End of an era as popular Plockton Inn taken over by Highland-based hotel company

Pictured from left are, David Whiteford, chairman of Highland Coast Hotels; Susan Trowbridge, Kenny Gollan and Mary Gollan of the Plockton Inn. NO F17 Plockton Hotel
Pictured from left are, David Whiteford, chairman of Highland Coast Hotels; Susan Trowbridge, Kenny Gollan and Mary Gollan of the Plockton Inn. NO F17 Plockton Hotel

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A quarter-of-a-century of ownership of the Plockton Inn has come to an end with news that the popular establishment has been taken over by a  Highlands-based hotel company.

Founded just a year ago, Highland Coast Hotels is investing in and developing independently-owned hotels in the region, and the 14-room Plockton Inn and its adjoining seafood restaurant now joins the four other hotels acquired by the group in 2021 – Kylesku Hotel, Newton Lodge at Unapool, the Royal Golf Hotel Dornoch and the Royal Marine Hotel Brora.

The Plockton Inn, run by Kenny and Mary Gollan and Susan Trowbridge for the last 25 years, will retain its name following the takeover and become part of the Highland Coast Hotels Collection.

It came up for sale towards the end of 2020 with the sellers seeking offers over £1,500,000.

As with its other hotels, the company will set up a community liaison group in Plockton which will act as a forum for locals to give feedback on the group’s plans.

Anybody living within a 15-mile radius of the Plockton Inn will also be eligible for the new Highland Coast Hotels Community Card which provides a 30 per cent discount in its restaurants and bars, all year round, and a 50 per cent discount off an overnight stay at any hotel, from October to March inclusive.

Highland Coast Hotels says as it ‘evolves’ the guest experience at the Plockton Inn, suppliers and experience providers in the local area are invited to get in touch.

The group adds that it wants to offer exciting opportunities for those companies to expand and develop, with the potential for new businesses to be created in and around Plockton which, in turn, should create further tourism and hospitality careers.

Highland Coast Hotels chairman, David Whiteford, explained: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be acquiring The Plockton Inn, one of the West Coast’s best-loved hotels.

‘It’s a daunting prospect to be picking up the baton from Kenny and Mary Gollan and Susan Trowbridge, who have nurtured and developed the hotel into such a landmark in this beautiful part of the world.

‘However, with a clear focus on working closely with the local communities around our properties, and investing back into the local economy, we very much hope we can add even further value to the hotel and the surrounding area.

‘We will continue to operate the hotel on a year-round basis and expect to create further permanent employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly through our support of local producers and activity providers.

‘Whilst its early days, we have exciting plans for the hotel, which we anticipate will undergo a substantial refurbishment this coming winter.’

Highland Coast Hotels also stated that existing employees at the Plockton Inn will be ‘positively impacted’ by the group’s status as a Scottish Living Wage Employer, with wage increases to reflect this, alongside additional training and development opportunities for the 30-strong team which will grow in size as the hotel is integrated within the wider group.

Company CEO Roddy Watt added: ‘As someone who was brought up in a hotel on the West Coast at Ballachulish, I am thrilled to be involved in another wonderful hotel in this beautiful part of the world.

‘I very much look forward to meeting the many members of the local community and to working with all to support the Plockton Inn on the next stage of its journey of excellence.’

Mr Gollan commented: ‘After 25 years of ownership of the Plockton Inn, Mary, Susan and I are very sad to be handing over our wonderful hotel after all these years.

‘It has been a source of huge satisfaction and pride to us, and we will be forever grateful for the unstinting support we have received from the local community, and our many regular guests from further afield.

‘To you all, thank you. We have also been very mindful of ensuring that we only sell the hotel to a company that we believe shares our values, and will carry on the hard work we have personally invested over the years.

‘We are delighted to be selling to Highland Coast Hotels and from our dealings with the senior team, we believe they will build on our legacy. We wish them every success in taking the Plockton Inn on the next stage of its journey.

‘We also very much see that the opportunities for our team will be opened-up by being part of a larger organisation, and one that clearly respects the importance of community, understands this part of the world, and is very focused on supporting the local economy and the broader environmental agenda.’