Insurance Company Renewal: 2023

Preface Before We Collate

44 Rooms of Photographs

With respect to the insurers asking for photographs of work carried out at our Sannox Hotel renovation “within the last 30 days” (from 5th May 2023); this is not possible as the work, including “permitted development” asides from the original Planning Permission (here), has reached close to 90% completion. As is the nature of these projects we required to updated a Building Warrant by law (in part to take account of Covid Safety precautions). 

The new Building Warrant was GRANTED on 8th March 2023, but not fully signed off and in hand until 9th May 2023 (full warrant and detailed drawings pack dated from the island to our mainland HQ in Arbroath…

The reasons for postal tardiness is the near collapse of the State owned ferry company, CalMac Ferries. It is very important to the directors of Sannox Hotel Ltd., that our insurers understand the matters of buildings and insurance needs on an island. Crime is much lower, but getting building materials and professional trades folk onsite can be a challenge. In this case the islanders, including the directors of Sannox Hotel Ltd., have worked for 3 years to change the mind of the Scottish Government and their State Owned Ferry Company.

A £9,000,000 Relief Ferry Charter

Has Been A Major Help To The Island

Click Here.

So when we have approximately a week to provide a compressive “recent” set of photographs when both director’s min homes are off the island on the other ide of the country, arranging for the keyholder and regular security contractor to go around the 44 rooms of the hotel AND the roofs, this is a problem. 

Worse: because we aide by the law and have had to update the Building Warrant, there has been no work onsite for 3 months. We have pushed the envelope of work to 90% completion, but any further would antagonise the local Building Control Officer.

=> The key point is that there has been no change in pictures for the “past 30 days” because of the document at the top of this page and fine-tuning of “snagging” issues as discussed with the company architect…

It is an entirely reasonable request from the insurance under-writers to seek photographs of the building. However, given the remote nature of the hotel: being on an island, and the fact that everyone on the planet is trying to recover their positions after the Covid pandemic, along with a specific issue that we Arran islanders have been trying to remedy: the provision of a reliable ferry service, the relatively sudden period seek our keyholder goes round to the hotel to take more photographs of what is a relatively large building has caused us some significant discomfort.

Fortunately an Isle of Arran ferry Action Group was started, in part by the MD of Sannox Hotel and has now persuaded the government to charter a new ferry to help the island get the number of car ferry sailings back to normal.


1]. Roof Photographs

As requested, here is a selection of what was major roof works carried out by a professional roofer. Some of these are dated (much older than 30 days) as the roof was the first thing we replaced/repaired. It is a pointless exercise, renovating the hotel before the roof is fully watertight and the integrity is as near yo 100% as is possible.

^^ Sannox Hotel: ^^

Roof Works Completed.

When this site had the first building erected, it was the footprint as described in the red-ink curtilage.

When the orange outlined second building was construcuted, there as an exterior drain pipe on the back of the red outline….

Subsequently, a second building, almost a mirror image was built. This is outlined in orange-ink.

Subsequently flat, or light pitch roofs have been added. These have been demarcated in blue outline.

There as a notorious leak ~marked “A” on the aerial plan pictured above this narrative. This historic (vertical) rain-water pipe, would overflow when the two main pitched roofs had torrential water downpour into the valley as per this interior video of the rain-water down-pipe buried inside the building…

^^ Hidden Leak ^^

During Heavy Storms

Old Rain-Water Down-Pipe

Buried in The Wall in

The Middle of Sannox Hotel

Would Leak.

The result was atrocious dampness as can be seen in the main bar/dining area. 

All these walls were removed. Behind was allowed to dry out, then treated. All wood was made good, and new, properly insulated and ventilated studwork was put back in place.







All work has been completed by a reputable, professional firm of roofing contractors.


An example of the…


When we bought the Sannox Hotel in 2018, it was well overdue a major renovation.

There are 42 rooms in this building (click here).

Every one has, or is being fully renovated. Our planning application to increase the number of guest bedrooms from 3 to 6 was approved by North Ayrshire Council (here). Rather than have a 44 page brochure, we are including one guest bedroom. Bedroom number 5.

^^^ Bedroom Number 5 ^^^

Located at the back of the Sannox Hotel

Here we have a fairly straightforward set of…

“before” + “during” + “after” photos…

As always, we start with the roof. Getting rid of the leaks and any wet-rot is a very important  priority. Fortunately the hotel is clear of dry-rot. In fact there was remarkably little wet-rot.

