Highland tourism business up for sale

Royal Hotel (low-res)

A Highland tourism business which includes four hotels and a medieval castle is to be sold as the founder retires almost 40 years after starting out with a single property.

Former merchant seaman Ian Cleaver started Highland Heritage Limited in the 1970s when he bought the Royal Hotel in Tyndrum, and built it into a £8 million turnover company which uses its own fleet of 16 liveried coaches to bus tourists in to the hotels in Tyndrum, Dalmally and Oban.

Along the road Mr Cleaver also acquired Kilchurn Castle, the 15th century redoubt of the Clan Cambell on the banks of Loch Awe where buyers may have a ‘self-styled Laird’s title’. An impressive ruin and important historic monument, it is currently managed by Historic Scotland.

Now the entire business, including Kilchurn, the coaches and the freehold on four properties with more than 400 bedrooms in total, has been put on the market, with Colliers International the selling agent.

Alistair Letham, a director in the UK hotels agency team at Colliers International, said, “With a number of high quality properties that are in tune with their spectacular surroundings, a fleet of coaches and a huge database of satisfied customers, Highland Heritage is an extremely highly regarded and successful business. To sell it with an iconic Highland landmark such as Kilchurn Castle is the icing on the cake.” 

The business being sold includes the 96-room Royal Hotel and the 132-room purpose-built Ben Doran Hotel, both in Tyndrum, as well as the 99-room Dalmally Hotel and the 66-bedroom Alexandra Hotel in Oban. All the hotels have a range of facilities, as well as staff accommodation, and the Alexandra has planning consent for an additional 26 bedrooms.