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St Clair Hotel, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7AJ

Leisure for sale

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Outstanding 34-Bedroom Hotel in a Prominent Location within busy Town of Thurso.

• Substantial 3-Star (VisitScotland) seasonal Highland hotel with a superb reputation.

• Excellent central trading location within the thriving and popular town of Thurso.

• Consistently high year-on-year trading accounts with outstanding profit conversion ratios.

• 34 comfortable letting bedrooms and extensive public facilities catering for large groups.

• A highly successful business with a simple business model that would suit a new or experienced operator or group purchase.

• Further potential for trading expansion into a year-round operation.


The St Clair Hotel is an excellently operated business with a strong roadside presence in the heart of Thurso. This substantial property trades from 34 letting bedrooms plus spacious public areas. Easily accessible by road and rail links, the St Clair Hotel richly deserves its 3-Star (VisitScotland) Hotel accreditation as it provides an excellent range of facilities with high service levels. The business' enviable trading location makes it an ideal venue for locals and the broad range of clientele visiting Thurso and the wider Caithness and North Sutherland area. Within the town and broader communities the St Clair Hotel has an excellent reputation trading on the three traditional income streams of beverage sales, catering and accommodation.

The present owners have operated the Hotel since Jan 2006 and during their tenure have maintained an on-going programme of refurbishment and renovation bringing this business and property to the market in generally excellent condition. Investment in both the fabric of the building and the sustainability of trade are evident. It is the desire to semi-retire and a change of business direction that brings this prestigious business to the market.


The St Clair Hotel derives a high proportion of its income through the direct provision of accommodation plus the requirements generated by overnight guests thus making this a fairly simple business model. The 34 en-suite rooms are presented to a high standard attracting a range of clientele from business travellers to tourists. The hotel caters for coach groups who travel to Caithness from across Europe and further afield. In addition, there continues to be strong demand from business support from larger employers within the area such as The Dounreay Nuclear Power Development Establishment and Scrabster Harbour which attract a significant number of visitors to the region. With an increased focus upon renewable energy the region has attracted various wind farms and is set to lead the field in tidal energy using the strong tides of the Pentland Firth; both generating a high level of business. The popular North Coast 500 tourist route is also attracting a high number of visitors to the area increasing demand for bed nights during the main season.

The business trades on a seasonal basis commencing trade on 1st May and continuing until 30th September. This trading model ensures that the business operates to an exceptionally high occupancy level, generating a high level of gross profit from what is a restricted turnover. The business achieved an adjusted net profit of £156,000 for the season ending 2015. New operators could expand the trading pattern to open year-round and during the day for casual lunch-time diners thereby generating greater income.


The popular town of Thurso is located on the north east coast of Scotland within the county of Caithness. Situated on the Thurso River estuary the town has a population of about 9,000. The area is renowned for its association with tourism and field sports. For salmon anglers there is a wide variety of excellent rivers and the region is a prime Scottish destination for wild brown trout angling. There is also ample opportunity to partake in sea fishing from Scrabster harbour. Such are wildlife numbers that a sustainable cull of deer and sporting birds brings stalkers and shooters to the area, generally in the winter months. For the general tourist, there are plenty of options to keep them entertained or engaged. Golfers are well provided for with 18-hole courses at Thurso itself plus nearby Wick and Reay. Day trips to Orkney to visit numerous sites of archaeological interest is always popular. The Castle of Mey to the east, Dunrobin Castle to the south or perhaps a day out to John O'Groats are all very much key attractions. Caithness is an area rich in wildlife and ornithologists are frequent visitors, attracted by the golden eagle, hen harrier, peregrine falcon, short eared owl, numerous other birds of prey and both black and red grouse. Puffin on nearby cliffs, red throated divers on a hill loch and corncrake sightings are other attractions.

Thurso is a centre of commerce and has a great many services and facilities. Most types of retail outlets are provided for within the town, as are social and welfare facilities. There is schooling up to secondary education.


