THE future of Mar Hall, the luxury Renfrewshire hotel which fell into administration in August, looks to have been secured following a Middle East-led rescue deal.

In what may be seen as a much-needed vote of confidence in the Scottish hospitality industry, the five-star destination, which is based on the banks of the River Clyde in Bishopton, has been acquired by Dubai-based Dutco Group.

It is the first acquisition by Dutco, which has been backed by investment and asset management firm Align Partners, in Scotland, with Mar Hall joining its existing hotels in Dubai, the Maldives, Seychelles, and Marriott branded properties in the US.

And it looks to have brought an early Christmas present for the 120 staff employed at Mar Hall, who have been operating under a cloud since the category A listed resort collapsed into administration in August.

READ MORE: Scottish Greens deal major blow to hospitality sector

The 65-bedroom Mar Hall, which includes an 18-hole golf course, restaurants, and conference and banqueting suites, has since been trading under administration, led by experienced hotel management operator Michels and Taylor. That management deal has ended with immediate effect.

Mar Hall, which has operated as a hotel since 2004, had built up a reputation over the last two decades for attracting celebrity guests, such as Beyonce, Harry Styles, Brad Pitt, Liam Gallagher, and Ed Sheeran. The hotel, which is situated on the site of the former Erskine Hospital, has also provided a training base for the Scotland men’s football team.

But in August it was announced that Mar Estates Limited, trading as Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort, had fallen in administration. It was subsequently put on the market by administrators of EY-Parthenon’s turnaround and restructuring team through property firm Savills. The agent noted at the time that the hotel held planning permission granted for a further 80 new bedrooms across 20 luxury lodges with the grounds of the 97-hectare estate.

Now, Dutco and Align have pledged to invest £15 million to expand and upgrade the property, which dates from 1826 and was once home to the Earl of Mar, and restore its international reputation.

READ MORE: Firm chaired by former Rangers owner in profits fall

They bring notable experience of the hospitality industry to the property, with Dutco having delivered JA branded luxury hotel properties in Dubai, Maldives and Seychelles and Marriot brand in the US. Align Partners  manages and has equity investments in hotels such as The Morrison Dublin, Curio Collection by Hilton, Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa in Liverpool, and Powerscourt House & Gardens in Enniskerry, Ireland.

A statement said business will continue as normal under new ownership, with all pre-existing wedding, leisure and business bookings retained.

Nelson Gibb, group chief executive officer at Dutco Group, said: “This is our first hotel acquisition in Scotland which is recognised as a world-class destination for hospitality. This deal is testament to our confidence in Mar Hall and what we believe we can achieve through targeted and creative investment. We are looking forward to working with the Mar Hall team and our partners over the coming years to bring our vision to life.”

READ MORE: Crieff Hydro reports fall in profits as running costs soar

Chris King, managing director at Align Partners, added: “Mar Hall has strong fundamentals which made this hotel a solid proposition for us. In addition to its physical assets, its striking setting, coupled with its previous reputation for excellence, position it well for redevelopment. Our vision is to ensure it reaches its full potential and can compete with Scotland’s best five-star hotels, restoring its luxury country club reputation.

“As we embark on our aspirations, the hotel remains open for business and the wedding calendar will continue as scheduled.”

The acquisition was welcomed by Leon Thompson, executive director of UKHospitality Scotland, who told The Herald:  “It’s great to see high-calibre business groups Dutco and Align Partners investing in Scotland.

“Mar Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort is a wonderful venue, which has a strong reputation for delivering the very best of hospitality to guests from around the world. The investment, experience and ambition of the new owners, combined with the stunning venue, will ensure Mar Hall goes from strength to strength.

“This investment is also recognition of Scotland’s credentials as a world leading tourism and hospitality destination. That’s something we can all feel immensely proud of.”

Kris Aspin, head of EY Scotland’s turnaround and restructuring team said: “We are delighted to secure the future of Mar Hall. We received an exceptional level of interest in the resort from around the world, underlining the attractiveness of premium Scottish hospitality assets and Mar Hall’s significant potential. We are very grateful to the loyal team at Mar Hall for their support and we wish them and the new owners all the best for the future.”