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Ardbeg plans luxurious transformation of The Islay Hotel 

21/05/2024

Ardbeg Islay single malt Scotch whisky is planning a luxurious transformation of a well-known hotel near its Distillery, celebrating the best of Islay. On a mission to create a world-class whisky and hospitality experience, Ardbeg purchased the popular Islay Hotel on its remote Scottish island home in 2022. Now, with a proposed multi-million-pound enhancement designed to honour the spirit of Islay and share the stories in which its brand is steeped, Ardbeg aims to offer exceptional accommodation, food and drink to local residents, tourists and whisky enthusiasts long into the future.

Ardbeg has been distilling its untamed smoky whisky on Islay for more than 200 years, and aims to do all it can to make the island a great place to work, live and visit. So when the opportunity came to invest in the town of Port Ellen by acquiring the hotel, Ardbeg jumped at the chance. The team plans to run the hotel in its current guise until late summer 2024, with all existing bookings honoured. After a short closure period, they aim to re-open in May 2025, with a witty and distinctly Ardbeggian restyling of every floor. During the renovation, all hotel staff will be retained and temporarily redeployed to other roles on the island.

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Led by interior storymakers Russell Sage Studio, who have already played a leading role in the transformation of the Distillery’s visitor centre, proposed changes include:

  • A reimagined bar with courtyard, called The Islay Bar. Named after the hotel’s much-loved former watering hole which closed years ago, it is designed as a hub to bring local residents and visitors together;
  • A new-look restaurant on the ground floor, which will be open to non-residents, with a private dining room for special occasions.
  • A new name for the hotel, which will be known as Ardbeg House;
  • Quirky and luxurious bedrooms and suites, each telling unique stories of Islay and its legends and Ardbeg, complete with numerous playful details and hidden surprises;
  • An exclusive space for hotel residents and members of the Ardbeg Committee 

 the brand’s loyal following – on the lower ground floor, with an area for games, a whisky cave and a unique after-hours-style warmth. The Committee is free to join on ardbeg.com;

  • An exclusive Ardbeg whisky, only available at the hotel and the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre

CEO Caspar MacRae said: “We are dedicated to making our island a great place to live and visit. So we are tremendously excited about our plans to create a world-class whisky and hospitality experience for Islay residents, visitors to the island and Committee Members. We welcome all to come and explore the best of Islay. While the hotel will, of course, be a spiritual home for the most ardent Ardbeggians, we promise even those just getting to know the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt, will leave lifelong fans.”

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