Scottish Highland Hotels Get Multi-Million Makeover with Indian Twist

STORY BY Patrick 3rd July 2019

In an unusual tale of a hotel re-development, an Indian millionaire visited the Scottish Highlands and loved the area.  He was, however, less impressed with his accommodations so decided to create his own.

A year and more than £12m later, Sanjay Narang, who had visited the region in 2018 on a hiking holiday with his sister Rachna, has transformed the interiors of the former Craigard Guest House, now re-christened Rokeby Manor, and re-opened it as an “affordable luxury” hotel.

Dating back to 1840, the 13 en-suite bedroom Rokeby Manor country hotel is an early Victorian country house, located mid-way between Inverness and Fort William along the Great Glen.  Surrounded by woodland it lies in an idyllic central location to explore the Highlands.

Tastefully designed to complement its Scottish surroundings and retaining the essence of a Victorian country house, whilst incorporating all modern amenities, the hotel boasts quaint floral wallpapered rooms filled with antique furniture, china, paintings and silverware.

What’s unusual for the region is that the restaurant, ‘Emily’s Byre’, serves, not the stereotypical ‘haggis and neeps’, but  delicious genuine Indian food specialising in ‘Northern Frontier’ style cuisine, reflecting recipes brought back by Scottish soldiers from India and adapted for locals. It also accommodates a range of Pan Asian food choices.

Housed in the completely refurbished old byre (cowshed), the restaurant is open daily for guests and the general public and all the food is prepared from locally sourced produce. For example, the fish is from Iain Stewart Fishmongers, Charcuterie from Anja Baak of Great Glen Charcuterie, meat from Grants of Speyside and Ice Cream from Luvians in Perthshire.

The hotel includes a souvenir and gift shop, transport to and from hiking locations, complimentary Wi-Fi and is pet friendly.  The hotel also offers some exclusive overnight packages including the Highland Village package which allows visitors to explore the Highlands and learn more about its’ fascinating history.

“We are delighted to be opening the first of our Black Sheep Hotels at Rokeby Manor, bringing together our considerable experience and expertise in the hospitality sector in order to provide a distinctive and authentic experience for our guests,” said Mr Narang, pictured below, who has also subsequently relocated from India to nearby Glengarry, adding,

“Our stylish rooms are spacious and reflect much of the Highland’s unique charm and character. And for travellers who love to be surrounded by ever-changing landscapes of the rugged beauty and timeless enchantment of the Highlands, Rokeby Manor helps the visitor switch off from the world in truly spectacular surroundings.”

And Rokeby Manor appears to be just the start, Narang formed a company called Black Sheep Hotels and also purchased two more properties nearby, The Cluanie Inn at Glenmoriston and The Whispering Pine Lodge in Spean Bridge, for a combined total of £3m for the three, and the other two properties are also being renovated and will re-open later this summer.

 

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