Ardbeg has announced plans for a multi-million pound renovation of a well-known hotel near its distillery to create a luxury whisky and hospitality experience for island residents and visitors.

Acquired by Ardbeg in 2022, the Islay Hotel in Port Ellen will run in its current guise until late summer 2024, with all existing bookings honoured. It will then be closed for extensive renovations before re-opening in May 2025 under a new name, Ardbeg House.

During the renovation, all hotel staff will be retained and temporarily redeployed to other roles on the island.

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Chief executive Caspar MacRae said Ardbeg, which has been distilling its smoky single malt on Islay for more than 200 years, aims to create a world-class whisky experience with a "distinctly Ardbeggian" style. The plans include the creation of an exclusive space for hotel residents and members of the "Ardbeg Committee", a club of the brand's followers, on the lower ground floor offering games, a whisky cave, and "after-hours-style warmth".

“We are dedicated to making our island a great place to live and visit," Mr MacRae said. "So we are tremendously excited about our plans to create a world-class whisky and hospitality experience for Islay residents, visitors to the island and committee members.

"We welcome all to come and explore the best of Islay. While the hotel will, of course, be a spiritual home for the most ardent Ardbeggians, we promise even those just getting to know the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt, will leave lifelong fans.”

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Interior designer Russell Sage Studio, which also worked on the transformation of the distillery's visitor centre, will lead on the hotel's redesign which will include a reimagined bar and courtyard called The Islay Bar. Named after the hotel’s much-loved former watering hole which closed years ago, it will be designed as a hub to bring together local residents and visitors.

Other changes include a new-look restaurant on the ground floor which will be open to non-residents, along with a private dining room for special occasions. Bedrooms and suits will be redesigned in a "quirky" style based on the stories of Islay.

In addition, the hotel will serve an exclusive Ardbeg whisky currently only available at the distillery visitor centre.