The Station Hotel, Rothes

It isn’t the first time love for an old building provoked an emotional response and it certainly won’t be the last; the decision for Richard and Heather Forsyth to renovate a tired Rothes Hotel most certainly came from the heart.

The beautiful sandstone of the Station Hotel shines bright in the Summer sun and is certainly a landmark in the small Moray town.

For the 4 star property has recently been completely refurbished by the husband and wife team who already own a family business within the town.

Too many people comment on such properties falling into disrepair yet do nothing to rectify the sad situation, all too commonplace in many of our villages and towns in the 21st century. Thanks to Heather and Richard however, the heart of the building has been restored and The Station Hotel, once a thriving property but laterally having deteriorated, once again presents a glorious façade to the multitude of tourists who visit the heart of Speyside and whisky country, every year.

It is not only the exterior however which has been beautifully restored; the interior of the building has been sympathetically renovated and offers a luxurious and extremely comfortable stop for tourists enjoying their whisky journey.

Indeed whisky still plays a large part in the hotel, with an enviable whisky bar comparable to that of The Balmoral in Edinburgh and certainly more geographically fitting, considering the location of the Station in the heart of rural Speyside.

‘Other drinks are available’ and indeed the hotel caters more than satisfactorily for Gin aficionados, fitting to the current revival; and I was more than happy with the wine selection on offer.

Informal, yet efficient, the team at The Station, have a relaxed way of making guests feel welcome and perfectly at home with their easy demeanor and ‘happy to assist’ air.

Even though the public areas of the hotel, with their traditional, yet contemporary feel, were hugely comfortable and luxurious, the Caperdonich Suite still came as a surprise, not least due to the expansive and lavish nature of the room but also some very unique features.

Retaining the glory of its past, the suite still offered very modern luxuries including a plasma TV which not only emerged from the end of the bed but rotated 360 degrees so as to be enjoyed from the bed, the seating area or indeed the bath (even though another TV on the mezzanine level adequately catered for this location).

A handy little box holding all remotes and gadgets, ensured that we were never hunting for a missing device, housing also, a snazzy lighting and window blind control, ensuring that absolute relaxation was enabled within the absolute comfort of this suite.

A mezzanine level bathroom added to the luxurious feel, along with superior toiletries and indulgent soft furnishings throughout the room; great personal care has gone into restoring every aspect of this hotel…and it shows.

Of course, a decanter of whisky was thoughtfully gifted in the suite, ready for pre-dinner aperitif or a post-evening nightcap – very welcome.

Continuing with the relaxed ambience, we were welcome to enjoy dinner in the bar area or the more intimate restaurant. Here again, the recent refurbishment was more then evident within the sumptuous décor and extravagant but fitting, accessories.

This project hasn’t merely been an investment exercise; real passion and knowledge has been coupled with a dedication to his cause; nursing this property back to its former glory and more; restoring it in its rightful place, for which it is so ideally suited.

I personally am delighted to see this investment in the tourism industry within Rothes; an area so vital and central to the whisky trail and the wider tourism industry. It is hugely important to retain tradition and history whilst competing on an international level within expected standards of accommodation.

The Station Hotel does just that and is a place the owners should rightfully be proud of and, I hope, benefit from, over the course of time. A true gem within the Scottish hospitality offering, the Station Hotel provides luxurious comfort, superb facilities, an ideal location for touring and a warm Scottish welcome – what more could anyone ask for?