The fast-growing hotel division of London and Edinburgh Inns has snapped up three four-star hotels in the Scottish Highlands from Morton Hotels for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition has netted the company the 25-bedroom Royal Golf hotel near the Royal Dornoch Golf Course along with two properties near the Nairn Golf Club - the 56-bedroom Newton Hotel and Highland Conference Centre and the 42-bedroom Golf View hotel.
It leaves Morton Hotels (a division of family-owned Morton Properties) with one hotel, the 100-bedroom Westerwood hotel in Cumbernauld.
London and Edinburgh Inns, which has 100 managed and 550 tenanted pubs, has moved swiftly into the hotel market since it bought the last 13 Swallow hotels from Whitbread in September 2003,
London and Edinburgh Inns' long-term goal is to operate several hundred hotels, with initial expansion focused on the UK, according to Simon Downes, sales and marketing director for hotels.
Morton Hotels managing director Grant Sword - the son of the founder of Morton Properties - will stay on for a year on a part-time basis to oversee the smooth conversion of the three hotels to the Swallow brand.
Director Greta Anderson will transfer permanently to London and Edinburgh Inns.
The deal was announced just three days after London and Edinburgh Inns bought the Matlock hotel in Bath, the seventh hotel it has bought from Macdonald Hotels this year.
by Angela Frewin
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