made available post viewing to all seriously interested parties.
The business has been granted a Premises Licence in accordance with The Licensing Scotland Act 2005 and details of the Operating Plan will be made available after viewing.
There is no owner’s accommodation within the property at present but new owners could assign some letting bedrooms for their own use.
The village of Dunnet is 8 miles from Thurso which has a full range of shops, banks and social services. The area is tremendously rich in opportunities for both the resident population and holidaymaker alike. Dunnet Bay is a fantastic sweeping arc of white sandy beach extending 2 miles with towering sand dunes. The beach is renowned as a surfers haven with its dramatic seas when the winds are high. The beach is equally popular with families for bathing. The beach and cliffs nearby provide excellent wildlife spotting opportunities as the area is a haven for many types of seabirds including oystercatchers, eider ducks, curlew and ringed plover. Breathtaking cliffs are host to innumerable seabirds including the puffin, one of the ornithologist’s favourites. Small harbours to explore and sea excursions are available, whether to watch seabirds, grey seals, pilot whales or dolphins. Nearby passenger and car ferries offer a choice of day trips to the well known Orkney Islands. Genealogy research, ancient Brochs or perhaps the local Camster Cairns are aspects that appeal to guests. For history enthusiasts, the 16th Century Castle and Gardens of Mey is one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions and remains to this day a striking architectural achievement and a fascinating day out. For those interested in outdoor sports the excellent Caithness trout and salmon fishing is renown; the rivers Thurso, Wick and Forss are all well known and are highly productive as are loch’s St John’s, Heilan and Watten. During the winter months the county is also a favourite with wildfowlers, plus several nearby sporting estates offer deer stalking and the opportunity for both walked up and driven shoots, these activities undertaken outwith the Hotel’s tourist season. Staying on the sporting front there are several 18-hole golf courses within comfortable reach, namely Thurso, Wick or the links course at Reay.
The present owners purchased the Northern Sands Hotel in 2004 and it is their
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