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Nestled in the lochs of Southern Argyll, the Isle of Bute has a population of c6,500 with the number of residents rising dramatically in the main tourist season through the influx of visitors. Due to the spectacular natural beauty of Bute, the Island attracts a high number of tourists wishing to take part in a range of activities available for the outdoor & sporting enthusiasts with golf, fishing, cycling, bird watching, water sports and horse riding. Bute has a wide ranging topography with sandy beaches and hills. Access to the Island is via car and passenger ferry and Howard’s Way is situated about a 9-minute walk from the town centre and Rothesay Ferry Terminal with its service to Wemyss Bay on the mainland with travelling time approximately 35 minutes. In the north, Bute is separated from the Cowal peninsula by the Kyles of Bute. The northern part of the island is sparsely populated, and the ferry terminal at Rhubodach connects the island to the mainland at Colintraive by the smaller of the island's two ferries. The crossing is one of the shortest, less than 300 metres and takes only a few minutes but is busy because many tourists prefer the scenic route to the Island. The property is a short walk to many of the Islands tourist attractions such as the moated shell of “Rothesay Castle” which dates back to early 1200’s and The Winter Gardens, a listed building which houses a cinema, bistro and visitors centre. The town of Rothesay has recently benefited from a large amount of inward investment which, in turn has resulted in an increase in the number of visitors to the island. The town has a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes etc. plus an excellent level of social and welfare facilities.
DESCRIPTION Howard’s Way is an attractive licensed bed and breakfast set in an appealing trading location on the Isle of Bute seafront, overlooking Rothesay Bay and the Cowal Hills. The property is only a short walk from the centre of Rothesay where the main ferry from the Island regularly operates. This business is set over three floors with a substantial property footprint. The property was built around 1890 and exhibits many of its original Victorian features. Under the vendors ownership they have refurbished many aspects of the building bringing it to the market in good condition. The business currently trades as a licensed bed and breakfast with its 7 en-suite letting bedrooms. The rooms are comfortable and the level of service provided is of a high standard. Trading seasonally the business’s peak trading period is during the main tourist season between Easter and October. A unique feature of this popular establishment is its attractive bar and terrace which has stunning seaward views. The bar area has a traditional interior including a solid fuel stove and is the only property on the seafront with a license to serve alcoholic beverages outside. Trading to a good level, just under the VAT threshold, the business generates a sound level of profitability. Previously the owners also offered evening meals but due to a change of personal circumstances this trading activity was ceased. New owners with a desire to reinstate the catering aspects could easily do so as the commercial kitchen remains fully functional. Within the sale are two separate areas of self-contained spacious owner’s accommodation set over two levels. The ground floor unit comprises of a double bedroom, lounge, utility room and bathroom. In addition, there is a suite of rooms on the second floor where the current owners live. This three roomed unit with family shower-room provides adequate living quarters. The current configuration of the accommodation set aside for owners use would lend itself to be used either as extended family accommodation or further letting capacity. PROPERTY Dating back to 1890 the property is set over three floors, of stone construction with slate roof and open balcony to the front. The property has a commanding position with good signage. The internal aspects have been well-maintained being refurbished in 2015 with the provision of modern en-suite bathrooms etc. The building benefits from double glazing and is fire compliant. PUBLIC AREAS From the main entrance to the front of the property, the bar is located off the main hallway to the left. This traditional style bar has stone walls, an attractive servery, cosy solid fuel stove and tiled flooring throughout. The bar has a warm ambience and can comfortably seat around 20 guests with additional seating available on the terrace. This external area is accessed through glass double doors where guests can appreciate panoramic views across Rothesay Bay. To the rear of the wooden bar servery is the kitchen which allows for an easy flow of food production as the bar is where guest breakfasts are served. From the arched entrance hallway are the male and female W.Cs. The business has 7 letting bedrooms all located on the first floor which are configured as follows: Room 1 – Double en-suite with shower room Room 2 – Double en-suite with shower room Room 3 – Twin en-suite with shower room Room 4 – Double en-suite with bathroom Room 5 – Twin en-suite with shower room Room 6 – Double en-suite with shower room Room 7 – Double en-suite with shower room and private sea facing balcony All letting rooms are comfortable and pleasantly furnished with flat screen TV’s, hospitality trays etc. The rooms are decorated to a good standard with modern en-suites. SERVICE AREAS The business benefits from a fully commercial kitchen which is conveniently located off the bar. There is a cellar and ample storage throughout. Access for deliveries is from a side entrance which is accessible from the front. EXTERNAL AREAS A side path leads into the rear of the subjects where there is a garden which is bounded by a rising rock-face. The area is set out to be an easily maintained garden and there are numerous storage units plus concrete hardstanding. SERVICES The property has central heating, and mains electricity and drainage. The business is fully fire compliant with fire alarm, smoke detectors and emergency lighting as well as CCTV security cameras fitted throughout. Mains Gas. TRADE The business operates February to November with an option to develop trade through the extension of year-round trading. Potential exists to grow trade further through the reintroduction of evening meals or by opening the bar for longer hours. In addition, there is scope to expand letting accommodation further, dependant on new owner’s requirements for personal accommodation. Full accounting figures will be made available to seriously interested parties post viewing.
On the ground floor to the rear of the property, with a private entrance, is the first element of private accommodation. This suite of rooms comprise of a double bedroom, utility room, family bathroom and a spacious lounge. Additional owner’s accommodation is situated on the second floor which offers a spacious sea-facing double bedroom, a utility area, a further room which has a range of uses and a bathroom.
Having been at the helm of this lovely business since 2008 the current operators are prematurely bringing the property to the market due to their desire to reduce their workload as a consequence of poor health.