First the nasty looking bit underneath the damp patches. The coloured lines drawn on this set of photos were to help complete the long list of back-to-bricks work as Covid arrived and more “remote working” has been required. Especially in terms of the main Schedule of Works. Here is one example of roof replacement/repair…

^^^ Roof Above Bedroom 5 ^^^

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

The source of the damp was an old chimney and a dilapidated earlier repair work. When hotels are open and running, they are notoriously difficult in having repair remedial work completed between guests moving in and out. Often it can end up a make-do-and-mend approach. If that happens to leaky roof areas, it risks becoming a problem. Fortunately, this was caught in time and repaired to a reasonable standard, including a heavy gauge lead throughout the roof repairs. 

^^^ Bedroom 5 ^^^

An example of the work completed on each of 44 rooms.

Please note: this hotel is a SIX guest bedroom property. Plus a new staff bedroom and of course the new owner’s house with a double bedroom included there.

In total 8 bedrooms.

The 44 rooms refers to the entire hotel, including public rooms, the new village shop, the restaurant, and the tea room etc.

This is not just a narrative about selling a hotel that we own. There are useful points within this experience from which other readers, friends and colleagues can benefit.

The fact that there is no debt, no mortgage and a positive cashflow with 100% shareholder ownership means we can easily afford do do the remedial jobs when they come up; and to do them properly.

It is well worth our friends and colleagues reading this to consider ways in which you can become clear of mortgage and debt as soon as possible.


Our experience from 33 years doing this is whenever a building requires remedial work, then it doesn’t actually cost that much more to do the job properly. 

The previously installed zinc valleys and roof fittings don’t do well in salt air. We really prefer lead. Yes it is a little bit more expensive, but we have a fantastic roofer and the enjoyment of seeing a job done well, with high-quality materials is a pleasure to behold. Knowing the pesky leaks have been cured is hugely reassuring.

Here is the roof above bedroom 5 after new wood + treatment  + new lead and tiles were…


We Have Been Lucky With Securing A Decent Roofing Contractor

Exceptionally Talented With The Leadwork

Inside also began to take shape once the roof leaks had been properly cured…

^^^ Bedroom 5 Drying Out ^^^

After Leaky Roof Was Fixed

Just looking at these photos makes the entire crew at Scotslion shudder.

Multiply this by four dozen rooms!

Then multiply that again! By four walls plus a ceiling and floor for each of the 44 rooms. 

That is an mind boggling 264 building surfaces and that is before we factor in a new rewire and central heating and plumbing…

New insulation will make the hotel economically more viable as it will be less expensive to heat. 

^^^ Freshly Plastered Walls ^^^

Of these 44 rooms, there are 176 walls requiring fresh plaster and 44 ceilings. The total was at least 220 surfaces. But as you can see, some walls have three or four angled and parts with “character“. A plasterer’s dream job!

These numbers may help inform our prospective buyers of the works undertaken at Sannox Hotel.

Buying a “lot of bricks for little money” is an attractive proposition when comparing commercial property prices with residential, but it is wise to factor in the renovation costs and crucially make sure you leave yourself a contingency reserve for last minute things It’s all worth it in the end as bringing one of these buildings back to life is very enjoyable. 


The old floor was repaired and new floor boards installed where needed. Then to ensure a high quality carpet adhesion and durability, a marine ply wooden overlay was installed.

Brand New Bespoke Double Glazing

All up to fire regs, and building control regulations. 

The red pyro-cable hanging from the ceiling is a new, state-of-the-art regulation fires system being installed.

This Is The New Bedroom 5

There is a new ensuite bathroom and private w.c., too.

Plus 44 more rooms.

Every one has had a significant amount of work invested into it.

Bedroom 5 Awaits New Carpet & Bedroom Furniture.

Hopefully these “before” and “after” photos of are helpful and reassuring to prospective buyers.

A great deal of effort has gone into this 44 room building and we are keen to see it re-open.



Rather than have 44 pages to cover each renovated room (bedrooms + public rooms + restaurant + tea room + shop etc), this page features the transformation of just one of the several completed guest bedrooms (all are ensuite). We forensically show the work with this example: Bedroom 5. It looks like an ordinary bedroom. It is. But completely renovated and you may be surprised at how much work is invested in each of the rooms at Sannox Hotel. 

