The owner of a Highland hotel is expecting even more demand after a successful year.
Jill Munro owns The Station in Alness and saw full occupancy at her hotel from January until the start of November.
The hotel sits on the North Coast 500 Road route, so benefits from tourism.
Ms Munro said it had also seen more workers staying since the news earlier this year of Inverness and the Cromarty Firth becoming a new green freeport.
Meanwhile, the hotel’s bar won the community pub of the year title at the 2023 Scottish Licensed Trade News Awards.
‘Non-stop’ for The Station hotel in Alness
Ms Munro said the business had enjoyed a “non-stop year”, and she believes it can only get better.
She added: “We’ve had full occupancy right up until the beginning of November which is a great success.
“It’s also good to see an increase in tourists from abroad visiting the area.
“We’re really well-positioned here on the North Coast 500 so we see a lot of tourists.
“It’s also great to be in the middle of a few communities – we see regulars from both Invergordon and Alness.”
Local impact is key to the success at The Station, she said, adding: “We employ locally, train them up in the hotel and look after them. I think that’s really important.
“They know we are always looking out for them and it definitely reflects on our customers. Everyone loves the family feel here.
“Our area is amazing and they use the hotel facilities like a community hub.
“Many clubs and local groups come here for meetings and we also have our own darts team. There’s always lots going on here.”
Owner reveals the secrets behind award win
Jill said the community pub of the year award reflected well on the whole area and Alness deserved it.
She added: “The award isn’t just for us – it’s for everyone in the area.
“We’ve only won it because everyone loves the atmosphere here and it’s made by the people.
“Alness gets a lot of bad press and I personally don’t think it is warranted.
“It is a really close community and everyone shows they truly care for each other.”
Ms Munro’s hotel is one of several Alness businesses which supplied food to vulnerable people during the pandemic.