A Glasgow bar owner and hotelier has hailed the acquisition of a large Highland hotel.

The 103-room premises is one of the most northerly mainland hotels in Scotland, sitting on the North Coast 500 tourist route, and was on the market for offers over £1.8 million.

The Royal Hotel in Thurso is the fifth addition to the portfolio of Melville Hotels, alongside the Royal Dunkeld, MacDonald Hotel, Kinlochleven, Grey Gull Hotel, Loch Fyne and Loch Long Hotel, Arrochar, in six years.

The hotel was marketed by Drysdale and Company on behalf of  MGM Muthu of India, which bought five hotels including the Newton in Nairn, the Alexandra in Oban, and the Royal in 2017.

The new owner plans to refurbish the hotel, which also has a 120-cover restaurant and a bar, before it reopens.

READ MORE: £20 million luxury hotel plans unveiled

The hotel, which did not reopen after lockdown, will close again later this year for further renovation to take place during the winter.

Thomas Melville, a property owner who also has Kilts and Kocktails in Sauchiehall Street and the Bay Horse in Bath Street, said he is currently recruiting staff for the Thurso hotel.

The Herald: A view down Loch Fyne, where the Grey Gull Hotel is situatedA view down Loch Fyne, where the Grey Gull Hotel is situated (Image: Getty)

He said: “The hotel in itself, we know exactly what it needs, we know it needs massive improvement and we know it’s on the NC500.

“We’ve been wanting to come up to the NC500 for a few years now.

“We are excited for this we have already been inundated. There are two things that really give us good hopes."

READ MORE: Inside the 'hidden gem' Highland hotel 

He continued: “We are inundated with trade, obviously coaching companies from all round the world that we already deal with, being desperate for bed space on the NC500.

“There is limited bed space and bed space of that size.

“Also, the leisure trade through the social media ports. We already getting people saying can we book? We have still to set a date for opening.

“We have already taken massive coach bookings from June onwards and I hope to open the week before the coaches arrive for the leisure trade to bed the staff in.”

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He added: “This year the guests won’t see where we’ve had to splash the cash because it is all behind the scenes.

"We intend to open with a minimal refurb and we will then close down in October and our full team will come up and refurb in the winter.

“Generally the business model is we do buy hotels that are in great locations but that maybe haven’t been decorated or done up in modern times.

“I’ve got my own small team who have worked with me for 20 years now.

“Originally we started buying properties and doing them up and selling them, now we buy hotels and my team basically three-quarters of the year is going round my hotels, living on site and painting them up."

The hotel, marketed at £1.8m, was sold for an undisclosed sum.