Award-winning Scottish eco retreats receive £1.7m financial boost

Monachyle Mhor Hotel

MONACHYLE Mhor, Mhor 84 and Calair Cottage, a distinguished and award-winning collection of retreats nestled in the picturesque Scottish countryside, have benefitted from more than £1.7m in investment from expert hospitality lenders, The Cumberland Building Society.

The Mhor Estate is owned and operated by 53-year-old renowned chef and hotelier, Tom Lewis, whose impressive portfolio consists of a boutique hotel, a roadside motel, a self-catering  cottage, a retail concept store just off the A84 and a popular bakery business, Mhor Bread in Callander.

Tom’s mother originally purchased Monachyle Mhor, the main hotel, in 1983, where it was originally operated as a small guesthouse Bed & Breakfast before Tom acquired it in 2005, making the decision to expand its services. 

The re-financing of the Mhor Estate has been granted to help future-proof and grow the business, enhancing the Estate’s earning potential, with some £980k being allocated to major infrastructure works at the main hotel, including investment in a hydro-dam, harnessing the power of local waterways to generate electricity.

£475k of the investment is being used to support Mhor 84, an informal, casual motel, restaurant and bar strategically positioned on the A84 road up to the Scottish Highlands, attracting travellers and tourists Scotland-bound. The remaining funding has been split between Mhor Bread and Calair Cottage, a relaxing self-catering accommodation beside the Balvaig river. The investment will see Mhor Bread expand its artisan bread business to a takeaway service

Monachyle Mhor, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Scotland, has become renowned for its unique experiences, impeccable service, and commitment to sustainability.

Guests can enjoy Apitherapy (Bee Therapy) which involves staying in a cabin with beehives engrained in its structure, with some studies suggesting it can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. For those seeking wild swimming with stunning backdrops, Loch Doine and Loch Voil are just a stones’ throw away, with a hot, wood-fired bath waiting for you when you return.

Stuart McNaughton, Commercial Relationship Manager at The Cumberland said: “The legacy that Tom, Dick and family have created is remarkable. He is a critically acclaimed trailblazer in the hospitality industry which has earned him AA Rosettes at Monachyle, a Booker Prize and an Egon Ronay Guide Award.

“We first started working on the re-finance for Tom around a year ago, and we really took the time to get under the skin of the business and understand the vision and direction in which Tom wanted to take it. Based on the business performance to date and Tom’s passion and success in hospitality, we were really pleased to be able to help re-finance the Mhor Estate.”

Tom Lewis, owner of Monachyle Mhor, expressed his gratitude for the investment, saying: “Mhor holds a special place in my heart and my family’s history. From its humble beginnings as a small farm guesthouse B&B under my mother’s care to the flourishing establishment it is today, it has been a labour of love.

“I am grateful to The Cumberland for recognising the value of preserving this legacy and supporting our ongoing growth and development to ensure Mhor is top of the list when visiting Scotland, future-proofing its popularity for those who love stylish, rural places to stay, eat and make memories. Together, we will continue to provide exceptional experiences for our guests and showcase the beauty of Scottish hospitality.”

The partnership between The Cumberland Building Society and Monachyle Mhor represents the convergence of two stories – the remarkable history of Monachyle Mhor and the commitment of The Cumberland Building Society to supporting and uplifting businesses in the accommodation-led hospitality sector.

Tom continued: “The value of this deal is huge for me, personally. We’ve had some really uncertain times over the past few years with the hospitality industry taking a particularly big hit so we’re incredibly grateful that our friends at The Cumberland understood our vision and really put in the legwork to get under the skin of our business in order to support us.”

Monachyle Mhor now employs over 85 members of staff, many of whom have worked at the hotel for most of their lives. Tom said: “We’ve got about 40 people who came to work at Mhor, met the love of their lives and married them – and some of them still work here!

“Employee retention is key to any business. One key area of investment for us is the continual development of our team. We want to equip them with all the tools they need to be the best that they can be to provide the very best service possible.”

Scott McKerracher, Head of Commercial Lending at the Cumberland Building Society, has known and worked with Tom since the early 2000s. He expressed his admiration for Tom’s history and achievements stating, “We are honoured to partner with Tom in carrying forward his family’s legacy. The story behind the hotel is truly inspiring, and we are committed to providing the financial backing necessary to further its growth and success.”

“Having worked with Tom for the best part of 20 years, I was confident in the fact that he is a superb operator and was a worthy investment for the Cumberland.”

Monachyle Mhor has been awarded numerous accolades such as being named in Conde Nast Traveller’s 2016 Gold List as one of the best hotels in the world, and also named as one of the best luxury hotels in Scotland by Harper’s Bazaar House & Garden magazine.

For more information about the Cumberland Building Society and its specialised lending services, please visit

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