The most northerly hotel in Britain is preparing for the summer 2012 season following a £70,000 refurbishment and internal upgrade programme developed with assistance from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The upgrade of the Baltasound Hotel has included rebuilding of the bedrooms and kitchen facilities allowing the hotel to improve its restaurant offering and provide en suite facilities for families and groups. This is part of a longer term programme to upgrade the hotel to 3 star VisitScotland status.
The hotel is the most northerly in the UK located on rugged unspoilt island of Unst, well placed for visitors to experience wildlife such as dolphins, whales and notable birdlife at the nearby Hermaness nature reserve.
The Swan family have owned the Baltasound Hotel since 2008. In this time, they have also completed a full renovation of the bar area.
Sharn Swan of the Baltasound Hotel said: "Since taking over the hotel we've aimed to improve it for visitors at every opportunity. The refurbished bar is a huge hit with both locals and tourists and the next step was the hotel itself.
"We provide fresh meals to our customers from the newly refurbished restaurant, with local garden produce supplied by URGE, the Unst Regeneration Growers' Enterprise, and seafood from Shetland which can go from sea to plate in under two hours.
"This new refurbishment will not only improve the experience for our guests but help us cater for a larger number of visitors."
David Priest of HIE pointed out that the Swans have shown significant commitment in operating and growing a successful business in such a fragile economic area: "The Baltasound Hotel is a very popular hotel in Unst, with online reviews proving that a large number of satisfied customers come back again and again. Steven and Sharn have been upgrading aspects of the hotel since buying it in 2008 and, with the hotel now able to attract a wider range of visitors, growth of the tourist market in Unst is now possible."
Further development work is planned and the Swans are looking forward to a busy season.
Unst is a fragile economic area and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has a key role in providing support and advice through the Community Account Management process and support to businesses.