By Ian McConnell

A HOTEL in St Andrews which has been in the ownership of the same family for nearly two decades has been sold to Northern Irish private investment company Wirefox.

The three-star Ardgowan Hotel has been bought by Wirefox through its Marram Hotels business, for an undisclosed sum.

Wirefox said it “plans to operate the…Ardgowan Hotel in its current form, with the existing team in situ”.

Ardgowan Hotel will be the second property in the Marram Hotels portfolio, with Wirefox having acquired The Bushmills Inn in Northern Ireland earlier this year.

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Wirefox noted the hotel was “located within the heart of St Andrews and that “close neighbours include the renowned University of St Andrews and world-famous Old Course”.

Bought by Roy and Eliza McLachlan in 2003, the hotel is now run by the next generation of the family, brother and sister Duncan and Rachel, who are respectively director of catering and head chef, and director of marketing and business development.

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Roy McLachlan said: “It's a pleasure to be handing over the operation and ownership of the hotel to such a professional group. The hotel has enjoyed many years of excellent performance due to its wonderful staff and I am convinced that both the staff and the hotel will enjoy a very bright future.”

Kathryn Robinson, investment director at Wirefox, said: “It’s a great time for us to be adding the Ardgowan Hotel to our growing portfolio, with all indicators pointing towards a bumper year for golf enthusiasts off the back of The Open.

“Welcoming the current staff to Wirefox’s extended team, while continuing to trade, will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the business and continue to provide the much-loved service guests have become accustomed to. We’re grateful that the McLachlan family have agreed to work with us to ensure a smooth transition and we look forward to acting as custodian in the months and years ahead.”

Housed in a B-listed Georgian townhouse, designed by Scottish architect George Rae, the hotel has 36 ensuite bedrooms, seven of them in a section of the property dating back to 1820. The hotel’s Playfair's Restaurant and Steakhouse has been awarded an AA Rosette every year since 2015.