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Coul House Hotel
Hotel News

Progress Report Number Three

Posted by Stuart and Susannah Macpherson - 16:39 on 22 December 2006

Well I feel like I need to rename the report this year, as progress will not be what I think of when I look back at 2006. We did finally get our building warrant from town planning and approval from Historic Scotland for the first phase of the refurbishment at the end of March. However at the same time we received a set back we had not anticipated, Susannah was diagnosed with breast cancer and our focus changed completely for the next eight months.

Fortunately in the face of adversity good things often happen and this year was no exception. One of those good things was the opportunity in June to hire the assistance of an enthusiastic part-time gardener Anna Ross. She and Charlie have worked tirelessly to create a bog garden, finish cutting the trails through the remaining rhododendrons and create the foundation of our garden for the years ahead. Another good thing this year (proving all good things come to those who wait) was Chris MacLeod our General Manager. Susannah and I were delighted when Chris joined us in July from Tulloch Castle in Dingwall where he had been working. Chris is extremely service oriented and shares our desire to build the business into one of the finest country house hotels in the Highlands. Chris has given me the opportunity to take some time off on a regular basis and has been instrumental in the rehabilitation of my sanity.

This summer we decided to take matters into our own hands regarding the maintenance of the driveway armed with a hired vibrating roller and ten tonnes of road chips Charlie, Anna and myself embarked on a new potential career. However, like the cowboys before us our work was undone within months. So we continue to patch taking solace in the fact that we are saving thousands of pounds by doing it ourselves.

We are proud to announce that we received one AA rosette award for our food and delighted to say our kitchen brigade remains intact with Garry at the helm aiming to achieve two rosettes next year. With the support of our valued guests’ votes we also won two other awards Rising Star and Hospitality Hotel this year at the Hotel of the Year Awards held in Glasgow. Credit is certainly due to all the staff for their commitment and hard work.

I am delighted to say that Susannah is pretty much back to her old self now and planning to crack on with the refurbishment early in the New Year. Aurora and Liah continue to thrive and seem to have spent much of the year in anticipation of Christmas not only because we decided to close for a few days to enjoy a family Christmas but also the eagerly awaited arrival of their first pet delivered by Santa. We now have two more mouths to feed namely Daisy and Bubble the gerbils, much excitement particularly for Liah…it remains to see for how long!!!

I have come to realise like a classic car this building and therefore the business within it is truly a labour of love requiring not only continuous maintenance but also the patience of a saint. Thank you all once again for your support and enthusiasm for what we do.

Yours sincerely,

Proud owners

Coul House Hotel, Contin, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland IV14 9ES E: T: +44 (0)1997 421487