THE exclusive country club where Princess Diana spent her holidays on Royal Deeside swimming with Prince William and Prince Harry has been transformed into a new tourist destination in a £4.1 million investment by one of Britain’s leading hotels groups.
Hilton Grand Vacations today officially opened the new Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch Suites - previously known as the Hilton Craigendarroch in Ballater, a short drive from the Queen’s holiday home at Balmoral.
A company spokesman said: “In the first move of its kind for the company, the previous 45 bedroom Hilton hotel has become part of Hilton Grand Vacations and been converted into 32 vacation club suites. The venue’s restaurants, lounge and leisure facilities have also seen significant investment and it is hoped that the new facilities will attract an additional 5000 tourists a year to the resort and significantly boost spend in the area.
“The Craigendarroch Suites fully complement the 99 lodges already available at the resort which have operated under the timeshare model since 1985. In addition to being available to buy under a timeshare
programme the Craigendarroch Suites will, during the period they are being sold, continue to accept traditional hotel room night bookings. “
He added: “The investment in the Craigendarroch Suites forms part of a European expansion plan for Hilton Grand Vacations with also sees a new resort of 31 apartments open at Borgo alle Vigne in Tuscany later this year.”
Richard McIntosh, the managing director of Hilton Grand Vacations Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “The commitment from Hilton Grand Vacations to adding new resorts in Europe, and in particular the
investment to reposition Craigendarroch, is encouraging for our membership as we add new destinations that as a club member they will be able to visit and enjoy.
“Craigendarroch has proved to be a massively popular destination for our timeshare lodge customers over the past 28 years and the launch of the Craigendarroch Suites will enable us to expand our offering
to accommodate individuals, couples and smaller groups looking for luxury accommodation in beautiful surroundings.”
He continued: “We anticipate that a large percentage of our guests will be from around Scotland, taking advantage of proximity to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, but we also expect a significant number of international Hilton Grand Vacations members exchanging their local timeshare options to explore Scotland.”
The development at Ballater includes a new Keiller Brasserie and Keiller Lounge; named in honour of Keiller family of Keiller’s Marmalade who originally built the house in 1891 as a family home.