Glenmorangie Company snaps up Islay Hotel | Article

Sandra L. Pouncy

The Islay Hotel on Scotland’s ‘Whisky Coast’ has been acquired by local distiller Ardbeg, which is operated by The Glenmorangie Company, a subsidiary of the LVMH group for an undisclosed sum.

Situated at the heart of the island community in Port Ellen, The Islay Hotel overlooks the bay, harbour, marina and two sandy beaches, whilst also giving easy access to the island’s popular ‘Whisky Trail’.

From the hotel, guests can walk to several famous distilleries along the track, such as Laphroaig and Lagavulin, or Ardbeg.

The hotel underwent an “extensive” rebuild before its opening 11 years ago, and now features many eco-conscious elements such as high insulation and a geo-thermal heating system throughout its individually designed en-suite bedrooms and public areas, including a restaurant and whisky bar.

Previous owner, Roland Worthington-Eyre, who developed the hotel, sought the sale in order to retire.

He said: “The dream was to rebuild the Islay Hotel which had been closed for 20 years and I am really happy that was achieved. However, now it’s time for me to retire.

“I would like to thank all those who were involved in rebuilding, financing and running the hotel since it reopened in 2011, without whose dedication and loyalty it would not be the successful hotel it is today. I am delighted that LVMH want to take the Islay Hotel on the next stage of its journey and we all wish them the very best of luck.”

Gary Witham, Hotels director at Christie & Co who handled the sale, added: “This was a rare opportunity to acquire an island hotel built to modern, high quality standards, with sustainability at the forefront. The superb vision of the original developers has translated well for the Glenmorangie Company, demonstrating the island’s position as a prime Scottish tourist location, and it’s fantastic that a local company operated by the group will be taking the hotel forward.

“Additionally, the price achieved for the property shows the strength of buyer appetite for quality hotels in the Scottish Highlands and island, plus the benefit of a well-structured sales process.”

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