A MORAY hotel has been sold to a Far East-based group, after being put on the market with a £3.5 million guide price.

Lake Merritt Group, which is based in Thailand and already owns Braid Hills Hotel in Edinburgh and Windermere Hydro, has bought the feuhold property and business of the 52-bedroom Eight Acres Hotel in Elgin from Crerar Hotel Group. It described the deal as “magnificent”. Crerar Hotel Group said the deal was part of its “right-sizing strategy”.

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The sale of the hotel, which includes a large bar, the Darroch restaurant, meeting and conference rooms, and a leisure complex with a swimming pool, was brokered by real estate adviser Colliers International.

Julian Troup, head of UK hotels agency at Colliers, said: “The marketing of Eight Acres Hotel...attracted a healthy level of interest. The sale is indicative of a wider trend of increased demand for quality provincial hotel opportunities from a diverse range of potential buyers, [including] international investors attracted by weaker sterling and improving trading prospects, private buyers seeking the benefits of a lifestyle opportunity and corporate investors focused on favourable returns.”

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Prab Thakral, an adviser to Lake Merritt, said: “The Eight Acres Hotel is Lake Merritt Group’s second hotel in Scotland and fourth in [the] UK and we are aggressively and diligently expanding our hotel portfolio, as we have a long-term positive view in [the] UK’s hospitality industry as a whole.”

Paddy Crerar, chief executive of Crerar Hotel Group, said: “This sale...is another key milestone in our right-sizing strategy...The agreed deal was simply too generous for us to ignore.”

Colliers said Crerar Hotel Group now has a “reduced portfolio of seven key hotels within their portfolio and remain fully committed to the Scottish tourism sector, having reinvested more than £10m back into the estate as a result of the recent sales”.