Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is backing an Argyll hotel's bid to gain a coveted 5-star rating.
The enterprise agency has been working closely with the management team at Barcaldine House Hotel and is supporting its growth plans with a £120,000 grant towards the £600,000 build and marketing development costs.
Lachie Beaton of HIE said: "The management team at Barcaldine House has already been recognised this year in national awards for the quality of its renovation work, its locally sourced menus, its family friendly customer care and remarkable achievements in increasing turnover. Argyll and the Islands is home to a number of Scotland's five star hotels and we are very proud to be investing in the growth of quality provision in the area. High standards attract visitors, benefiting the many people involved in related businesses."
Barcaldine House, once the seat of the Campbells of Barcaldine, was built in 1709. The house, which sits near the banks of Loch Creran, by Oban had fallen into disrepair before the current director, Heather Buchanan, spotted its potential. The team will now take the refurbishment to the next level, then market the hotel and six self catering holiday cottages internationally as a luxury country house with an informal, relaxed atmosphere.
Heather Buchanan commented: "We have worked very hard to breathe new life into Barcaldine and re-create one of Scotland's true hidden gems. We have already done significant work to upgrade the facilities and we are excited about the prospect of offering five star treatment to our guests. We strongly believe that five star hotels do not need to be stuffy. Our philosophy is to provide excellent food, wine and service in a laid back environment. Relaxed excellence is a difficult balance to strike, but one we believe represents true luxury in our hectic, modern lives. With the support of HIE, we are looking forward to making the experience at Barcaldine even more magical and to welcoming new guests at our beautiful hotel."
Recently awarded 2 AA Rosettes, plus three Scottish Hotel Awards, the hotel offers guests exclusive use packages, gourmet food and wine weekends and experiences like 'Foraging for Wild Food' in the beautiful forests surrounding the hotel.