The St Clair Hotel is a substantial property with a significant footprint. Developed from a row of town-houses, the original building dates from around the mid-1800s. The property extends to a most prominent frontage, standing on one of the key roads in the town with on-road parking to the front and side.


Customer entry to the hotel is facilitated by an entrance at street level leading directly to the spacious reception. There is a second entrance into the public bar. The reception area is set to attractive soft seating and occasional tables. The dining room can comfortably seat up to 74 guests and is located off the reception to the right. Moreover, the kitchen is situated just off the dining room which aids swift and efficient service. The dining room is decorated to a good standard with a mix of wall lighting and spot lights providing a pleasant ambience. To the left of the reception is the lounge which has an array of soft furnishing to accommodate 16 customers plus a writing desk. This room is attractively decorated with low hanging ceiling lights and unusual pictures. From the lounge guests gain access to the bar with its characterful wooden servery and modern fixtures and fittings. The bar is open to guests and locals alike, this area is beautifully presented with a most relaxing ambience. Accommodating around 32 guests, the bar is set with modern fixed and freestanding furniture. There are unisex and disabled W.Cs available on the ground floor.


The hotel has 34 letting bedrooms all with good quality en-suite shower facilities. Room 101 has a separate shower and bath, and Room 5 has a bath with shower over. The rooms are well-appointed with comfortable fixtures and fittings plus benefitting from a good standard of decor. Similar to most aspects of the business, the vendors have undertaken a rolling programme of upgrades and improvements making all rooms attractive. All bedrooms benefit from central heating, tea/coffee making facilities and digital TV. Located on the ground floor, first floor and second floor, the bedrooms are configured as follows;

Ground Floor

1 - Single

2 - Twin

3 - Single

4 - Twin

5 - Double and Single

6 - Double

7 - Double

First Floor

101 - Twin

102 - Double

103 - Twin

104 - Double

105 - Double

106 - Single

107 - Twin

108 - Double

109 - Twin

110 - Double

111 - Triple (3 singles)

112 - Double

114 - Double

115 - Single

116 - Twin

117 - Twin

118 - Single

119 - Twin

120 - Double and Single

Second Floor

201 - Double

202 - Double

203 - Single

204 - Single

205 - Twin

206 - Double

207 - Twin

208 - Single


There is no staff or owners accommodation within the hotel. However, there would be scope to utilise some of the letting rooms as owners accommodation should the need arise.


The hotel has a most comprehensive open-plan commercial kitchen with spacious work spaces. The kitchen is superbly fitted out and well-equipped with walk-in fridge plus excellent storage facilities. The business has an office adjacent to the reception area and there are a number of general stores throughout the building. There is a beer cellar to the rear of the bar. In addition there are separate storage areas throughout the premises. The business has its laundry requirements outsourced. There is a boiler-room to the rear of the property.


The hotel is situated on a main thoroughfare leading through Thurso. There is on-road parking plus ample public parking within the town centre. There are some grounds to the rear of the hotel with storage sheds for general use.


The business benefits from mains electricity, water and drainage. The hotel has gas fired central heating and utilises gas for cooking. Hotel Water is supplied by 3 combi-boilers. The business is fully Fire Compliant and meets all EHO standards (2017)


The St Clair Hotel has a strong and sustainable trading history with net profit for year ending 30 Nov 2015 at c£156,000. Full accounting information will be made available to seriously interested parties subsequent to formal viewing.

Listed Features

  • Storage Facility
  • Development
  • Storage
  • Reception
  • Parking
  • Office
  • Open Plan
  • Lounge Area
  • Refurbished
  • Kitchen
  • WC Facilities
  • Hotel
  • Multiple floors
  • Modern Design
  • Showers
  • Heating
  • Catering
  • Furnished
Target price
Target size
Chosen features
Property Marketed By
ASG Commercial Ltd