The Dornoch Hotel checked in for refurb after becoming fifth property in expanding Marine & Lawn collection

The Dornoch Hotel is set for a major revamp and increased capacity after being acquired by a US-based investor whose growing portfolio of prestigious Scottish properties includes Rusacks St Andrews, Marine North Berwick, and Marine Troon.

The Sutherland property has been snapped up property investment management group Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners, and is becoming part of its Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts division, billed as a collection of bespoke hotels located in top golf destinations. Under its new ownership, it will rebrand as Dornoch Station hotel, honouring its original Station Hotel moniker that dates back to 1902.

The 122-room hotel is now closed and for the next several months will undergo comprehensive renovations of all guest rooms, expanding many of the smallest of these, as well as its public spaces, exterior and grounds including the installation of a putting green, fire pits and additional outdoor amenities. It is expected to reopen in the summer of 2023, with the fully renovated property offering 89 more spacious rooms that "reflect the Marine & Lawn brand standards”.

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AJ Capital says the look of the new interior of the building will be led by its in-house design team and will “pay homage to the property’s rich history, distinct neighbouring community, and scenic views”.

Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts notes that the hotel sits in four acres, is accessible along the popular North Coast 500 driving route, and is the fifth property in its collection, with other stablemates including Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland, with the latter relaunching in the spring.

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It adds that the newly acquired site is just a short walk from the first tee at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, the “crown jewel of golf in the Scottish Highlands”, which Old Tom Morris helped design, where Donald Ross learned to play the game, and which has been ranked the third-best course in the world. It is also highlighted that the hotel is near local attractions like Dornoch Beach, the 13th-century Dornoch Cathedral, Glenmorangie distillery, and Dunrobin Castle.

Historic

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AJ Capital will reposition the property as Dornoch Station hotel, in a nod to its original Station Hotel name dating back to 1902. Picture: Alexander Baxter.

Phillip Allen, president of Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts, welcomed the addition of the Dornoch property to the group, also commenting: “The hotel marks our fourth in Scotland and our first in the Scottish Highlands, a beautiful and rugged area steeped in history and myth.

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"Few golf courses in the world can match Royal Dornoch’s excellence and character, and we are eager to welcome many of its visitors to our hotel. We’re honoured to be stewards of historic properties such as Dornoch Station and look forward to continuing its legacy for many years to come.”

Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts launched in March 2021, and it acquired its first two properties – Rusacks St Andrews and Marine North Berwick – from Bathgate-based group Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.

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AJ Capital Partners, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee, says it has a growing portfolio of hotels throughout the United Kingdom, also owning and operating Graduate Hotels, which includes The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels in Oxford, and Graduate Cambridge.

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