The Ship Inn Hotel and Restaurant at Stonehaven has boosted its room trade by 24% in 2012, despite a number of large hotel developments emerging in Aberdeen over the past two years. The hotel also recorded an increase in food and bar sales during the past 12 month even though the venue was closed for several weeks to allow for a major refurbishment of the public bar.
The increase in room bookings has come from both the business and leisure sector. The Ship Inn has seen a significant rise in weekday bookings being made for business travel, in spite of the Aberdeen hotel sector’s continued growth. Contractors working on wind turbine projects and for oil companies based at Portlethen have also contributed to the increase in weekday bookings at The Ship Inn.
Simon Cruickshank, owner of The Ship Inn, says the hotel sector in the North-east continues to thrive and remains protected due to the sustained buoyancy of the oil industry in the area.
He adds, “Business travellers are recognising that they can enjoy the benefits of being close to Aberdeen, while being able to escape the hustle and bustle at the end of the day.
“From 2011 to 2012 there has been a 24% increase in room turnover, an 11% increase in food sales, and a 5% increase in bar sales. It has been a very competitive market with all the hotel developments in the North east, but our results show that there are opportunities for small hotels to thrive even with competition for large chains in Aberdeen.
“The hotel trade in the North-east is very lucky as it benefits from oil industry – it’s extremely protected compared to other parts of the country where many operators within the hospitality sector continue to feel the hangover of the recession. In this area, it is as though the recession is hardly felt at all.
“The hotel benefits from the fact that it is in an unrivalled location anywhere in the UK – it’s a massive commercial centre, it’s the oil capital of Europe and it’s a beautiful spot – those three things combined are very powerful.”
A major refurbishment programme completed in May is now paying dividends. The first phase of the renovation commenced in 2009 when the floor space of the restaurant was extended by 50%. This was carried out in tandem with a significant investment into the kitchen facilities and an additional five bedrooms being created, taking the total number of rooms at The Ship Inn to 11. A complete refurbishment of the bedrooms then took place in 2010. The final phase of transformation commenced in late 2011 to build new downstairs public area toilets, followed by an extension and complete refurbishment of the bar and lounge areas.
Built in 1771, The Ship Inn is a cosy coastal haven offering a warm, friendly atmosphere with fine dining and exceptional service. The seaside town of Stonehaven is situated on Scotland’s North-east coast, 15 miles south of Aberdeen.