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Outstanding Self-Catering/B&B Opportunity on Isle of Lewis
The Decca represents a most desirable business and lifestyle opportunity set in an idyllic location on the north-west corner of the Isle of Lewis. This property has a charming and alluring trading outlook overlooking open moorland with a nature reserve to the front aspects. Situated just 27 miles north of the Islands capital, Stornoway, this attractive uncomplicated business benefits from being strategically placed to benefit those wishing to undertake an odyssey of the Western Isles.
This most appealing property has many attractive features in addition to its charming setting and would suit an extended family operation or a partnership. The 3 separate units were built in the early 1950s as a navigational signalling station plus two cottages as accommodation. The business has been developed and modernised over many years to the current configuration, offering up to 12 bedrooms providing modern fixtures and fittings and all the comforts of a quality hospitality operation and charming home. The current owners have upgraded and maintained the property to a very high standard making it a most beautiful dwelling whilst providing a flexible business operation.
The accommodation can be summarised as two similar cottages providing for either bed and breakfast clients or self-catering customers. In addition, there is a central property with 5 additional bed and breakfast rooms. The business offers flexible accommodation options to suit a wide range of clientele. The subjects have spacious and attractive garden grounds which could be used for a wide range of recreational and business uses. There is a lovely area of decking to the rear of the property which is greatly enjoyed by both the owners and guests alike.
The business is presented to the market in walk-in condition and is ready to operate with no requirement for additional significant capital investment. The sale of The Decca represents an exceptional opportunity for new vendors to own a lovely property and operate a charming 'quality of life' business in a beautiful island location.
REASON FOR SELLING
The vendors purchased the property in August 2011 and have invested greatly into improving the décor and quality of provision. The have brought the property onto the market to allow them to downsize and take on a new challenge.
The present owners trade the business year-round but the bulk of the income is generated during the main season (Easter to October). The business is an ideal base for exploring the wider region, attracting a variety of tourists to include cyclists, walkers or those just enjoying a more leisurely holiday taking advantage of the natural beauty of the Western Isles. Catering for groups, families and single travellers, the business has a well-maintained website utilising ‘Free to Book’ as their primary management system generating a constant stream of customers in the main season. In addition to the bed and breakfast offering, the cottages can be let for full weeks or shorter-term lets. The current business model also offers an evening meal option for guests and others who pre-book. They provide a limited choice menu of quality home-cooked food using local produce where possible. The current owners also offer music nights and presentations during the summer months which are very popular. The vendors trade just below the VAT threshold generating a high level of profitability.
New owners, if so desired, may drive the business more fully and develop the operation further. There is an abundance of space where a café could be provided; permissions are in place should new owners wish to operate a café. Likewise, there may be scope to obtain a liquor license subject to consents etc. Where new owners do not wish to cater for their guests in the evening, there is a local hotel which could provide dinners etc.
The Decca is situated in the village of Lionel in an area of Lewis known as Ness which sits at the northern extremity of the Western Isles. The property enjoys panoramic views across wild moorland close to sandy beaches and across from a nature reserve. Eoropie beach with its dunes is within walking distance of the Decca. The business is situated close to the village school which has an array of facilities open to the local population including a sports centre with gym, sauna, games hall, ten pin bowling and swimming pool. Within the area are a range of facilities including post office and shops, a garage, a hotel and various community clubs etc. Locally, there is the Eoropie Dunes Park which is primarily a children’s play park but provides an awareness of the environment. A larger range of welfare and social amenities are available in the town of Stornoway which is within easy commuter distance some 27 miles away. The W1 bus route runs frequently from Stornoway and stops outside The Decca.
The local area boasts a number of sandy beaches and places of general interest. There are areas of rocky cliffs and lochs and stunning sea views where visitors are advised to keep their eyes open for dolphins. The island has a long history, evidence of this is located close by in the Temple of St Moluag (a 12th century chapel) and Dun Easdean, the stronghold of the Morrison clan. The area is popular with birdwatchers and walkers, as well as a great number of cyclists undertaking the Hebridean Way Cycling Route, which finishes at the Butt of Lewis. Many people visit the area to research their ancestry, due to the migration from the Western Isles in the 18th and 19th century to the new worlds. The area surrounding the Decca is one of the best locations on Lewis to offer a reasonable prospect of seeing the Aurora Borealis in the low seasons.
