New owners for Manor House

Swiss you were here: Beatrice and Daniel Rogger, the new owners of Manor House which reopens on April 26.

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The historic Manor House in Oban will reopen later this month in a move that will see 10 new jobs created.

The deal was formally completed in January following the retirement in 2020 of hoteliers Les and Margaret Crane, who ran it for 20 successful years.

New owners Daniel and Beatrice Rogger fell in love with Oban after discovering it by chance during 2018 – despite having previously toured Scotland.

The find was made entirely by chance as Beatrice accompanied her parents on a visit to Scotland which involved a one-night stay in the town.

She was so taken with Oban that she called Daniel and told him he must see it for himself and he quickly joined her.

As newcomers to hospitality and tourism, they committed to waiting for the right property to come available.

Special place: The couple from Switzerland were waiting for the right property.

Manor House on Gallanach Road, is a category B listed Georgian property and was on the market with a price tag in excess of £1 million, due to its spectacular setting with gardens, beach access and far-reaching views across the bay to Kerrera and Mull.

Daniel said: ‘We love Oban and we love the west coast and Oban is a fantastic place from which to explore the west coast and the Hebrides.

‘For us it is a new venture but it is something we have been thinking about for quite some time as it was something we wanted as the next challenge in our lives.

‘We are not here for the short term and we really want to integrate and involve ourselves with the local community.’

Beatrice added: ‘We are really looking forward to welcoming guests on April 26 so that they too can enjoy Oban – which is what happened to us.

‘We were drawn here to this particular place in Scotland and we hope to give something back to Scotland when visitors from the UK can again travel.’

To the Manor drawn: Beatrice fell in love with Oban and urged her husband to see it too.

The globe-trotting couple left Switzerland 25 years ago and spent 13 years living and working in Hong Kong, and have also resided in Germany and Austria.

Now with two grown-up children nearing the end of university, it’s a new life for the couple who both have degrees in business administration.

Previously, Daniel was global chief executive officer of the Germany headquartered Faber Castell.

It is one of the world’s largest and oldest producer of pencils with a worldwide workforce of more than 8,000 employees.

The Manor House, built in 1780 by the fifth Duke of Argyll and later used as a Dower House for the family, will offer 11 period feature rooms and a fine dining restaurant which they plan to also open to non-resident guests.

It also has a cosy bar and an elegant drawing room serving high tea.

Daniel said: ‘Even though the property is 240 years old and counting, we could really see and feel that the previous owners and those before had really understood the heritage and importance of the building and it has been very well maintained.’

The hotel has already recruited a food and beverage manager along with an executive chef and sous chef, and will be requiring additional staff, some on a part-time basis.

Daniel said it was important to recruit local people where possible.

‘We are looking for our team to be like a family so that it is not just for a season, but that we can build something together,’ he said.

Life’s a beach at the Manor House in Oban.