Sannox Bay Hotel,

Sannox, Isle of Arran, KA27 8JD

NEWS PAGE: For guests of the hotel and friends on the island of Arran seeking information about when the hotel will re-open and a range of other questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Regularly Updated

Like every community throughout the world, there is a rumour mill on Arran. Our view is that it is best to answer straight forward questions with frank and fair replies. Please feel free to ask (here) and we shall make best efforts to answer.

Question 1]. When will Sannox Hotel re-open?

Answer 1]. Following a major refurbishment, we are very keen to re-open the Sannox Hotel. However as of this month, May 2021 the latest Covid lockdown measures are just being eased. It would be irresponsible to employ new staff, if the Covid safety protocols are ignored by a significant minority in the rest of the country and the pandemic takes hold again and plunges us into a third lockdown with staff having to be laid off. One look at the international picture shows appalling resurgences of this pandemic.

Yesterday, 30th April 2021, 386,452 new Covid cases were reported in India in one day alone and 3,500 deaths. Maybe think on that. The UK is doing reasonably well, but until the whole world is safe from Covid there will be an unwelcome and dangerous stream of Covid variants and mutations. We are not out of the woods yet as evidenced tragically by India ablaze with Coronavirus funeral pyres (here).

So here at Sannox Hotel on this modest island off the West Coast of Scotland please forgive us for being a wee bit cautious before throwing the doors open.

Consider checking back to this page on regularly and we shall announce immediately we know it is safe to re-open the hotel.

Question 2]. Who are “Scotslion”?

Answer 2]. A group of friends originally joined together in 1999 to pool their resources and buy closed hotels and empty shops. With help from one of Kintyre-s most famous sons, we were able to bring the company name of “Argyll Group plc” back to life. However running a public limited compnany (plc) is very expensive, so we took the business private and it is now known as Scotslion Ltd.

Once we have purchased the closed-down shops, factories and hotels etc., we renovate them and work to get new businesses back up and running. An emphasis is placed on communities where historically young folk have had to leave their home, family and friends to find a job. We work to help those who wish to stay in their community find work that is viable, sustainable and rewarding.

During the past 22 years the subscribers here have bought 78 buildings and created over 151 new jobs.

Question 3]. I heard a rumour that the Sannox Bay Hotel is for sale?

Answer 3]. Ahh, a blunt question! The hotel is not for sale at this time. We did receive a firm, but unsolicited offer for Sannox Bay Hotel which was acceptable in the amount. But that was declined.

Why declined?

Our job is to create jobs. The person who made the offer to buy the hotel wanted to turn it into a private dwelling. That would mean Sannox village and the island would lose another hotel; it would lose at least 7 new jobs; it would lose, a restaurant, a cafe and a new village shop. So we politely said “thanks but no thanks”.

Question 4]. So the Sannox Hotel is definitely not for sale?

Answer 4]. Jeremy Paxman question style. The Sannox Bay hotel is not for sale right now but we may place it up for sale.


Because of the serious injuries sustained by our managing director after an accident caused by negligence on the MV Caledonian Isles (the result is briefly evidenced: click here). Our director stepped back from the ferry’s coffee bar and tripped over a dangerously stowed piece of ship equipment. He fell backwards and hit is skull on the ship’s hull. Within 8 hours he had to be admitted to his local hospital emergency unit where urgent MRI brain scans were arranged. Following 24 to 48 hours of observations and tests, the diagnosis was a stroke had occurred. This has been a life changing event and not in a good way.

The authorities describe the resultant stroke caused by evidence-led negligence on the MV Caledonian Isles a “traumatic brain injury”. That matters to the islanders and visitors who wish to see Sannox Bay Hotel re-open because the stroke has affected our director’s ability to re-open the hotel. He is still rehabilitating.

We have a specialist manager on standby to re-open Sannox Hotel. One who has worked with us before and has a great track-record at getting closed premises back up and running. Especially those buildings that we have fully renovated during the past 22 years.

In short: we are making best efforts to get Sannox Bay Hotel re-opened. but between Covid and a hazardous ferry operator, it may well be necessary to sell the hotel to someone who is fit and able to do that job.

If a “HOTEL FOR SALE” board does go up, there will be a legal caveat that the building must continue to be be used as a hotel.

Question 5 ]. Is there anything the ferry company can do to help with the damage they caused?

Answer 5 ]. It does not appear so at this time.

An offer was made to CalMac that if £5,000 was donated to a registered charity and a further ex-gratia payment of £5,000 to each of the three grandsons of the managing director, that this matter of a traumatic brain injury would be settled. Unfortunately, the current directors at CalMac Ferries declined and seem intent on a legal action that exposes the taxpayer to a liability of between £100,000 and £500,000.

