ASG Commercial is delighted to present to the market The Cross, a former water tweed mill situated adjacent to the River Gynack dating from the mid-1800s. The mill was renovated into a hotel in the 1990s and since then has been a destination location for the many discerning visitors to the Highlands. Enjoying a stunning tranquil location set within c4 acres of wooded grounds, the property has a truly romantic setting which is often visited by roe deer and red squirrels. This substantial property enjoys an excellent trading location in an affluent area of the town, close to the centre with all facilities within a few minutes’ walk. The Cross benefits from ample grounds affording generous amenity space for both guests and owners to enjoy. This stunning and unique building demonstrates the care and attention taken by successive owners to provide exceptional comfort and service provision to its clientele. The business reflects the high level of investment by the current owners who have steadfastly upgraded both the guest areas and letting rooms plus developed the service facilities. This is truly a unique property for anyone wishing to own a prestigious business opportunity in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.
The outstanding ambience and provision of this AA 3-Rosette restaurant and 4-Star business is evident upon entry. With stunning and spacious public areas portraying a level of charm seldom seem plus the 8 unique and individually decorated en-suite letting bedrooms offer outstanding quality and comfort. The service areas include a modern, professional and well-equipped kitchen with additional food preparation, storage and laundry facilities. An attractive feature of this sale is the modern and spacious owner’s accommodation which is fully self-contained with a private entrance. The business facets coupled with the outstanding owner’s accommodation make this an exceptional proposition. This acquisition would be ideal for a couple with some catering experience who would like to drive the business elements to the next level.
The Cross operate on a restricted seasonal basis, by choice of the owners. In addition, during the main season the trading model operates 5 days per week which allows for staff days off ensuring that business standards are maintained to the exacting standards required. Despite these restricted trading patterns, the business maintains a strong level of turnover and excellent profitability conversion rates. The present operating regime would enable new owners to extend the opening times quite extensively. Income is generated through the 8 quality en-suite letting bedrooms and the sale of high quality cuisine which is supplemented by licensed wet sales. The business offers its services to individually booked meals / rooms, groups and functions plus there is capacity for booking for sole use parties. Trading as a small independent establishment, the proprietors operate a quality establishment providing a high level of service and facilities while still maintaining a fairly sound work – life balance. There is no doubt, that new owners could adopt a broader trading platform should they so desire, opening for longer periods and offering a varied range of food provision.
The Cross has a strong and established trading history with the current proprietors developing the business further in recent years making this a true turn-key operation. It has established itself as a popular destination venue benefiting from a high level of repeat trade, being highly commended by numerous organisations and receiving many laudable comments on numerous visitor review websites. The business has an active modern website, a strong social media presence and utilises a number of portal websites.
Tourism is the main driver of trade and includes the many visitors who play golf, fish, undertake walking and climbing holidays or partake in a more sedate excursion of the Highlands taking in the many sites and historical features. Other visitors include business people as well as ornithologists and naturalists who find an abundance of wildlife to keep them busy for an extended stay. The location and stature of the building is such that it is easy to locate for those who have booked via the internet or for the casual passer-by. The vast majority of room occupancy is booked in advance and forward bookings are always at a high level.
REASON FOR SALE
The present owners purchased The Cross in 2012 and it has offered them an enjoyable lifestyle to date. Running the business to suit their preferred work-life balance has resulted in the forging of many friendships with regular guests. This easily run and flexible business model allows the owners to enjoy the benefits of living in such a beautiful part of the country. However, it is due to their desire to retire that brings this excellent home and profitable trading entity onto the market.
Of traditional stone construction under pitched slate roof, the business is an attractive building in a stunning setting. Dating from the mid-1800s, the property has been extensively renovated and improved over recent years. These developments have drawn together the character of the original building providing the services expected by the modern-day holiday maker. With an attractive driveway leading to ample tarmac parking, there is a walled garden plus spacious wild gardens extending to around 4 acres. Throughout the business is decorated to an exceptional standard without losing the ambience of the properties origins.
Through solid wood feature main doors is a vestibule which leads into an attractive reception area. Set to ample soft furnishings, solid fuel fire and a reception desk, this area ably sets the scene for this superior property and business. Glass panelled double doors lead to the spacious and beautifully presented dining room. This charming area has a double-sided gas effect woodstove. Tables are laid to only 26 covers only, offering a generous level of space between each group. The dining room has 2 distinct areas which adds to the intimacy of the dining experience on offer. There is undoubted capacity to increase the number of covers but for the extant trading model, the current layout is ideal. Within the dining room is a small but stylish and well-stocked bar offering an excellent range of wines and spirits. There is also plentiful external seating should diners or guests wish to enjoy an alfresco experience whilst listening to the Gynack River slowly meandering beneath the raised seating area.
