Crown Hotel plans for summer opening

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Stornoway’s Crown Hotel is set for a major refurbishment, with a lease expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

Punch Taverns, who own the Crown Hotel, have said that they have a significant investment planned to fully renovate the interior and exterior of the property.

A Punch Taverns spokesperson said: “We are in advanced negotiations for a lease agreement at the Crown Hotel which will be completed in conjunction with a refurbishment of over £300,000.

“We anticipate that the works will be concluded and the new look Crown Hotel will be open for business by the summer.”

The Crown Hotel was closed at New Year a year ago. The refurbishment of the Crown Hotel was announced in January last year, along with a refurbishment of the Punch-owned Caledonian Hotel.

Punch have said that there is no progress on the Caledonian Hotel at the moment.

The Punch website states that once refurbished, the Crown Hotel could offer value food, screen live sports, host functions and have letting accommodation.

There is also the potential for a restaurant that could be set for 50 covers, and accommodation is also a possibility for the new renovation as there are 17 letting rooms on the premises.

In April, Punch announced plans to rebrand the Crown Hotel, to become the Crown Inn, with the public bar being renamed the Harbour Bar with its own entrance.

The upstairs restaurant was to become the Harbourview Restaurant.

The Caledonian Hotel on South Beach Street was also to be rebranded with a new Rock Pool Bar in the former public bar and a Restaurant/Coffee shop in the hotel’s former lounge.

Following an online campaign there has been a recent push for more live music venues in Stornoway and further through Lewis and Harris as several establishments in the town have closed over the past year.

However, the summer tourist season was very successful, with the Hebridean Celtic Festival bringing 14,000 people to Stornoway, half of whom were international visitors.

Developments to Stornoway Castle are also expected to bolster the isles’ tourism and hospitality industries once the planned museum and archives are completed, along with a five-star Inn.

In addition, the new developments to Stornoway pontoons is planned to draw tourists to the isles, which are set to become a top sailing destination after the establishment of a Western Isles sailing route connecting the isles, between Lochmaddy, Tarbert, Scalpay and Stornoway, presenting a good opportunity for a new waterfront hotel where the Crown stands.