More importantly, the lack of even the gentlest effort at resolution being rejected by the current ferry operator means that Scotslion Ltd., have no confidence in CalMac Ferries.

Because of CalMac Ferries, 20 more jobs have already been lost to the Island of Arran as Scotslion Ltd., have bought and located their new Head Office to Arbroath (click here) rather on the Island of Arran. That is an incontrovertible fact and about time islanders were made aware.

Simply put, since the brain injury, the managing director of Scotslion Ltd., has struggled to get to and from Sannox and his home at Carnoustie. Therefore those 20 jobs in that new HQ building went to Arbroath instead of the island of Arran. Thanks to CalMac senior management.

This whole nightmare of traumatic brain injury has affected the entire company. It risks the future of an island hotel at Sannox. Sub Judice restrictions may soon require this matter to be heard in private and/or risk contempt of court. So we merely leave the following document for Arran islanders to consider whether serious accidents aboard CalMac vessels are a price worth paying: compromising islanders’ livelihoods by accidents caused to local employers…

Question 6]. Can we book the Sannox Hotel for a small private function in June 2021. We can provide our own catering etc?

Answer 6]. We would love to say “yes”.

But because our other director at Scotslion Ltd., is due to go on paternal (new baby) leave (here) for two weeks during May 2021, we have had to PAUSE the open/close/open/close lockdown routine caused by Covid.

Given there is a short PAUSE in the work onsite, it is unlikely that we can help with your function in June. Sorry about this.

Question 7]. Can we book our holidays for 2022 at Sannox Hotel, when, hopefully, the Coronavirus will have been brought under control?

Answer 7]. We think YES you ca. But are unable to guarantee this because of Covid. Therefore we are not taking bookings of any type at the moment. This is upsetting as there is a fully renovated hotel just waiting to serve the community and visitors to the island.

If you keep an eye on this webpage, we will announce the re-opening schedule as soon as we know. It is our hope to have Sannox Hotel re-opened for the Autumn this year or early in 2022. But the way Covid is affecting hotels, we just don’t feel comfortable accepting bookings that are incapable of being guaranteed on our part. Sorry.

If it helps, we can emphasise in more general terms. The core business of Scotslion Ltd., is to create jobs, we fully intend to ensure the hotel remains a hotel and the additional amenities we sought in the planning permission for a renovated hotel, enlarged to 6 new ensuite guest bedrooms and a NEW VILLAGE SHOP for the north end of the island are brought into being: click here.

We are very keen to re-open as soon as safe. Especially with all the work that has been made to bring the Sannox Hotel right up to a very high standard.

Sannox Hotel

A New Covid-Saftey Outside Food & Beverage Garden Is Planned

Question 8]. You used to show residents of Sannox village around the hotel so they could see the progress being made. It is understandable that you have stopped during Covid, but will you start this tour viewing again?

Answer 8]. Yes, as soon as it is safe to do so.

We are essentially awaiting peer reviewed medical reports on the efficacy of the Covid vaccine rollout an. It is hoped that the hotel + restaurant + new village shop will actually open in real life fairly soon and the tours of the building renovation works will be consigned to a dedicated online page for those who like to study the “before, “during” and “after” series of photographs. On that topic, we have started uploading some photos to show folk how much work has been done to bring the building back to a high standard and fit for the next 50 years before another overhaul like this is needed..

If you have any questions, please feel free to..

Telephone or text the owners on: 0757 2768 795,

Sannox Bay Planning Permission: Click Here


Here are some photographs showing progress at the Sannox Hotel between October 2020 and April 2021…

Sea View From…

Bay Cottage, Sannox, Isle of Arran, KA27 8JD. Construction: Autumn 2020. 

Bay Cottage is the replacement to the old eyesore of a dilapidated conservatory building at Sannox Bay Hotel.

The intention was for the Scotslion Ltd., managing director to base a significant amount of the company’s business in this building. The reason is he had intended returning to the island where he grew up ~ in the Blackrock Guesthouse, Corrie at the next village.

The plan was to bring 20 new jobs to the island immediately Covid settles down and the vaccine is proven to work. These jobs have now gone to Arbroath. Given the business of Scotslion Ltd is to renovate empty buildings and help restart new businesses, there are between 10 and 20 new jobs each and every year that may well be lost to the island of Arran after the current TBI nightmare and an unsafe ferry.

Here are the “before” and “after” photos of the old conservatory being demolished and the new house being built.

That old conservatory did well (and was well built). Many great and happy events were hosted in that space. But times change. After Covid, there will be a significant demand for ew jobs. The island of Arran really neds to sort out the current ferry service.