Adjacent to the dining room is the secondary reception area off which are the guest bathrooms (ladies, gents and disabled). Stairs from the guest reception area lead to a first-floor guest lounge set to a mix of sofas providing a high level of comfort and a quiet space for resident guests to relax. Along from the lounge a hallway leads to the 9 quality en-suite bedrooms.
With 9 guest bedrooms (8 available for letting at present as one room is set aside for staff) all benefit from modern en-suite facilities and are located on the first floor. All rooms have a character and charm often absent from many hotel rooms. They are all comfortable with ample space and seating areas, have controllable central heating, television / DVD player, radio alarm clocks, internal phones, hairdryer, complimentary toiletries, tea / coffee hospitality trays and are delightfully furnished and attractively decorated. The rooms are configured as follows:
Room 1 - Twin en-suite with bathroom
Room 2 - Double en-suite with shower room
Room 3 - Double en-suite with shower room
Room 4 - Double en-suite with shower room and balcony
Room 5 - Double en-suite with shower room
Room 6 - Double en-suite with bathroom and separate shower
Room 7 - Double en-suite with shower room
Room 8 - Double en-suite with bathroom and separate shower
Room 9 - Double en-suite with shower room
The business has a well-appointed commercial kitchen providing ample space to meet the requirements of complex cooking and a busy service. The kitchen has a commercial extraction unit and ample stainless-steel work spaces / appliances as well as plentiful freezer and refrigeration plus ambient storage. There is a separate pot-wash area with a pull-through dishwasher. There is a spacious laundry room and staff WC. A wine cellar and separate spirit store are also available. There is adequate general storage throughout.
A highly attractive feature of this sale is the spacious and modern private accommodation all situated on the ground floor with private access. The owner’s currently make use of two bedrooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. In addition, there is a smart lounge which is presented to a high standard offering double aspect windows making it a bright and airy living space. There is a private modern kitchen leading to a private access. A spiral stair case leads to the first floor and a letting room which could be used as further private accommodation, if required.
The Cross is a substantial property set within about 4 acres. There is ample parking for business needs and owners use. Attractive gardens and areas of natural growth make this a truly idyllic setting, especially with the River Gynack set just below the building. There is a pleasant lawn area with guest seating plus an extensive patio area set to tables and around 20 chairs with views of the river; both are ideal spaces to sit in a warm spring / summer evening. There are walks within the grounds interspersed with seats to allow guests to enjoy the surroundings. To the rear of the building is a small pond. Within the grounds deer and red squirrels are often observed. There is a very large storage facility to the side of the main building. This plus the grounds may present new owners with some further development potential subject to planning consents.
Benefiting from mains electricity, water, gas and drainage. The property boasts double glazing throughout. Gas-fired central heating and boiler system provides a consistently high level of service. The building benefits from a modern integral fire alarm system and is EHO compliant. The property has a good Wi-Fi signal.
The Cross is situated within the town of Kingussie, highly convenient for guests wishing to walk to the excellent range of nearby shops, facilities, services, etc. The region is served with good communication and commerce links. The A9 is the main arterial road from Perth in the south to Inverness and further onwards into the Highlands. Kingussie is also strategically placed within the Cairngorm National Park, on the main route from Aviemore to Fort William via Spean Bridge. Additionally, Kingussie benefits from having a mainline railway station, which adds to the influx of visitors, especially hill walkers. Moreover, Inverness Airport is easily accessible for those travelling from further afield by air.
The region is famous for its wondrous landscapes and outdoor activities based within the Cairngorm and Monadhliath Mountain ranges. Hill walking and water sports are popular in the summer season and the area benefits from ski provision, and snow and ice climbing in the winter. Other outdoor pursuits such as bird watching and fishing also draw a great many visitors to the area who take advantage of the abundance of wildlife in the Spey valley. For the dedicated golfer there are a number of good quality courses within the immediate area, the most famous being Boat of Garten GC. Castles and distilleries offer the more pedestrian tourist with places of culture and history to visit. Kingussie enjoys a most suitable geographic location as a base from which visitors can continue their odyssey of both the Highland and Grampian regions of Scotland.