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Dramatic restoration of this iconic hotel nears completion

15th May 2013

Photograph of Dramatic restoration of this iconic hotel nears completion

Natural Retreats is delighted to announce that its revolutionary new concept in the self-catering industry, The Inn at John O’Groats, is on course to open mid-August 2013 and is now taking bookings. The restoration of the iconic former John O’Groats Hotel is part of Natural Retreats’ multi-million pound regeneration of this stunningly picturesque natural wilderness in Caithness in the North of Scotland.

Originally built in 1875, the iconic former hotel in John O’Groats has been carefully restored over the past two years and has had a new Norse style extension added which provides a dramatic splash of colour against the coastal landscape. Courtesy of Interior Design agency NoChintz, who are also responsible for the recent revamp at Natural Retreats’ flagship site in the Yorkshire Dales and the current lodges at John O’Groats, the interior will combine high quality old and new styling in keeping with the marriage of the historic former hotel and the eye catching new extension.

The Inn boasts bespoke self-catering apartments with 1, 2 or 4 bedrooms, each offering its own individual character and with all of the high quality facilities and luxuries you would expect from Natural Retreats. This apartment style accommodation will cater for those completing the famous Lands’ End to John O’Groats ‘End to End’ Challenge. The brand is currently working hard to enhance to End to End experience along with Heritage GB - more to be announced shortly.

All of the apartments feature modern kitchen/living areas, stylish bedrooms and bathrooms and a variety of windows providing guests with vantage points to enjoy far-reaching views of the dramatic John O’Groats coastal scenery across the Pentland Firth onto Stroma and the Orkneys, some of the most breath-taking coastal views in Scotland.

West facing rooms are treated to spectacular sunset views. As with all Natural Retreats properties, the Inn at John O’Groats has been sensitively developed keeping sustainability top of mind. Local craftsmen using locally sourced materials, such as Caithness stone and Scottish Larch timber, have been used wherever possible.

The opening of the Inn at John O’Groats comes just a year after Natural Retreats unveiled an important £6 million regeneration project in the area along with partners Heritage GB and Highlands and Island Enterprise. This huge investment has seen the creation of 23 luxury eco lodges here, designed in the same award-winning style of the Yorkshire Dales residences, a co-operative Storehouse café selling produce and goods from local businesses and a brand new activity and retail Outfitters centre where visitors can book a range of activities such as a sea safari, bike hire and guided walks, as well as purchase equipment, clothing and supplies for outdoor pursuits.

The location

Located on the most northern coast of the UK, Natural Retreats John O’Groats is situated amongst some of the most sensational and extreme landscapes combining awe-inspiring coastal stacks, dramatic cliffs, forests and white sandy beaches. From this most northerly tip of Scotland it’s also possible to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights! Brimming with wildlife, guests can expect to see the largest population of Harbour and Grey seals and an array of birdlife including Guillemot, Kittiwakes and most famously Puffins. Forget indoor aquariums, the coast of John O’Groats is home to the ocean’s most beautiful sea creatures including Minke whales, dolphins, porpoises, basking sharks and even killer whales. Just 2 weeks after opening the first phase of the redevelopment a pod of 14 Killer Whales visited John O’Groats and were hunting Seals just 200 yards from the Inn

The Outfitters

Whether you prefer speeding around the coast on a boat ride whilst taking in the marine life, or melting away the stress and strains of everyday life with spa treatments, a Natural Retreats holiday at John O'Groats lets you explore and discover the spectacular beauty of Caithness. Providing everything needed for a range of outdoor activities, the Outfitters centre supplies equipment, clothing and supplies. Guests can book activities before their trip through Natural Retreats’ Concierge service or during their stay at the Outfitters.

Activities abound in John O’Groats! Join the Natural Explorer boat ride for a sea safari around the coastline where you might see migrating Orca and Minkie whales as well as grey seals, porpoises and dolphins; head inland for a spot of ‘geocaching’ – a modern day treasure hunt using GPS to discover hidden beaches, abandoned piers and the wonders of nature away from the usual tourist spots; pick up a rod and try your hand at sea angling or head to the lochs for some sublime trout fishing; and a visit to John O’Groats wouldn’t be complete without taking to walking trails and exploring this spectacular landscape on foot. Natural Retreats guides are able to arrange a host of walks taking in the amazing Duncansby Stacks, a magnificent rock sea stack and the incredible Shell Beach, made entirely of broken sea shells. The Outfitters also offer wreck dives, historical tours, horse-riding, day trips to Orkney and even whisky appreciation sessions as well as stocking everything you could need for a holiday exploring the great outdoors. As a champion of British manufacturers, Natural Retreats Outfitters includes equipment and clothing form top British brands such as Hunter, Antler and Highland 2000.

The Storehouse

As part of the regeneration project, Natural Retreats has worked hard to aid sustainability in the local economy. The Storehouse is an on-site co-operative shop selling local produce and goods including Old Pulteney Malt Scotch Whisky, freshly baked bread and speciality cheese. Local residents also provide the goodies found in every complimentary welcome hamper!

The Concierge Service

Guests at the Inn at John O’Groats will have full access to the unrivalled Natural Retreats personal concierge service. This team of dedicated travel professionals can personalise each holiday experience, providing advice and expertise to ensure every holiday is perfectly tailored to each guest.

*Special Introductory Offer

*Natural Retreats (; 0844 3843166) is now taking bookings for the Inn at John O’Groats from August 2013.

Natural Retreats is running a special offer for the Inn Opening – 7 nights for the price of 5 and 3 nights for the price of 2, rates from £90 per night.


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