It is with great pleasure that CCL offer for sale the Castle Arms hotel, a delightful hotel situated in a commanding roadside location on the main highland coastal route, the A836. The hotel, formally an 19th century coach house, attracts a wide range of trade and benefits greatly for its close proximity to the Castle of Mey, the late Queen Mother’s Highland Home; which is now a popular tourist attraction. Good passing and residential trade is generated from those undertaking the NC500 and the Lands End to John O’Groats trip, due to its short distance from John O’Groats.
This is a retirement sale, therefore there is substantial opportunity to increase trade and develop the land to include a further income stream in the form of caravan and camping facilities for which there is substantial demand. Viewing is highly recommended!
Caithness is located on the most north eastern part of Scotland and serves as the most northern county in Britain to still claim royal connections. The landscape is rich in archaeological remnants and geological features of breathtaking beauty, with spectacular mountains, majestic glens and mirror-like lochs that form the perfect backdrop to picturesque towns, isolated crofts, towering castles and pagoda-topped distilleries.
The area is extremely popular with those touring the North Coast 500, a 516 mile round trip through the scenic north Highlands of Scotland, with the town of May being located on the main A836. The success of the route has encouraged more visitors to visit the region of Scotland with official numbers increasing by c.30% per annum.
This is a unique county, framed by the sea on two sides and the mountains of Sutherland on the third. Even today it has a strong identity, which looks northward to Orkney and Shetland as much as South to the Highlands.
Prior to 2016, the Castle Arms operated as a successful hotel, generating a good mix of income from bar sales, meals and accommodation with occupancy achieving 95% during peak season. Due to retirement plans, the owners now trade with the aid of 3 part time members of staff as a Guest House, offering B&B and evening meals to guests. They have deliberately scaled back operations which is personal choice and in no way a reflection on trade potential. They run from mid-April to mid-September only however there is demand for out of season accommodation and meals too.
Occupancy levels are deliberately kept low at present with the owners trading only 5 rooms per night. Trade and ‘door stepping’ tourists are turned away daily which if serviced, would increase an already healthy profit margin. With the growing popularity of the NC500, demand for rooms has been steadily rising with a real shortage of accommodations available locally. Development in the form of utilising the rear car park as a motorhome hook up site and the field for camping or ‘Glamping Pods’ would be a welcomed addition to the business which would generate an easy yet extremely profitable return. The conversion of the barn would ideally suit as a bunk house or hostel type facilities.
There is the opportunity to expand on food offerings by opening the restaurant up to non-residents and re-introducing liquor sales, both of which would cater to passing trade and the local market. This business opportunity offers new owners an enormous amount of untapped potential, to build on an already successful business model that offers substantial trade expansions.
This unique and traditional white stone building dates to the 19th century. Access is granted through the main front door leading directly into the reception area.
To the right of the Reception area there is a large lounge and bar area with leather chairs and elegant tartan flooring, which adds to the traditional Scottish charm of the hotel. From there a door leads to the Castle Dining Room which serves breakfast and dinner for up to 40 covers at a time, with food being prepared in the fully equipped kitchen. To the left of Reception is an area that was formerly housed public WC’s facilities but are currently under renovation. From the rear of the corridor is the former public bar which is currently being used as the owner’s lounge/office. This room could be either reopened as a bar or converted into an additional bedroom or bunk room.
On the ground floor there is also an extensive well-equipped commercial kitchen, numerous stores and cellars, and a substantial laundry room that houses a variety of equipment.
The Castle Arms offers 9 letting rooms in total; 4 rooms within the original building and 5 rooms which can be found in the extended area. In the original building there are 2 suites; The Pentland Suite and The Orkney Suite. The Pentland Suite sleeps 4 and comprises 2 bedrooms- 1 super king size and 1 twin. This suite has shared bathroom facilities. The Orkney Suite boasts 2 double bedrooms- both with en-suite facilities. The final room within the original building is a double bedroom with en-suite facilities.
In the extension there is 5 additional rooms; they can be accessed via the courtyard at the rear of the main building. The recent renovation has allowed for all the rooms to be beautifully finished to a stylish contemporary standard. Each room features double or twin bed, tea and coffee making facilities and a flat screen television with freeview. One of the rooms accessed via the courtyard has disabled/accessible facilities including a wheel ramp for easy access and a wet room.
The property has mains water and electricity. Cooking is by LPG gas.
The property is held on the Scottish equivalent of Freehold.
License and Trading Figures
The business trades with the benefit of a full licence. Full trading figures will be released after formal viewing has taken place.
The sale of the Castle Arms is a wonderful opportunity to purchase an established business with a great reputation and 6 acres of development land. The area benefits from year-round trade while the property is offered in true walk in fashion. It is an easily managed lifestyle business that offers new owners the opportunity to build on an already profitable business model with adaptable expansion prospects.
The castle arms hotel is a detached building that sits in close proximity to the main road but with ample land to the side and rear. There is a large gravel car park adjacent to the hotel, holding around 40 cars. To the rear of the property there are approximately 6 acres of land, mainly planted with pine and a mix of native Scottish trees. This land is level and well drained which would make ideal land for a campsite. To the rear of the Hotel is a smart courtyard and garden with seating that is popular during fine weather.