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Glencoe’s legendary Kingshouse Hotel has reopened after a £12 million revamp creating 54 new jobs.
It took ten-months and a live-in workforce of more than 100 labourers to expand the 17th century hotel which now offers 57 bedrooms, a 32 bed bunkhouse, a new restaurant, bar and pub at the head of mighty Glencoe on Rannoch Moor.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing was at the official opening on Friday and said he was honoured to play a small part in launching the next chapter of the iconic building’s history.
For centuries the Kingshouse Hotel has been a place of respite for drovers, walkers, skiers, climbers and visitors to the area. The original Inn was once used as barracks for the Duke of Cumberland’s troops, hunting Jacobites after the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
New has now been added to the old, despite the contemporary feel to the new extension, the charm is still there and log fires roar a Highland welcome. There are plans to turn the connecting point between the two into an art gallery showcasing the work of local artists.
The long-standing owners of the nearby Black Corries Estate bought the hotel in 2014 and still own it while it is managed for them by the award-winning Crieff Hydro Hotels group.
‘These new, enhanced facilities will provide much-needed economic stability for the area, by creating jobs and revenue for many
years to come,’ said Mr Ewing.
Sustainable technology and design has been key to the redevelopment project. The hotel, beneath Buachaille Etive Mor, has its own bio-mass energy supply. It also has bore-holes for its own water source.
The eco-ethos is evident throughout the hotel’s footprint and beyond, great care has been taken to make sure there has been as little impact on the surrounding natural environment as possible.
The fall and rise of the new extension seems to shadow the mountain peaks from the back view and from the road, it blends well into the landscape helped by its natural-look wood front and a cluster of trees close by that bring shelter to deer.
Looking out of the huge picture windows from the restaurant and bar is like being out in the wild but without the biting exposure at this time of year. Whatever the elements, guests can watch the raw beauty of the Great Outdoors unfold before their very eyes -while staying cosy, well watered and exceptionally well fed.
This is a year-round destination in its own right, equally as attractive to visitors travelling from afar as it will be for daytrippers – it is less than one hour’s drive from Oban.
The famous Climbers Bar has been renamed The Way Inn with live music on a Friday and Saturday. Both of the hotel’s bars have their own menus as well as the top-notch restaurant serving traditional favourites using local produce wherever it can – the delicious vension we enjoyed came from an estate less than one mile away. The hearty game broth comes highly recommended too. There were worthy contenders to finish with but I’m glad I plumped for the clootie dumpling with bay custard and marmalade ice-cream.
The enlarged hotel has something for all – walkers and climbers will especially rejoice in the drying rooms and bag store – there’s a machine so large enough it can dry out 60 pairs of boots at a time.
As well as the basic bunkhouse accommodation, there are two suites in the new hotel extension with large picture-perfect balconies, two accessible rooms and the rest are standard – regardless of type there has been no skimping on quality here. The name Kingshouse says it all.