THE Atholl Hotel in Aberdeen has been put up for sale for the first time in 35 years as “much-respect hotelier” Gordon Sinclair plans to retire.

The hotel, house in a property built in 1880 and regarded as a Granite City institution, has been brought to market by Mr Sinclair and partner Richard Nicoll at offers over £3.5 million.

Mr Sinclair, who is 69, has been a hands-on partner at the hotel since 1996, though his links to the property stretch back even further. He started out as a hospitality trained at The Atholl from 1974 to 1978 under the guidance of Stewart and Sheila Spence.

While he had brief spells working in local hostelries such as Charlies, The Palm Court and The Craighar, as operations director alongside owner Ricky Simpson, Mr Sinclair has spent the bulk of his professional career at The Atholl.

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Mr Nicoll meanwhile plans to focus on other business interests including The Dutch Mill Hotel on Aberdeen’s Queen’s Road and The Broadstraik Inn, Elrick, which he acquired earlier this year. The Broadstraik is currently being refurbished and will reopen in autumn.

The Atholl, located on Kings Gate, has 34 ensuite rooms that can accommodate up to 62 guests. It also has two function rooms, a restaurant, bar, and lounge area which collectively seat 129 guests along with a car park for up to 64 vehicles.

Mr Sinclair said: “The Atholl is much-loved by locals and visitors alike. It’s been the highly enjoyable backdrop to the majority of my working life. It will be a wrench to leave but the time is right for me to retire and spend more time with family and friends.

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“I’ve been fortunate to work with an incredible team of dedicated hospitality professionals, many of whom have worked here in excess of 30 years. We’ve spent good times and more recently during the pandemic, some very challenging times together and throughout the consistent guest feedback has been heavily weighted towards comments about how special the staff are.”

The hotel has come to market as it enjoys an occupancy rate of 90 per cent, which compares with an average rate across the country of 70% in April, according to the RMS Hotel Tracker. The business attracts leisure and business customers from around the UK and overseas and, because of its proximity to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, patients, family visitors and medical professionals.

Mr Nicoll said: “One of the unexpected consequences of the pandemic is that, as the hospital works through the back log of cancelled appointments and operations, there’s more call for accommodation close the ARI complex. We’ve seen a significant rise in occupancy from this source.

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“The hotel is uniquely positioned in a quiet, west end location, yet within easy reach of the city centre and visitor attractions. The extensive car parking means that it’s an extremely attractive and popular option for business meetings in the function rooms.

“Gordon and I are confident that new owners will be taking on a thriving business which will continue to benefit from the lively mix of local diners, leisure and business guests and that The Atholl Hotel will remain the focus of family gatherings for Aberdonians.”

The hotel is being marketed by property firm Bruce & Co.