It has been announced that entrepreneur Mr Robert Parker and his wife Gina have purchased Dalhousie Castle near Edinburgh for an undisclosed sum. Dalhousie, a luxury 13th Century Scottish castle, was formerly owned by Von Essen Hotels.
This new acquisition adds to the Parkers’ existing portfolios of properties which also includes Doxford Hall Hotel, Eshott Hall and Guyzance Hall in Northumberland, as well as the Tedsmore Estate in Shropshire.
Located on the outskirts of Edinburgh in West Lothian, the multi award winning Dalhousie Castle was converted into a hotel in 1972. Today with 29 guest bedrooms it is a much sought after venue for conferences and weddings and is celebrated for its hydro spa and 16th century ghost.
Robert Parker spent many years at the start of his adult life as an Anglican clergyman and still remains very active in the church. A career change saw him developing a chain of care homes which he sold for in 2006. Since then he has focused on the development of high end country hotels and rural estates.
In these difficult economic times it is reassuring to see someone committed to investing in the local and UK economies. Commenting on his purchase and his aims for the future of Dalhousie Castle Robert said:
“I am delighted with the purchase as it fits perfectly with our existing businesses. As with our other properties we intend to invest in both the hotel, and its staff. Our aim is to become a truly luxury location, through attention to details in every aspect of the property – whether it be dining, decor or service, or through the events we hold for guests and visitors. Our policy is to invest in the local economy, through buying locally, and providing opportunity and employment.”
The three properties in North Northumberland which have seen millions of pounds worth of investment over the last three years and have already established a reputation for service and luxury. All bespoke wedding and conference venues, and lead the way in providing a perfect venue for the occasion. Each Hall offers a different experience for those attending. These range from the rural grandeur of Doxford and Guyzance, to the intimate comfort of Eshott.
- Doxford Hall, with a luxury spa, extensive grounds and close to Bamburgh Castle, was awarded “Best Small Hotel of the year in the region” in 2011. Its ballroom is capable of hosting the largest events.
- Eshott Hall with a rating of five star guest accommodation and an AA rosette restaurant, is a boutique property offering the highest levels of service accommodation. Guests are welcomed into a property that still feels, from the very front door, like an elegant private country house
- Guyzance Hall is another elegant estate property. Robert and Nina’s Northumbrian home, the Grade II listed house is available to hire for holidays, weddings and special occasions on an exclusive use basis.
There are also a number of self-catering properties on all of the estates, which are looked after to the same standards of furnishing and décor.
In investing in their properties, and their staff, Robert and Gina Parker are committed to sustainability – upholding and extending the role their properties have always played in the local economy. In addition, they believe in bringing new ideas and developments that will enhance each Hall and extend their regional and local impact. Last year Robert and Gina hosted the inaugural Northumberland Music Festival, www.nmfestival.com, with international performances brought, for the first time, to rural Northumberland. They ahave just announced details that it will be held again this November.
Northumberland and the North East have obviously benefitted from the day in 2008 that Ribert, and his wife, Gina, who is a native Northumbrian, bought Guyzance, and fell under the county’s spell and continuous heritage . Now they have extended their attention to Scotland, emphasizing that borders can mean very little when it comes to generating wealth and opportunity, and respecting local needs and traditions.
Dalhousie’s illustrious history has seen visits from at least three English “monarchs” – King Edward 1, or Longshanks as he is known in Scotland, and Oliver Cromwell, who used it as a base in Scotland, and thus saved it from demolition by his own troops. Finally Queen Victoria stayed there in 1842, during a Scottish Tour. With someone like Robert Parker behind the helm who knows who will be the next Royal visitors.