A Victorian spa hotel built by a pair of sisters to accommodate rising demand for the health benefits of natural sulphur wells has been put up for sale.
Dunraven Lodge in Strathpeffer, Rossshire, which was later used as a convalescent hospital in WW1, has gone on the market for £565,000.
The building was the brainchild of Catherine and Aline Corbett, who decided to build a hotel due to the influx of wealthy Victorian visitors descending on the fashionable town for the spa waters and the clean, fresh air of the Highlands. Regular visitors to the area included Sir Ernest Shackleton and Robert Louis Stevenson, while Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt also honeymooned in Strathpeffer.
Strathpeffer and its sulphur wells were originally exploited in the late 1700s for their health benefits, believed to cure a wealth of ailments. Strathpeffer’s original pump room was built around 1860 – still in evidence in the town – and which allowed for spas to be served by the spring water.
After the First World War, many of the Strathpeffer large hotels including Dunraven Lodge were commandeered for convalescent accommodation for wounded servicemen. After the Second World war, Dunraven Lodge served as a Church of Scotland care-home for the elderly, and this continued into the 1970’s when the building was converted back into a hotel. Until recently, it has been used as a family home.
Orlaith Brogan, spokeswoman for SPC Scotland, said: “While it has a rich history, the property has been lovingly upgraded by its current owners to include an eco-friendly heating system, and a modern kitchen which enhances its original features. Many original features such as the deep skirtings, ornate cornicing throughout and the period fireplaces in many of the rooms remain. The exterior also has an intricate veranda along the first floor.
"This property would make an ideal bed and breakfast or a boutique-style hotel, particularly as Strathpeffer is one of the most popular towns for visitors in the Highlands.”
The property was last sold in 2007 for £545,000.