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Orkney hospitality businesses for sale with price tags totalling nearly £2.9m

The Merkister Hotel, on the west mainland of Orkney.
The Merkister Hotel, on the west mainland of Orkney.

Orkney is home to two substantial hospitality business opportunities in the Scottish commercial property market just now.

They are up for sale as going concerns, with price tags totalling nearly £2.9 million.

The Merkister Hotel, overlooking Harray Loch, on the west mainland, is being marketed by Kirkwall-based property agent K Allan Properties, which is seeking offers in the region of £1.6 million.

And The Foveran Restaurant with Rooms, a few miles from Kirkwall, is up for sale for the first time in more than 20 years, with agent Christie & Co seeking just under £1.3m.

The Merkister has 13 original letting bedrooms and “ample space for helicopters to land in the private grounds”, K Allan Properties said.

A further three letting rooms next to the hotel were built about 10 years ago.

Breakfast with the birds

The hotel’s award-winning restaurant can accommodate around 60 guests.

During breakfast it is said guests can watch swans, herons and, if lucky, a pair of hen harriers.

The business has been operated by the MacDonald family since 1983.

Efforts to sell the hotel, so the owners can enjoy semi-retirement, pre-date the Covid-pandemic,

There is no owners’ accommodation in the deal but a residential property nearby may be available separately.

The Foveran Restaurant with Rooms, near Kirkwall.

Christie & Co described the sale of The Foveran with Rooms as an “excellent opportunity to purchase a thriving tourism business as the industry gets back on its feet”.

It has been in the hands of the Doull family for more than two decades and underwent a major refurbishment just a few years ago.

Co-owner and head chef Paul Doull said: “Running my own restaurant was always an ambition for me and I have relished the time we have had at the Foveran.

“It’s time now though to hand over the reins to someone else, and for me and the rest of the family to pursue other opportunities.”

A fish dish at The Foveran.

Mr Doull added: “We’ll be leaving The Foveran in good health, and are extremely grateful to all our customers and suppliers for helping make the restaurant the success it is.

“We’ve been truly spoilt having access to the best local produce over the years and I hope that whoever takes over follows the same ethos that we have – making the most of the excellent natural ingredients on our doorstep.”

The business boasts an 80-cover bar and restaurant, as well as eight letting rooms.

Diners enjoy views of historic Scapa Flow, which played such a prominent part during the First World War.

Scapa Flow.

Also included in the sale is private accommodation in the form of a detached, three-bedroom family home and about seven acres of land.

Christie & Co said it was a “great” chance for someone with hospitality experience and ambition to run their own restaurant.

Tony Spence, business agent, hospitality, at the firm, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a purchaser to acquire a highly profitable business that has been refurbished to a high standard.

“While Orkney enjoys a busy and expanding visitor season, The Foveran also benefits from a strong local customer base, ensuring year-round trade and making it an excellent proposition for anyone in hospitality planning a move.”

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