Castle transformed into whisky-themed home after refurbishment project

A castle in Moray is set to open to the public following a major refurbishment project, enabled by a £550,000 funding package from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Set on 10 acres of land in Speyside between Elgin and Rothes, Rothes Glen has been transformed into a Scotch whisky-themed home.

Designed by Inverness-based architect Alexander Ross, Rothes Glen was built in 1893 by Charles Chree Doig – the architect behind the invention of the pagoda distillery roofs. Until it was purchased by Rothes Glen Limited (RGL) in 2019, the Scottish Baronial mansion had been used as a private home and hotel between 1948-1998.

Over the last 18 months, RGL has completed a significant refurbishment, which includes re-wiring, re-plumbing and re-decoration throughout, as well as the restoration of doors, windows and fireplaces. Original and authentic furnishings have also been sourced for the 15-bedroom mansion, which opens with ten suites currently available for group hire.

Damian Riley-Smith, CEO of Rothes Glen, said, “Speyside is the largest whisky producing region in Scotland, so establishing a dedicated home for whisky enthusiasts in this iconic location made perfect sense. With 44 distilleries within 30 minutes and 59 within a one-hour drive, we are ideally located to welcome a global audience who look to experience the finest facilities, food and outdoor experiences that Speyside has to offer.

“We have designed the home with everything a whisky enthusiast could possibly look for, including a tasting room, a whisky vault, whisky cabinets, a whisky library and most importantly, a great range of whisky. Guests will have the opportunity to have a fully serviced stay, with a personal chef and tour guide included in costs.

“Although it has been a challenging 18 months to get up and running, we are incredibly grateful for the support from Royal Bank of Scotland which has enabled us to complete the final chapter of the Rothes Glen restoration. We are very proud of the finished result and look forward to welcoming guests.”

RGL employed local tradesmen across Moray to complete the refurbishment and expects to create up to 10 permanent jobs.

Leigh Cathcart, senior relationship manager at Royal Bank of Scotland, said, “With his enthusiasm and experience across the Scotch whisky industry, Damian has created a world-class destination that I’m confident will go on to enjoy great success. Royal Bank of Scotland has been delighted to support RGL on this journey, and we wish the team good luck now that the rest of the world can now enjoy the treasures inside Rothes Glen.”