By Kristy Dorsey

The toll of lockdown measures on Scotland’s hospitality sector is continuing to gather pace following confirmation that the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The closure of the four-star facility, a Victorian mansion set on 18 acres of land, will result in the loss of 68 jobs. Located three miles outside of the city, Ardoe House was a popular venue for conferences and weddings, with 120 rooms as well as a restaurant, bars and spa.

It is the latest in a string of luxury accommodation providers to close their doors, with Gleneagles Hotel shut until the end of January and the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews shut until further notice. Both establishments are monitoring updates on safety guidance with the intention of re-opening when conditions allow.

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Ardoe House was already suffering from the local downturn in Aberdeen triggered by the collapse in oil prices. The onset of the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year added to cash flow pressures as the hotel was unable to recover normal levels of training.

“Unfortunately, the hospitality sector has been among the hardest-hit by the pandemic with the forced closure last spring having devastating consequences for the Ardoe House Hotel,” said Ken Pattullo of corporate recovery specialist Begbies Traynor, which is working with the directors of the hotel. “With Aberdeen currently in Level 2 and coronavirus restrictions continuing, the directors felt the hotel was no longer viable and had no choice but to put the business into liquidation.

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“In the face of ongoing uncertainty due to the health measures implemented to help combat the global pandemic, there was no way of saving the business and the jobs it supported. It is sad to see the closure of such a popular hotel.”

The hotel is owned by MSB Admiral, a UK company set up by Malaysian businessmen Wai Hin Choy and Wai Ceong Choy. MSB purchased the property in January 2018.