Living the Highland Dream

Drew and Mary have run Mary's Thatched Cottages for almost 20yrs. Drew's family roots, of some generations, are in and around Elgol, and Mary is originally from South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Elgol was a wonderful place to bring up their children. Having now been to University, and having flown the nest, their daughter Mairi is now living and working in New Zealand, and son Phadraig is in Aberdeen.

Drew and Mary are not long back from an extended trip to see Mairi in New Zealand, and with regular trips to see their son in Aberdeen they have decided to consider the second chapter of their approach to making a living from a different 'lifestyle business'.

This opportunity is ideal for an entrepreneurial family or couple looking to ‘live the dream’ in an absolutely stunning location, with lots of scope for personalising this business. Drew and Mary enjoyed time to themselves, or together with family, and never sought to saturate the cottage booking calendars. They only intended to open and run the accommodation business for about 6 months each year, even although there is year-round demand.

Very many of the cottage guests have been coming year after year, and Elgol is very much part of their lives.

The Business

The main house has 5 bedrooms, 3 on the ground floor (1 en-suite), and 2 on the upper floor (both en-suite). The layout of the main house is also ideal for running a premium B&B component to the portfolio. The two optional B&B bedrooms are beautifully appointed, and there is an open kitchenette area. There is also a large living room just for the B&B guests, with outstanding panoramic views across Skye to the mountains of Knoydart, and over the sea to the small Isles.

An advantage to the layout of the house is that the first floor can be entirely isolated from the ground floor giving both the proprietors and guests privacy from one another.

In the 2014/15 period when Mairi and Phadraig were home from university for 3 months over the summer, they ran the Bed & Breakfast side of the business. Their brief business experience grossed just under £15,000 over the summer, clearly this could be expanded across more months of the year.

Online Business

Currently the business has its own very successful website called Isle of Skye Cottages. There are also a further 11 relevant domain names which are utilised alongside the main site. Beyond this the business also advertises on small number of internet based agencies. Some examples of the levels of site visitors and enquiries are displayed below in the business gallery.

An additional marketing tool is through the social media sites where the Mary's Cottage Facebook page currently has just over 3,000 likes and keeps past, present and future guests abreast of the goings on plus special offers and the likes for last minute vacancies.

More Opportunities

Although the core business has been self-catering, there is also the opportunity to supply evening meals, but with Coruisk House (Michelin Guide accredited restaurant) immediately next door, there are plenty of options on the table.

 

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Is this the opportunity for you? Contact us today!

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