The Dilapidated Old Conservatory Building At Sannox Hotel, Island of Arran.

This is now demolished and the newbuild house well on the way to completion.

The Old Conservatory At Sannox Hotel.

The most valuable part is the view across Sannox Bay…

Sannox Hotel Has Undergone A Full Renovation.

The addition of “Bay Cottage” newbuild is the final element.

This newly constructed property: Bay Cottage has utilised approximately 50% of the old bar from inside the northern wing of Sannox Hotel and includes the full footprint of the old conservatory restaurant. With Covid killing off the restaurant industry, it was a lucky choice to reduce table covers and increase (double) the hotel holiday letting room numbers.

Full Planning Permission and Building Regulations separating Bay Cottage from Sannox Hotel have been adhered to.

In fact the architect has specified construction and insulation that over-engineers the quality of this new house. For example triple glazed bespoke window units and full insulation throughout the new house that is twice what was previously required in a newbuild property. Photos of the eco-insulation credentials further into this page.


The intention is to plant a privacy hedge approximately four to five feet tall (with a wooden fence constructed in the middle to keep stray pets from guests at the Sannox Hotel wandering into the private front garden at Bay Cottage.

Artist Impression: The New Hedge To Ensure Bay Cottage Is Separate ^^^

& Private From Sannox Hotel. (Hedge Upper Right of Photo)

The wall between the hotel and the new house also ensures privacy . But in a way where the major sea views are preserved…

Please Note The DOUBLE Insulation

In excess of Building Regs., and this will substantially reduce heating bills.

Triple glazing units are being installed

Shareholders will recall the original intention was for director Russ McLean to work out of this building, hence the high specification throughout. Unfortunately the declared accident aboard MV Caledonian Isles ferry has compromised that plan and we opted to buy the Arbroath HQ premises instead as these are a far easier commute for our directors and staff; especially the director with the injury (TBI).

With respect to Bay Cottage at Sannox on the island of Arran, we have requested the architect maintain the high specification as an eventual buyer is likely to come from the mainland. The FOURFOLD increase in enquiries from our website evidences our own experience that many people are looking to leave Covid ridden cities and work in more remote areas such as islands and Highlands. 

^^^ Notional Location of Privacy Hedge: Bay Cottage, Sannox.

For reference, here are copies of the planning permission plans…

^^^ Sannox Hotel Ground Floor ^^^

Proposed Layout

^^^ Sannox Hotel First Floor ^^^

Proposed Layout

Layout Plan Showing Bay Cottage Outlined In Red

Side Elevation Showing Bay Cottage Outlined In Red

Sea Facing Elevation Showing Bay Cottage Outlined In Red

Here is the private entrance to Bay Cottage…

The Private Entrance To Bay Cottage. For Exclusive Use By The Owner.

The old flagstones are to removed and the garden properly landscaped.

Given the car parking is well below the line of sight to the front of Bay Cottage, the view can fairly be described as “unobstructed”.

The Old Conservatory gives an idea of the sea view from newbuild: Bay House

Sannox Bay: Photo Taken From Elevated Position.

Until the new triple glazed windows are installed into Bay Cottage, this photo from roof height is the best we can muster for this update.

Upload of Random Photographs

Bay Cottage, Sannox, Isle of Arran, KA27 8JD

Progress is ahead of schedule so please check back regularly.

Bay Cottage & Sannox Hotel

The last photo of this set shows the Sannox Hotel the day after we bought it.

The old conservatory eyesore can be clearly seen. The wood around the windows was all rotten and the roof ceiling panels had mostly slipped.

Having invested a huge amount of money in the hotel renovation at Sannox, it would be remiss not to rebuild the front elevation so that it served a modern purpose that is good for the wider community (a base to create new jobs all over Arran). Whilst also ensuring the renovated hotel fits in far better with the original vernacular and design of other houses and buildings in the local community.

Sannox Hotel, Isle of Arran.

It has been very frustrating that the Sannox Bay Hotel renovation and re-opening has been delayed. We are very very lucky as there has been a much appreciated amount of local community support and encouragement.

This is very much appreciated.


During the renovation, there are NO admin., staff at Sannox Hotel. ALL correspondence is currently via the company Head Office…

All mail to Sannox Hotel should be sent to the Head Office:

Sannox Hotel Renovation Manager, Abbey studios Business Centre, 280 High Street, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1JF

Thank you.


Some of the questions from visitors, neighbours and fellow islanders can be characteristically blunt. But we always make best efforts to answer clearly and completely.

If you have a question, please…

Telephone or text…

Tel/Text: 0757 2768 795.




Please check back regularly for further updates.

Thank you.