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Ardbeg to transform Islay Hotel

LVMH-owned Ardbeg will spend millions renovating a property it purchased in 2022, and will reopen the hotel under the name Ardbeg House.

Ardbeg House Islay Bar
The new venture will be home to The Islay Bar, named after the hotel bar that closed years ago

The distillery hopes to offer a ‘world-class whisky and hospitality experience’, offering accommodation, food and beverage services.

The Islay Hotel in Port Ellen will continue to operate in its current form until late summer 2024, when it will close until May 2025. All staff will be retained and temporarily deployed to other roles on the island.

The renovation will involve ‘a witty and distinctly Ardbeggian restyling of every floor’, led by interior design company Russell Sage Studio, which previously redesigned Ardbeg’s visitor centre.

Proposed changes include a reimagined bar with a courtyard; a new-look restaurant on the ground floor, which will be open to non-residents, with a private dining room; and reimagined bedrooms that will draw on Islay legends and Ardbeg history.

There will also be an exclusive space on the ground floor with a games area and ‘whisky cave’, which will be available to hotel guests and members of the Ardbeg Committee, which is free to join on the brand’s website.

Ardbeg will also create a whisky exclusive to the hotel and the brand’s visitor centre.

Caspar MacRae, CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, part of LVMH,  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.”

Ardbeg isn’t the only Scotch whisky brand expanding into hospitality, with Chivas Brothers having opened Linn House in Speyside to the public last year.

In November 2023, Ardbeg released the Rollercoaster set, costing €100,000 (US$107,167) and celebrating historic moments in the brand’s journey.

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