Fresh images of a multimillion-pound, five-star leisure complex on Royal Deeside have been unveiled by developers.
Plans for the luxury £100million hotel, restaurant and spa, which would be built at Inchmarlo, near Banchory, will become a reality if given the go-ahead by councillors.
McCulloch Unique Hotels – the firm behind famous brands including Malmaison, Columbus Monaco and Dakota Hotel – stepped in as the preferred hotelier for the site earlier this year.
The firm’s founder Ken McCulloch, who is one of the leading hoteliers in the UK, said he wants to create the world’s first Royal Whisky Lodge brand – which would create the “ultimate Scottish experience.”
Plans for the complex were first lodged with Aberdeenshire Council in 2011, and the Royal Deeside facility has permission in principal.
A blending room would also be built, providing a space for visitors to learn more about the amber nectar.
If approved, the scheme would consist of 82 bedrooms giving guests the option of staying in the hotel or in lodges.
In addition, around 50 homes would be built in the East Mains area of the site, with 20 of them affordable.
There will also be 10 “executive” holiday homes in the Aulddeer Wood area of Inchmarlo on the site, comprising five bedrooms.
A spokesman for developer Frank Burnett said: “The Royal Whisky Lodge will be a five-star luxury retreat hotel and spa.
“It will be the ultimate Scottish experience, bringing together the highest levels of hospitality with a true celebration of Scotch whisky, in a magical setting of world renown in Royal Deeside.
“The unique location at Inchmarlo presents a true haven of tranquillity, encouraging guests to relax as they take in the beautiful backdrop.
“The spa will complement the standards set by the hotel in every respect and will be managed by a small team of highly-trained professionals.”
The plans were first approved in 2012 and, at that time, 75 rooms were proposed for the hotel.
But this has now been changed to accommodate 34 larger suites with 48 bedrooms situated in individual lodges.
Developers expect the hotel aspect of the project to be finished by July 2017.
The complex will also create 80 new jobs.