When we first set up our family company with just a single property 35 years ago, it was customary for Scottish tourist hotels to close down for the off-season period, which was from around mid-October until mid-April. In our case, this meant seven months of working a twelve hour day for seven days a week followed by five months of relative inactivity to recuperate. A strange life.
Sons Ian and Neil vividly recall the hours spent carrying cases and working in the pot wash once homework was done during the summer months, but conveniently forget those leisurely winter holidays!
Although this way of life had its attractions, there was always the frustration of having to say farewell to a fully trained workforce in the autumn only to have to recruit new untrained, unknown staff in the spring with all the stress and uncertainties that this entailed.
Lochs and Glens were one of the pioneers in attempting to remain open throughout the year. The main obstacle was persuading the various visitor attractions to stay open as well. It was a gradual process but now, a visit to Scotland by coach during the winter period is as popular as at any other time of the year.
A winter break has several advantages, price, quieter roads, but for many the main appeal is the chance to see spectacular winter scenery typified by the above photograph. This particular view is of Loch Rannoch and Schiehallion, just a few miles from our Loch Tummel Hotel.
Regular readers may remember the holiday writing competition that we held last year when we invited guests to describe a day excursion that they have enjoyed whilst on a Lochs and Glens holiday and I am pleased to say that, on the following page, we have two more excellent runners-up entries. Congratulations therefore go to Teresa Waller and Muriel Stephens together with a £100 voucher redeemable against a future Lochs and Glens holiday.
It's been a busy time in the Company for Ian and Neil, but the three of us did manage a spring break together, recreating one of those holidays from their childhood - a week's hiking in the Western United States National Parks, although in this case it could hardly be described as leisurely!
When we first set up our familycompany with just a single property35 years ago, it was customary forScottish tourist hotels to close downfor the off-season period, which wasfrom around mid October until midApril. In our case this meant sevenmonths of working a twelve hourday for seven days a week followedby five months of relative inactivityto recuperate. A strange life.