Historic, family-owned Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews sold to investment company

The family-owned Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews has been sold to a Northern Irish private investment company for an undisclosed sum.

The McLachlan family has sold the three-star property to Wirefox via its Marram Hotels business, expanding the leisure portfolio to Scotland. The asset is located in the heart of St Andrews, with its new owner planning to operate it in its current form, with the existing team in situ.

The B-listed Georgian townhouse was designed by Scottish architect George Rae, and the hotel comprises 29 en-suite bedrooms, with a further seven in a section of the property dating back to 1820. It says its Playfair's Restaurant and Steakhouse has been awarded an AA Rosette every year since 2015, while the hotel also has a bar and outdoor terrace.

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The business was acquired by Roy and Eliza McLachlan in 2003, and is now run by the second generation of the family – brother and sister Duncan (director of catering and head chef) and Rachel (director of marketing and business-development).

Northern Irish private investment company Wirefox has acquired the Fife hotel. Picture: contributed.
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MD Roy McLachlan said: “It's a pleasure to be handing over the operation and ownership of the hotel to such a professional group. The hotel has enjoyed many years of excellent performance due to its wonderful staff and I am convinced that both the staff and the hotel will enjoy a very bright future.”

The McLachlan family was advised by Scottish law firm Thorntons Law LLP regarding the deal, while Wirefox worked with Belfast-based Davidson McDonnell, along with BTO Solicitors of Edinburgh.

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Kathryn Robinson, investment director at Wirefox, said: “As an iconic golfing hotel, it’s a great time for us to be adding the Ardgowan Hotel to our growing portfolio, with all indicators pointing towards a bumper year for golf enthusiasts off the back of The Open.

“Welcoming the current staff to Wirefox’s extended team, while continuing to trade, will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the business and continue to provide the much-loved service guests have become accustomed to. We’re grateful that the McLachlan family have agreed to work with us to ensure a smooth transition and we look forward to acting as custodian in the months and years ahead.”

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