The building comprises of 3 separate titles; the Decca Station and two attached cottages, one either side (Fianais and Muirneag). The property is easily accessed from a main road with parking to the front and side. Built in the 1950’s, of stone construction under pitched tiled roof, all 3 units are 2 storey buildings. The subjects have a substantial footprint with spacious lawns to the side and rear.
Entrance to the property is either via a double-glazed door which leads into a spacious hallway or alternatively a further entrance leads directly into an ‘L’ shaped lounge area. The entrance hallway provides access to a fully accessible toilet with shower. Through a door way is a small corridor which provides access to a utility area with dry goods storage. This room is fitted with washing machine, dryer and dishwasher plus it also has a pully operated dryer. Also off the corridor is a double en-suite letting bedroom with a large walk-in shower. Returning to the corridor there is a door that gives access to the large kitchen. Through the entrance hallway is the bright ‘L’ shaped lounge which is set to soft furnishings and is used by resident guests and diners. This well-presented area has a lovely ambience and is set to 5 double / triple sofas plus there is ample space to have an area with book cases etc.
From the area leading to the rear of the property is a door which provides access on to an area of decking which is popular during the long summer evenings. A doorway from the lounge leads in to the stunning dining room which enjoys 6 windows allowing great natural lighting. This beautiful room has a recessed feature fire place with a large wood-burning stove and a wooden lintel above. The room has wood flooring and attractive fixtures and fittings making it a most warm and cosy dining area. The kitchen is situated off the dining room in a semi open-plan format. The spacious kitchen is well-appointed with a good range of floor mounted units and ample work tops, offering owners the capacity to cook a good range of menu items in comfort.
In addition to the ground floor en-suite bedroom, there are a further 4 bedrooms on the first floor; 2 of which are en-suite (king-size and a twin) and the other two (family (double and single bed) and a twin) which share a bathroom. Off the standard twin room is a large storage general area and throughout the property there is ample storage.
The two cottages are near mirror images of each other in terms of general floor space. One of the cottages is used as letting accommodation and the other is utilised by the owners for their private use.
Letting Cottage (Fianais)
Entry to Fianais is through a double-glazed door which leads in to a hallway with a utility room off to the left. Through a further door the inner hallway provides access to all other ground floor rooms which include a modern fully fitted dining/kitchen. There is also family bathroom which has a large shower and white units. The living room and a former study are both currently being used as bedrooms; a king-size bedroom and a twin bedroom. Stairs lead to the first floor where there is a further king-size bedroom with an en-suite shower room and a twin bedroom.
Owner’s Accommodation (Muirneag)
Access to Muirneag is via a double-glazed front door leading in to a hallway and thereafter through a second door into an inner hallway. From this area all other ground floor rooms are accessed and stairs to the first floor can be located. The cottage benefits from a comfortable sitting room with open fireplace and a fitted dining/kitchen which is well-appointed with appliances plus floor and wall-mounted units. Off the hallway is a family bathroom fitted with a bath with shower over, plus white units. On the ground floor there is a double en-suite bedroom with shower room. Stairs lead to the first floor where there is a king-size bedroom and a family bedroom configured to double and a single bed.
The external aspects include extensive garden grounds to the rear and both sides of the property, mainly laid to lawn, offering ample parking and recreational space both for guests and owners. Areas to the front of the property is also used for parking. There is a walled garden with a polytunnel along with a separate vegetable growing patch. There is a garage to the side of the building and a walled bin storage area. There is a storage area for each of the cottages which is set within the building but accessed externally.
The subjects benefit from mains electricity, water and drainage. The property has 16 solar panels generating electricity and each house benefits from independent oil-fired boilers providing hot water and central heating. LPG gas is used for cooking in the Decca. All accommodation units are mainly double glazed. All areas have access to Wi-Fi.