A Highland hotel that served as a holiday getaway for disabled people for more than 50 years is preparing to re-open.
Since being forced to close its doors at the beginning of the year, much to the anguish of its many loyal guests, The Lovat Lodge Hotel in Nairn has lain empty.
Now, it’s new Lossiemouth-based owners, Ali and Sons Holding Limited, have announced a £750,000 investment that will give the hotel a fresh lease of life.
It is to be renamed The West End Hotel and the new management hope to welcome guests to the hotel in the New Year.
They are to take possession of the premises on Monday December 16 when they will begin the process of refurbishment.
The new owners’ upgrade will include a new 16-seat public restaurant, three new hydro pools and improved spa treatment facilities.
A third of the hotel’s 26 rooms will be dedicated to catering to disabled guests, with the rest made available to the wider tourism sector.
A spokesman for Ali & Sons said: “The work to modernise the hotel begins the moment we get the keys and we hope to be open by the end of January 2020.”
Liz MacDonald, councillor for Nairn and Cawdor and chairwoman of Lovat Lodge Board, is delighted to see the hotel in new hands.
She had admitted to being “disappointed” by the minimal interest the property had attracted in the early part of its 12 months on the market.
Councillor MacDonald said: “I am relieved that we found a buyer for the hotel as it is detrimental for buildings to be left unused, especially over the winter months.
“I wish the new owners the best of luck and every success with their investment. It has been a pleasure and an honour to be involved with the Lovat Lodge Board for over 10 years.”
Once the backdated bills are paid off, the board plan to use any additional funds acquired from the sale for charitable purposes, in line with their constitution.
The hotel had provided specialist facilities for disabled guests and stroke and arthritis sufferers for over 50 years before its closure.
It was founded on the recommendation of Scottish rheumatologist pioneer Dr Logie Bain, and had been one of the only hotels of its kind in Scotland.
The Lovat Lodge had, however, faced financial difficulties for several years.
Ms MacDonald added: “The hotel has been a tremendous boon to the community and a terrific facility, so it’s great that it can now continue to be used to benefit the people it was intended to.”
“It was really successful hotel, and a lovely one, and I look forward to seeing it go from strength-to-strength.”