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Badenoch tradesmen's efforts 'immortalised' at new Kingussie B&B


By Gavin Musgrove

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Simon Leslie, of S.M. Leslie Plant and The Viewmount owner Esther Botha.
Simon Leslie, of S.M. Leslie Plant and The Viewmount owner Esther Botha.

A former youth hostel in Kingussie dating back to the 1870s has been brought back into use as a 'BB&B' with the rooms named after local tradesmen who carried out the conversion.

The Viewmount was officially opened on Tuesday evening at a small ceremony with specially invited guests.

It was bought in 2020 by Esther Botha who fell in love with the building and Kingussie on a trip to Scotland after the first lockdown.

Following more than a year of extensive renovation and refurbishment to both the owner’s accommodation and the main house, the transformation of The Viewmount is now complete.

In recognition of the herculean effort by the team of contractors, tradespeople and local business owners who worked tirelessly on this major renovation project, owner Esther chose to name some of the rooms after her trusted tradesmen.

Four bedrooms and two reception rooms were officially unveiled including The Reid bedroom which was opened by Neil and Owen Reid of Reid Plant Hire who were the first people to help on site at the end of last year.

The Leslie was opened by Simon Leslie of S.M. Leslie Plant and Grampian View – the library – was opened by local greenkeeper Michael Clark.

Esther said: “The transformation of The Viewmount has been a real labour of love.

"Not only were there challenges with this beautiful old building but there was also a pandemic and two lockdowns to contend with!

“I am so grateful to the team of tradesmen who became like family to me.

"Their work is immortalised in the names of my rooms. The lounge has been named Beinn Stuart after tradesman Stuart Jamieson, one of the bedrooms is named after the first tradesmen to set foot in The Viewmount - Neil and Owen Reid of Reid Plant Hire.

"I cannot wait to welcome guests from all over the world to this beautiful part of Scotland.”

Local greenkeeper, Michael Clark, who opened one of the rooms, along with his mother Gillian.
Local greenkeeper, Michael Clark, who opened one of the rooms, along with his mother Gillian.

The Viewmount is being billed as a luxury boutique B&B – a BB&B – has four double en-suite bedrooms.

Owner Esther will also provide a concierge service and has plans to extend the offering to afternoon tea as well as gin, whisky and wine tastings.

Renovated when Glasgow hosted world leaders at COP26, Esther has made every effort to ensure that The Viewmount is both energy efficient and has a minimal carbon footprint.

There is even an electric vehicle charging point – free to use even by non-residents.


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