Highland Coast Hotels has announced the official reopening of the Plockton Inn and The Tongue Hotel on the North Coast 500 route, following four-month refurbishment programmes costing a total of £1.8 million.

Both properties, which were acquired by Highland Coast Hotels last year, are now welcoming overnight guests and diners following their reopening.

The Tongue Hotel, a former 19th century sporting lodge, now offers 19 individually styled guest rooms and a newly refurbished restaurant and bar, all overseen by general manager Marcel Wassen.

Highland Coast Hotels noted Tongue “enjoys breath-taking views over the Kyle of Tongue, Ben Loyal and Ben Hope”.

It added that The Tongue Hotel’s new 40-cover "destination" restaurant, Varrich, “takes inspiration from the remains of Castle Varrich on the headland opposite”.

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Head chef Sumit Dhar is leading a team of seven to offer seasonal menus that “showcase the best local producers and suppliers from across the North Highlands”, including Ardgay Game, seafood supplier Bells of Scrabster, and West Drumliah Fruit Farm of Bonar Bridge, Highland Coast Hotels said.

Paul Arcarias has been appointed as the new general manager of the Plockton Inn, which has been reduced from 14 rooms to 12 to allow for larger ensuite bathrooms for selected rooms.

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The makeover of the Plockton Inn also includes "Sorley’s House" in the building opposite, which takes its name from Scottish poet Sorley MacLean, who lived on the site for a number of years.

The Plockton Inn's newly refurbished, 80-cover restaurant and bar retains the existing period features, “whilst taking contemporary design inspiration from its location, quality of light and fishing boats on the shores of Loch Carron”, Highland Coast Hotels said.

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Head chef Steven New, and portfolio head chef Eric Lionnet are leading a team of eight at the inn to offer seasonal menus which the hotels group said would be “brimming with local produce, including wonderfully fresh langoustines from Loch Carron known locally as Plockton prawns”. The bar menu will showcase local ales from Plockton and whisky from Torabhaig, Raasay and Talisker distilleries.

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Highland Coast Hotels highlighted the fact that Plockton was the location for popular 1990s BBC television series Hamish Macbeth, starring Robert Carlyle.

David Whiteford, chairman of Highland Coast Hotels, said: “We’re extremely proud to have reached this significant milestone in the development of Highland Coast Hotels.

“We’ve reopened the doors to The Tongue Hotel and Plockton Inn, unveiling our contemporary makeover for these two iconic and historic hotels. As with each of our six venues across the North Highlands, our focus continues to be on creating environmentally friendly hotels and supporting local communities, suppliers, producers, designers and artists.”

He added: “Guests can look forward to our famous Highland welcome in areas of outstanding natural beauty, as well as sampling the best local, seasonal food and drink. “Tongue benefits from its position on the world-famous North Coast 500 and Plockton is renowned as ‘The Jewel of the Highlands’, overlooking Loch Carron.”

Highland Coast Hotels noted the redevelopment of The Tongue Hotel and the Plockton Inn had been supported by economic and community development agency Highlands & Islands Enterprise.

The hotels group noted that it had, since 2021, acquired another four of the region’s "landmark hotels", including Kylesku Hotel, overlooking Loch Gleann Dubh in the far West Highlands, Newton Lodge overlooking Loch Glencoul, the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch, on the first tee of "one of the top four most revered links golf courses in the world", and the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora, "close to popular golf courses, stunning beaches and world-renowned distilleries". 

The Scottish National Investment Bank has invested millions of pounds in Highland Coast Hotels.