It boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland but the Isle of Coll is also home to a progressive hotel that is not only at the heart of the community but investing in tourism in the Highlands and Islands
The Coll Hotel on the small Hebridean island west of Mull has open its refurbished public areas that include a new home for its award-winning kitchen and restaurant as well as brand new public and lounge bars.
Owned by the Oliphant family since 1963, this exciting extension project heralds a new era for the third generation of the family, manager Laura Oliphant, who has spearheaded the development over the past two years.
The new extension houses a 60-seat restaurant, served by a state-of-the-art kitchen, an expanded public bar with resident pool table and a cosy lounge serving teas, coffees and light meals throughout the day.
Work will now begin on phase two of the ambitious expansion project that will see the creation of four new bedrooms, all of which will have enhanced accessibility. One bedroom will be fully wheelchair accessible and is due for completion in early 2020.
The project was supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Jo Smith, business development account manager with HIE, said: “Tourism is one of our region’s key growth sectors. In the past few years we have seen a steady increase in visitor numbers, particularly to the islands – this has created opportunities for local firms to enhance the tourism offering, grow their business and create jobs.
“The Coll Hotel is at the heart of the island community, providing jobs, particularly for young people. The owners have recognised the potential for growth and invested in an excellent expansion project. We have been impressed with their vision and very pleased to be able to support this important development for the island.
At VisitScotland, David Adams McGilp, regional director, commented: “I’m pleased to hear that the Coll Hotel has carried out extension work to enhance its visitor offering. It is so important that Scotland’s tourism industry continues to provide top services and facilities to ensure visitors have memorable experiences.
“Visitors to Coll offer a number of benefits to the island. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”
After studying hospitality management and learning the trade from an early age, Laura is delighted to be the third generation of the Oliphant family to run the hotel. She said: “I feel very proud to be carrying on the family business on the island that we all love.
“Tourism plays a major part in the economy of the island and we hope that our current and future plans mean that the Coll Hotel will continue to be a driving force in adding value to that economy through encouraging visitors and providing meaningful and relevant employment for the younger generation of Coll.”
The Isle of Coll boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country as well as being Scotland’s first Dark Skies Island. The six-bedroom hotel, in the village of Arinagour with a breathtaking view of Loch Eatharna, is renowned among sailors and foodies alike. Find out more here.