Picturesque village

Highland Coast Hotels acquires historic Tongue Hotel and celebrates one year of investment in the region

Scotland – Scottish hospitality company Highland Coast Hotels has announced the acquisition of The Tongue Hotel as it also celebrates a year of investment in the North Highlands region.

This is the second hotel that Highland Coast Hotels has acquired in as many months, along with The Tongue Hotel after the recently purchased Plockton Inn. These new additions join the Kylesku Hotel and Newton Lodge in Unapool, the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch and the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora and ensure that the Group now has hotels located east to west and north to south in the North Highlands , offering a high quality welcome throughout the region and the North Shore 500 in particular.

After acquiring the Tongue Hotel, HCH has covered the NC500 route well and the company will now focus on improving the quality and range of experiences its guests can enjoy.

Built in the mid-1800s when owned by the Duke of Sutherland, the 19-room Tongue Hotel is an award-winning former sports lodge nestled in the picturesque village of Tongue on the north coast of the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Overlooking the magnificent Kyle of Tongue, the remarkable Ben Loyal, with Viking-built Varrich Castle in the foreground, The Tongue Hotel offers the visitor a glimpse into its historic past and is ideally placed as a center of tourism for those wishing explore and immerse yourself in this unique part of the country with a wealth of stunning views, beautiful unspoilt beaches and endless walking opportunities on the doorstep.

The Tongue Hotel will retain its name and become part of the Highland Coast Hotels Collection. There are plans for a complete refurbishment of all public areas (including the popular Brass Tap Bar) and a slight refurbishment of the rooms.

Highland Coast Hotels Chairman David Whiteford explains: “We are delighted to acquire The Tongue Hotel and build on the work of the previous custodians of such a historic and unique hotel. I look forward to the Highland Coast team joining the Tongue community as we put even greater emphasis on investing in the local economy by creating more careers and business opportunities in the area.We are keenly aware that the hotel is held in great affection by guests and the close-knit local community , and it is a responsibility we take very seriously as we develop our plans for the years to come.We are grateful for the continued support of the Scottish National Investment Bank which made the acquisition possible.

David and Lorraine Hook, outgoing owners of The Tongue Hotel, commented: “We have spent 15 wonderful years at The Tongue Hotel and are incredibly proud of all that we have achieved, but now is the time for us to hand over to Highland Coast Hotels. Thank you to those who have supported us, from our ever-enthusiastic team, to loyal customers and to the local Tongue community. We are reassured that you will be well taken care of by Highland Coast Hotels. Having worked closely with the team over the past year, we are sure that the group will only build on our successes and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the hotel.

Founded in the spring of 2021, Highland Coast Hotels has spent its first year investing in and developing independent hotels in the region, while driving regional growth, setting new standards for eco-friendly hotels and supporting communities and local suppliers. Led by Chairman David Whiteford and CEO Roddy Watt, the group was created to provide quality and sustainable hospitality on the coastline of Scotland’s North Highlands. Over the past year, Highland Coast Hotels has built up a strong management team which has implemented a series of positive changes at each hotel, including a complete refurbishment of the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora, which will fully reopen in June 2022.

Since its launch, Highland Coast Hotels has created over 40 new jobs locally and implemented community-focused strategies which have benefited the region and led to exciting business opportunities for people living locally, as well as the creation of many careers in tourism and hospitality. As the Group evolves the guest experience at The Tongue Hotel, vendors and experience providers in the region are encouraged to connect.

The Highland community is at the heart of every decision Highland Coast Hotels makes, and as with its other hotels, it will set up a Community Liaison Group in Tongue which will serve as a forum for locals to give feedback on the group’s plans.

Highland Coast Hotels prides itself on nurturing and developing its people to be the best they can be, with recruitment continuing to be a priority. Current employees of The Tongue Hotel will be positively impacted by the Group’s new status as a true Scottish employer offering a living wage. There will be salary increases to reflect this, as well as additional training and development opportunities.

Highland Coast Hotels built on a successful first year of operation with strong occupancy levels across the group into the summer season and for the remainder of 2022.

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Highland Coast Hotels

Established in April 2021, Highland Coast Hotels is a Scotland-based group that aims to bring innovative, sustainable and community-based hospitality to the beautiful coastlines of Scotland’s North Highlands. Highland Coast Hotels intends to strengthen and improve the hotels it owns, as well as drive regional growth. There is also a focus on creating eco-friendly hotels and supporting local communities and suppliers.

Highland Coast Hotels has acquired several iconic hotels in the region; the award-winning Kylesku Hotel, overlooking beautiful Loch Gleann Dubh in the far west Highlands; Newton Lodge overlooking Loch Glencoul just minutes from Kylesku; Plockton Inn on the west coast of the North Highlands; the historic Tongue Hotel on the north coast of the Highlands; the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch located on the first tee of one of the most famous golf courses in the world; and the Royal Marine Hotel in Brora, in this historic town, located near other golf courses, superb beaches and world-famous distilleries.