Caroline Gregory plans to expand The Lovat, a 28-bedroom hotel in Fort Augustus, with a new kitchen and additional rooms. The investment is geared towards retaining the hotel's appeal among repeat customers and to help it attract staff from further afield.
Ms Gregory, who has an MA in law and business management from the University of Glasgow, worked in events management in London before investing in The Lovat with parents David and Geraldine in 2005.
Two years later the family, who have a long tradition in the hotel industry, invested £1 million to revamp the property. The project included the installation of a biomass boiler as one of a range of measures designed to enhance the building's environmental efficiency, which remains fundamental to its operation.
Ms Gregory has since invested £100,000 in a second biomass boiler that has allowed The Lovat to participate in the government's Renewable Heat Incentive.
In exchange for its initial investment in the technology, the hotel receives up to £25,000 a year from the government on account of the renewable energy it generates.
The hotelier said the forthcoming extension, which is still at the planning stage, is part of a continual drive for improvement at the hotel, which pitches itself at the "high end" of the three-star market. It is also designed to aid The Lovat's bid for a third AA rosette for its food.
Ms Gregory, who has seen turnover at the hotel grow from £350,000 to £1m under her stewardship, said: "As business develops you suddenly realise the pitfalls. You realise the things you do need to improve to make your business more streamlined, so that you are more efficient, so that you can take more customers and so that everything works more fluidly.
"It is a constant look at change, really. It's a constant improvement you are looking to do to the property, so any issues we have, we have to turn them around and think, OK, how can we make it better for the business? How can we make it better for customers, for the staff?"
The Lovat, which employs 25 staff during peak season, saw occupancy edge up from 65% in 2011 to 66% last year. This month occupancy is running at 70% on the back of a bumper summer season.
Ms Gregory said the hotel has had a "fantastic" year to date but conceded trade remains "unpredictable".
Ms Gregory said: "It is not even one month that has been unpredictable - sometimes it boils down to days.
"One day you will be relatively quiet and the next day you will end up doing 60 to 70 meals. There is no rhyme nor reason to it.
"It makes it very difficult for staff, just to be organised and prepared. It affects all departments.
"It is paramount to make sure there is cross-departmental working, so you that you have staff who are flexible, staff who can share experiences and knowledge between the different departments."
Ms Gregory noted that attracting staff remains a perennial struggle given the hotel's rural location.
The hotel enjoys the loyalty of a "handful" of locals who have worked at The Lovat for several years, but must look further afield to make up the numbers.
Ms Gregory said it can be difficult to compete for staff with hotels in the big cities because of the attractions they offer young people.
However the hotel is proving attractive to international students who are looking to work in the tourism hospitality sector. In November a marketing student from The Netherlands is coming to work in The Lovat.
Another challenge the business faces is to provide accommodation for staff when arrive for a season, which Ms Gregory said is another factor behind the forthcoming extension.
She said: "I really struggle for accommodation. I have 10 staff bedrooms at the hotel but it is not enough for 25 staff members. I have had to take on property in the village for the staff, which I am subsidising because they cannot afford the property that I am renting too them. It is really tough."
The Lovat also has sister hotel, The Torridon in Wester Ross, which is owned by her sister Rohaise and husband Daniel Rose-Bristow and holds three AA red stars.