Sold £585,000 - Bed & Breakfast, Cafe, Guest House, Hotel
31 Braemar Road, Ballater, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5RQ
A unique and important landmark church building situation in a superb trading location within Royal Deeside. 7 en-suite bedrooms (4-Star Gold Award AA and 4-Star STB standard). Day time coffee shop with 24 covers plus lounge area of 18 covers. Located in an area of stunning natural beauty in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Spacious and well appointed owner’s living accommodation. Significant development potential within the upper floor subject to consents. Further scope to develop the business by the introduction of an evening and enhanced lunch time meal service.
The Auld Kirk is a most stunning detached property and can only be described as a rare opportunity for those looking to acquire a business with a unique character in a superb trading location. A converted church, the building was changed into a hotel in c1983. The business generates a sound and increasing turnover. Income is mainly generated from the operation of the day time coffee lounge and letting the seven quality en-suite bedrooms.
Throughout the property it is evident that the current owners have invested heavily to ensure that they provide an experience of quality and comfort for their guests. From 2006 to 2012 the present owners operated The Auld Kirk as a high-end restaurant with rooms gaining many accolades including 2 AA rosettes for the quality of food and service on offer and Grampian Restaurant of the year. They now offer a high quality coffee lounge with bed & breakfast. In addition afternoon teas are served in the lounge area (former restaurant). Their passion for the catering aspects of their business however means that they also cater for small to medium sized functions and intimate wedding parties.
The vendors have chosen to operate this wonderful business on a restricted basis to suit their personal lifestyle preferences. They restrict through choice the number of staying guests and also mainly work a 5 day per week, however, it is estimated that accommodation and coffee lounge income alone could generate above £160,000. Should new owners wish to trade the business to a higher level they could easily provide main meals at lunchtime and also open in the evenings to provide a restaurant service.
The vendors would be happy to show interested parties their historic trading figures. The present owners undertake their business activities with the support of a small but motivated team. It is the vendors desire to retire that brings this tremendous prospect to the market.
The Auld Kirk is located within the Royal Deeside village of Ballater which lies 42 miles West of Aberdeen amid beautiful countryside in the Cairngorms National Park and is within easy reach of Balmoral, the Scottish holiday home of the Royal family. The village has a primary school; secondary education is at Aboyne. Near-by Braemar, famous for its annual Highland Gathering, draws tourists from all over the world. Ballater has a population of circa 1500. The Auld Kirk is within a few minutes’ walk of the town centre.
Aberdeen is the closest City with a full range of social and welfare amenities plus an international airport. The area in general is a haven for the outdoor enthusiast with a wide and varied range of sporting activities. The region has excellent hill walking and to the south-west of Ballater is Loch Muick from where experienced walkers can head up the prominent mountain, Lochnagar.
Ballater is the home of many challenging walks due to the abundance of Munros in the area. In addition there are the on/off road cycling facilities and the ski centres at Aviemore, Glenshee and the Lecht, all within a short travelling distance.
For the fisherman, the River Dee is one of the most popular salmon rivers in Scotland and the River Don is famous for its trout. Deer stalking and grouse shooting can be rented in the locality. However, Ballater is a tremendous location from which to base oneself to see a wide area of the Highlands of Scotland whether visiting castles, distilleries or just taking in the unsurpassed scenery.
The property is a former church which was renovated into a modern Hotel in c1983. This detached property was built in the mid-1800s and has been sensitively renovated providing a distinctive and high quality home and business opportunity. The accommodation aspects are set over two floors with a most spacious attic area which has tremendous character and potential for further development. Throughout the quality of décor is of an exemplary standard and the fixtures and fittings are reflective of a 4-Star Gold standard. Of stone construction under a pitched slate roof, the property has a unique blend of characteristics.
Entry to the Auld Kirk is well sign-posted and is gained through the steeple entrance with its solid double wooden doors which leads to a vestibule and thereafter into a spacious reception area where there is a pulpit fashioned reception desk. From the reception is a corridor that leads to the full length of the ground floor giving access to all areas.
Immediately adjacent to the reception is an attractive licensed coffee lounge area with stunning karndean floors and feature bar made from antique pew ends and colour changing LED lighting. This relaxing area can comfortably accommodate up to 24 guests.
Across from the lounge area is the stunning lounge space which can seat up to 18 guests in its present configuration. However as a restaurant it seated up to 30 covers. The restaurant/lounge has an atmosphere that is entirely in keeping with the history of the building but reflects the high standards of a modern catering facility. With its original church windows, ornate chandeliers and architecture allowing for the flow of natural light, this attractive area also benefits from an ambience generated by inspirational lighting and attractive artworks. The lounge is a sensational feature of this property. From the main corridor access is gained to ladies, gents and disabled washrooms.
The 7 letting bedrooms are situated on the first floor to sleep 14 guests and are configured as follows: Room 1 King en-suite with shower. Room 2 King-size en-suite with shower. Room 3 Superior double with en-suite with bath and shower plus Jack and Jill wash hand basins. Room 4 Superior Twin (zip and link beds) with en-suite shower. Room 5 double with en-suite shower. Room 6 Single or double with en-suuite shower. Room 7 Twin en-suite with shower (the sofa in this room can be converted to a single bed also) making this an ideal family room.
All bedrooms are exceptionally well presented with outstanding décor and high quality furnishings. These spacious and well equipped rooms come with TV, with radio, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer and iron and ironing board and internal telephone.
The commercial kitchen is professionally fitted-out with a wide range of excellent quality equipment. Fully meeting EHO standards, the kitchen is designed to cater to a high standard of cuisine. Off the kitchen is a pot-wash room. The business office is situated to the rear of the reception counter. There are numerous storage and housekeeping cupboards, plus a laundry on the ground floor. An attractive feature of this property and business is the easy to maintain grounds which are mainly laid to gravel.
There is outdoor seating area for up to 20 guests. New tables and large parasols have improved this area to add to the overall guest experience. To the rear of the subjects is a private yard, with a raised border. The front of the church is laid to gravel. The property enjoys off-road parking, with a car port to the rear. There is also significant free and unrestricted on-road parking.
The owner’s accommodation provides a most comfortable and stylish home for the owners. Set to an open plan kitchen, dining area and lounge this living space is a modern and attractive feature of this sale. The kitchen is set with modern wall and floor storage units, an electric hob / oven and a fridge and separate freezer and sink. The dining area and spacious lounge are configured in an ‘L’ shape with an ornate marble fire place. The owners have a smart double en-suite shower-room. This spacious and comfortable suite of rooms is situated on the ground floor providing for ease of response to customer needs and also benefits from a private external access.
There is an extensive attic area for which full planning was granted in October 2012, to convert to a two bed roomed flat. This could be used for owner’s accommodation which would release further letting accommodation on the ground floor, this has now expired but could be easily resubmitted. Plans were also drawn and submitted to covert the Auld Kirk to eight residential flats, this was also approved; however the owners withdrew this application and did not proceed. The space would lend itself to a number of uses including adding further guest accommodation. The plans and paperwork could be made available to prospective purchasers.
The property is on mains electricity and utilises mains drainage. Heating is electrical and LPG gas is used for range cooking only. The property is mainly double glazed. The building is fully fire compliant.
The business operates a license under the Licensing Scotland Act 2005 and a copy of this will be made available to interested parties post viewing.