Scottish castle hotel with ‘Madonna effect' is up for sale

01 July 2013 by
Scottish castle hotel with ‘Madonna effect' is up for sale

A castle hotel in the Scottish highlands, which has benefited from the "Madonna effect", has been put on the market for £2.5m.

The three-star, 25-bedroom Dornoch Castle hotel, located 40 miles north of Inverness, has been put up for sale after owners Colin and Ross Thompson decided to concentrate on other business ventures. It is the second time they have tried to sell the castle in the past two years.

Housed in a building which has been developed from the 15th century palace of the Bishop of Sutherland, the hotel is situated opposite Dornoch Cathederal, where Rocco, the son of Madonna and Guy Ritchie, was christened in 2000, just prior to the couple's wedding at nearby Skibo Castle.

Having acquired the hotel the same year, the Thompsons said that they experienced a "Madonna effect" with many overseas brides, particularly from the USA and Canada, wanting to marry in a highland setting like the pop star had done.

"Our close proximity to the Cathederal is an absolute winner," said Colin Thompson."We currently host around 15 weddings a year with many bridal parties hiring out the whole hotel."

In addition to its strong wedding business, the hotel also benefits from corporate whiskey and golf tours which stem from the Global Energy Group 10 miles away.

The hotel enjoys an annual turnover of more than £1m and occupancies of 90% in the high season and 50-60% during the rest of the year. Dornoch Castle hotel is being sold with planning permission for an extension which would incorporate 11 bedrooms and a 70-seat bistro.

"We feel that the new owner of this hotel will be taking on a cash cow in one of Scotland's most winning locations," added Thompson. "Dornoch Castle has been recession proof for us over the past six or seven years and we don't see that changing."

The Dornoch Castle hotel was put on the market by the Thompsons nearly two years ago, but it failed to sell.

Dornoch Castle hotel up for sale for £2.5m >>

Royal Golf hotel in Dornoch sold for £5m >>

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