5-fold growth pays dividends
A hotel in Inverness’ historic quarter is celebrating being upgraded to 4 Stars, cementing 5-fold growth and millions of investment over the last 17 years.
The Glen Mhor Hotel and Apartments on the city’s postcard Ness Bank has moved from 3 to 4 Stars following a new VisitScotland Quality Assurance Report undertaken on the 6th December.
The recognition represents a huge boost to owners and staff, with the business seeing significant growth, including an innovative on-site Sustainability Centre powered by water from the River Ness.
In the last 12 months, a programme of room refurbishments and staff development has raised standards further, despite tremors in the UK economy caused by the cost-of-living crisis.
Owners Victoria and Jon Erasmus also opened the new Uile-bheist Distillery and Brewery on the site this year; the first whisky distillery to open in Inverness since 1892.
“This award is the icing on the cake in a challenging year when we are coming out of Covid and have also opened a new business venture and moved to a sustainable way of operating.
“It’s a real morale boost and testament to the dedication of our staff and management, especially our culinary team led by Executive Chef Andrew Lee, whose commitment to food quality is impeccable,” said co-owner, Victoria Erasmus.
Since the owners took over in 2006, the hotel has grown from 26 bedrooms to 120 bedrooms and apartments, achieved in part by the acquisition of neighbouring properties on Ness Bank.
Millions have been invested in the pioneering Sustainability Centre which uses shallow water wells to produce green energy, with the addition of Solar PV panels. Environmental sustainability plays a key part in the owners’ ethos and the business has committed to achieving Net Zero targets.
That investment has removed the hotel from the gas grid, with the exception of the Waterside Restaurant which will be moved over to renewable power within 18 months.
Writing in the final Grading Report, inspectors stated: “Since the previous visit in 2022 there has been a significant amount of investment in upgrading the hotel, including further room upgrades and significant staff training alongside the behind- the- scenes costs of installing a groundbreaking energy centre.”
Victoria Erasmus says the improvements at the Glen Mhor are reflective of a drive for high standards for guests and to ensure the business and staff have a solid foundation.
“We’ve been future-proofing the business for the next generation – not an easy task given the current economic climate.” she said.
“We are a family business operating, essentially, old townhouses in a historic area but we have managed to introduce sustainable technology and practices which ensures the local area and environment are protected for the future.
“This year, we have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in room renovations and equally invested in staff training, career development and Fair Work policies because our people are at the heart of everything we do.
“We are thrilled by this acknowledgment and eagerly anticipate the upcoming phases in our growth development plan.”
Victoria was last week awarded a Wellness charter by charity, Hospitality Health, for measures introduced to support the mental wellbeing of staff and guests.