The Murray family [L-R]: Steph, Marie, Robert, Lauren
Owners of a highly successful hotel in Moray have purchased a second premise with support from Royal Bank of Scotland.
The Archiestown Hotel in the village of Archiestown has been acquired by the Shawfern Group, which has already successfully turned the nearby Dowans hotel in Aberlour into a destination venue for the region.
Family owned and operated, the business has begun an extensive renovation of the Archiestown, which is set to reopen in the second quarter of 2019. The relaunch will bring 30 jobs to the local community and provide a boost for local tourism by bringing high-quality accommodation to some of the thousands of visitors who visit Speyside each year.
Led by Michael Murray, his wife Marie, and daughters Steph and Lauren, the Shawfern Group has ambitious plans for the Archiestown, having grown the Dowans Hotel six-fold since taking the reins in 2012. Once complete the freshly renovated hotel will offer 11 rooms, a cocktail bar, restaurant and private dining room among other amenities.
Combined with the offering at the nearby Dowans, the hotels will effectively serve the areas on both sides of the Spey Valley, playing host to the local community, businesses and tourists in luxury boutique-style accommodation with views over the valley. Guests will also be able to take advantage of a range of versatile venue hire opportunities for weddings and conferences, etc.
Michael Murray, director at the Shawfern Group, said: “Aberlour has long been a region rich in tourism, thanks to the 56 distilleries in the area, coupled with castles, beautiful countryside and of course, the River Spey – popular for salmon fishing.
“We want the Archiestown to add to the reasons people visit the area, by creating a unique experience and opportunity for guests to stay in a beautiful hotel set in an equally breath-taking landscape. Once renovations are complete at the Archiestown our intentions are for the two hotels combined to offer something for everyone, whether that be for a drink, meal or as a luxury base to explore the region, or, as a venue suitable to host weddings or corporate away days.”
Tom Garner, relationship manager at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Murray family have done a fantastic job in realising their vision for the Dowans Hotel, and have an equally exciting plan for the Archiestown. The customer demand certainly exists, driven by the homegrown businesses and Moray’s large and growing tourist economy. We look forward to seeing the transformation and wish them the best of luck for the future.”
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