^^ Guest Bedroom Number 5 ^^

Carpets & Furniture Next on The List

All Bedrooms Have An Ensuite Shower Room & WC

Even if you are in a rush, just skim through the 26 photographs on this page and you will get the idea! We are approximately 90% complete as at January 2023 and the aim is to open during the course of this year.

The roof on bedroom 5 has been thoroughly overhauled (as have all the roof segments). This and many other rooms have been enlarged. New walls; new floor; new plumbing; new central heating; new rewiring; new fire safety system (fire head still to be fitted to the ceiling pyro-cables which you can see in the next photo). New double glazing. New doors (all fire rated with intumescent strips).

^^^ Guest Bedroom Number 5 ^^^

The cables at the ceiling are the new

fire safety system heads being installed.

Neutral colours are currently on the walls. Plaster protocols observed. 

The managing director had borrowed Bedroom 4, across from bedroom 5 whilst onsite. For this page, we literally have a guest appearance of another completed guest bedroom to show you how close to re-opening this building is...

^^ Guest Bedroom Number 4 ^^

Carpets Underlay & Furniture Next on The List

All Bedrooms Have An Ensuite Shower Room & WC

All freshly and thoroughly restored. 

^^ Guest Bedroom Number 4 ^^

Bedroom 4 is one of the ones with a “poor view”. Though, even the bad-view-rooms (and all hotels have them) are none too shabby…

^^^ The View From Guest Bedroom Number 4 ^^^

We are delighted to show (briefly) the other completed hotel guest bedrooms. Over at bedroom number 1, we did have new carpets fitted as our specialist contractors needed a few hours kip before catching the early morning ferry back to the mainland…

^^^ Aft Deck: MV Isle of Arran ^^^

We have made strenuous efforts to keep all contracts and work on the island.

But for specialist contracts, such as the bespoke double and triple glazing units, there are no manufacturers on Arran, and it helps to be able to keep these visiting work colleagues safe during lockdown.

Crucially, we can make best efforts keeping the island safe in case someone comes over from the mainland that is asymptomatic, but carrying the crappy-virus (all travel and building materials delivery/installation are within the pertaining rules), but it can happen.

The best policy is to keep a physical distance and barrier between contractors and islanders. Which is why we arranged temporary onsite beds for these brilliant gentlemen and ladies of the glazing industry…

^^^ Guest Bedroom Number 2 ^^^

We simply ensured that visiting mainland contractors did not mingle with islanders during the Covid pandemic. Our mainland contractors are billeted in the actual hotel to avoid passing the virus onto islanders. Our policies on this are very strict and they work. An outbreak on one of our mainland sites was prevented due to our Covid safety protocols: here.

^^^ Guest Bedroom 2 & Its Ensuite Bathroom  ^^^

On a local level at the Sannox Hotel, sadly we have had to suspend our policy of showing neighbours and visitors around the hotel as the restoration progresses. This is for everyone’s safety during covid.

^^^ Guest Bedroom Number 1 ^^^

This is a sample of where we are with the guest bedroom renovations 

^^^ Guest Bedroom 1 & Its Ensuite Bathroom  ^^^

The best views in the hotel are from bedrooms 1 & 2…

^^^ Guest Bedroom Number 1: The View ^^^

The view from guest bedroom number 2 is similar.














































Below, several public rooms were being completely renovated – with the novelty of all being very dry rooms now.



Old Boiler House At Rear of Hotel



& Building Reg Compliant Replacement















Example of Bedroom 3

From mouldy cluttered… to completely renovated. Back to brick wall, chemical treated. Replaced by new stud walls with proper building spec insulation + ventilation.

Brand new double glazing in al bedrooms and public rooms etc.

Completely rewired.

Completely replumbed.

New fire safety system.

New fire doors etc.










Worth mentioning at this point the actor Richard Wilson spent a lot of time in his youth at the Sannox Hotel. It used to be called the Ingledene Hotel and that is what Mr Wilson recalls it as.

We understand it may be possible to have Mr Wilson preside over the re-opening ceremony. That’s if he is still answering his old dog and bone…

^^^ Mr Wilson Used To Spend His Summers At Sannox ^^^

At the Ingledene Hotel. This was the

previous name of the Sannox Hotel.


If you have any questions, please…

TEXT in the first instance to: 0757 2768 795.

Thank you.


Sannox Hotel + Village Shop + Owner’s House Details


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