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Revamped west coast hotel aims to attract wildlife visitors

15 April 2013

A hotel which has undergone a £275,000 upgrade is to provide high quality tourism accommodation on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula.

Previously known as The Clanranald, the hotel situated in Mingarry, within the heart of Moidart has reopened under new ownership and rebranded as Mingarry Park Guest House.

The original building is over 200 years old and has been rebuilt to form a modern guest house, self catering unit and Bothan Bar. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is providing assistance of £74,800 towards the refurbishments which aims to target people with an interest in wildlife and natural surroundings.

Mingarry Park Guest House is owned by John Macdonald and his fiancé Emma Dixon who took over the management of the business last year.  The renovation project has resulted in five letting rooms and two self catering units at four-star standard.

John is a self employed venison dealer and deer stalker and will continue to develop this side of the business whilst Emma concentrates on developing and managing the guest house. Emma has a background in hospitality and business administration.

As a semi professional Olympic trap clay pigeon shooter, in 2010 John won the British, Scottish and Open Championships and also represented Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. With his successful clay shooting sporting career, the business has a unique opportunity to provide clay shooting weekend packages to guests.

The guest house will also be marketed as a deer stalking and fishing destination.  A herd of tame red deer on the grounds and surrounding croft land allows guests to feed, photograph and interact with them specifically through “Red Deer Encounter” packages.

John said: “Since taking over the hotel we’ve aimed to improve it for visitors at every opportunity. The new refurbishment will not only improve the experience for our guests but help us cater for a larger number of visitors. We are delighted that HIE is assisting us with the project and we look forward to a busy season ahead.                                                         

Elaine Jones Development Manager at HIE, said: “John and Emma have shown a significant commitment in developing a business in a fragile economic area.

The guest house is now able to attract a wider range of visitors since it has been significantly upgraded and will support diversification and further growth of the business sector in Ardnamurchan.  We wish them success with this unique venture.”

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