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Ord House Hotel revamp aims to breathe new life into historic property and boost experience for visitors to Muir of Ord business

By Hector MacKenzie

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Ord House Hotel.
Ord House Hotel.

A BID to breathe fresh life into a Ross-shire hotel within an historic listed building have been lodged.

Applicant Irvings of Ord want the go-ahead for internal alterations, construction of new bar area, entrance porch and restaurant extension at the Ord House Hotel.

An access statement for the Muir of Ord property on Ord Drive says: "The existing hotel has been somewhat neglected in recent years. It is now under new ownership and the owners approached us to produce a design proposal with a view to increasing visitor numbers and expand on the facilities it currently offers.

"The house was built late 18th century, with additions added in the 19th century. The building was ‘B’ listed on 25.03.1971. Due to the listing, and preservation of the existing building heritage, there are very limited opportunities to improve accessibility within the existing building."

A planning proposal notice in the window of Ord House Hotel. Picture: James Mackenzie
A planning proposal notice in the window of Ord House Hotel. Picture: James Mackenzie

The provision of a new entrance porch would allow full independent access to the previously inaccessible snug and lounge bars within the existing building. An accessible route from the designated parking space to the porch entrance has been allowed for.

Differing floor levels within the existing building do not allow for accessible access between the bars and restaurant areas direct to the existing hotel building.

There will be provision of one letting bedroom on the ground floor that can be designated for less able guests. The main hotel building will be predominately for residential guests as existing use.

The new build and alterations proposed will also allow residential guests access to improved dining and bar facilities, papers state.

The proposals allow for public access to all to the improved facilities. They say: "The restaurant will be light and airy with stunning views to the hotel garden grounds. Bar areas will be sensitively refurbished to give pleasant surroundings to users."

The Ord House Hotel has recently come under new ownership and the applicant says it is clear that the building and hotel business required some rejuvenation. Parts of the existing hotel "are currently being redecorated to give a new lease of life of to the décor".

The design statement adds: "Some areas of the hotel are in need of further attention. Along with the necessity of repairing some areas of the existing building, it is the aspiration of the new owners to expand the existing hotel business through renovation of the existing lounge bars and the introduction of a new restaurant extension to create a hotel that can provide a high quality service and pleasant environment for customers and residents."

It was used as a house before becoming a hotel in the late 1990s.

The proposed alterations and restaurant extension are deemed a necessity for the future sustainability of the hotel as a business, ongoing funding for the continued preservation of the listed property and will help with funds for further redecoration and replacement of soft furnishings and the like in the existing hotel.

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