• Outstanding small hotel in an excellent central trading position within the thriving Highland town of Thurso on the North Coast 500 route.
• Comprising 7 comfortable letting bedrooms, Red Pepper Restaurant, “No 16” Lounge Bar and Mezzanine Pool Bar.
• Strong income split across beverage, accommodation and catering sales with increasing turnover and solid adjusted profitability.
• High performing business and lifestyle proposition trading year-round with a strong history of sustainable trading.
• A highly successful opportunity for new owners to build on this successful business and take it to the next level.DESCRIPTION
The Holborn Hotel is a successful licensed hotel which enjoys an excellent trading location, ideally placed to capitalise upon a broad base of clientele, right in the middle of the bustling Highland town of Thurso. The business has no single trading dependency and enjoys income across all three traditional revenue streams of beverage sales, catering and accommodation provision. The recent popularity of the North Coast 500 route has certainly seen increased occupancy with the hotel maintaining 100% occupancy from May to September.
On the food and beverage side, the exceptionally spacious Lounge Bar “No 16” enjoys a tremendous level of support from locals, tourists and business clientele alike. The lounge is most comfortably furnished and has capacity for at least 60 seated covers internally, supplemented by a further 20 covers set outside on an area of smart modern decking. An excellent range of draft beers, spirits, wines and minerals are on offer, these are complemented by a comprehensive and popular bar menu for diners. The high quality food and beverage operation combined with welcoming staff and the smart, well equipped, modern facilities give “No 16” a deservedly superb reputation. The introduction of music nights and booked bands has also boosted bar takings and popularity.
Whilst “No 16” offers a good choice of dining options the Red Pepper Restaurant, with 40 covers, provides a more formal dining experience and more intimate ambience. Attractive down-lighting, smart hardwood floors and well-appointed furnishings create a fresh modern setting in which to enjoy the delights of individually selected dishes from the carefully planned a la carte menu. Meals are freshly prepared using locally sourced produce where possible, with a choice of fresh fish and shellfish landed locally at Scrabster Harbour. In addition to the restaurant, the hotel has a further private dining room which proves popular for family celebrations, birthdays and business meetings where guests can enjoy the privacy of their own company. The hotel boasts a dedicated family play area which proves to be highly popular.
The present owners purchased the hotel in 2005 and began an ongoing refurbishment and renovation programme at that time. The investment in the structure and fabrication of the building is clearly evident and improved facilities and infrastructure has in turn created a strong demand for the hotel’s services and an excellent resultant turnover. The owners believe that there is scope for further expansion.BUSINESS OPERATION
The business community is highly active in the county resulting in a strong year-round demand for accommodation supplemented by tourists, sporting enthusiasts, North Coast 500 travelers and the many other visitors who visit the area. Bookings for accommodation come in via use of portals such as, the North Coast 500 website, the hotels own website etc. Business bookings come in via capita travel and various other websites. The level of repeat business is high.
The Red Pepper Restaurant has established a sound reputation and is very popular in the area, supported by a team of three chefs this restaurant is going from strength to strength. The bar food is also well received and the music and entertainment on offer certainly attracts clientele.LOCATION
The busy town of Thurso sits on the far north east coast in the county of Caithness on the Thurso River estuary. For salmon anglers, other than the renowned Thurso River itself, the rivers Wick, Forss, Halladale and Helmsdale are all a comfortable trip by car for those seeking a bit of variety. Not only does the area host this impressive range of top salmon rivers, it is a prime Scottish destination for wild brown trout angling. Lochs Watten, St Johns, Heilan and Toftingall are but a few of the fisherman’s favorite choices from a plethora of wild hill lochs. Sea fishing from Scrabster harbour offers an alternative to game angling, all these opportunities combine to offer year-round sport. Golfers are also well provided for with 18-hole courses at Thurso itself, nearby Wick and Reay. As for the tourist, there are lots of options. A day trip to Orkney, numerous sites of archaeological interest, the Castle of Mey to the north, Dunrobin Castle to the south or perhaps a day out to John O' Groats. An additional income stream for the hotel is driven by the thriving Caithness economy which includes the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority facility at Dounreay and adjacent site of HMS Vulcan which bring a large number of business travelers to the area. The nearby thriving harbour at Scrabster is another asset to the area bringing revenue from fish landings, commercial / cargo vessels and passenger liners. With an increased focus upon renewable energy the County has attracted various wind farms and is set to lead the field in tidal energy amidst the Pentland Firth.THE PROPERTY
The Holborn Hotel is a semi-detached property of traditional construction. Stone built under a slate roof, the subjects are arranged over 3 levels.PUBLIC AREAS
From a prime central trading location the hotels main entrance opens into the welcoming reception hallway facing the substantial reception desk. To the left is the spacious Lounge Bar “No 16”. The bar has a smart modern feel to it, hardwood floors, modern down-lighting and an excellent range of comfortable seating. Widescreen TVs with SKY satellite channels, gaming / trivia machines, a pool table and juke box provide entertainment. The large bar servery sits prominently to one end of the commodious bar area which has capacity for live entertainment or similar to the opposite end. Off the bar is an outside area laid to neat decking. This provides 20 seated covers and a bespoke, covered smoking area. Internally the bar has 60 fully seated covers, yet accommodates far more patrons on a busy evening. “No 16” has the added benefit of separate main door access separating casual customers from the reception and other hotel operations.
To the right off the reception sits the Red Pepper Restaurant and the private dining room which is set to 16 covers. These are both furnished to a high standard and support a flexible range of dining options from a more intimate dinner for 2 to a private family dinner or function. Stairs lead up from the reception hallway to the seven letting bedrooms contained within the hotel.LETTING BEDROOMS
The hotel has 7 letting bedrooms to sleep 13 guests (1 triple, 3 doubles and 3 singles). These are all well-appointed and most comfortable with modern facilities. All bedrooms have modern en-suite shower rooms, central heating, tea/coffee making facilities and TVs. Six bedrooms are on the first floor, with one double room on the second floor.OWNERS ACCOMMODATION
The proprietors do not presently live in the hotel themselves, however there is scope within the hotel to utilise unused accommodation as owners living area.SERVICE AREAS
The hotel has a well equipped kitchen with commercial catering capability and a fully vented extract system. There is a wash-up area with commercial dish-wash system, still room and laundry facilities. The beer cellar and spirit store are conveniently located at basement level below the main bar servery. The business has adequate storage facilities and a laundry cupboard on the first floor.SERVICES
Mains electricity, water supply and drainage. Gas central heating and mains gas. Wi-Fi is available throughout.