Tuesday, July 5, 2022
BusinessKarma Lake of Menteith is launched bringing former GM out of retirement

Karma Lake of Menteith is launched bringing former GM out of retirement

FOLLOWING its purchase by the worldwide Karma Group last year the former Lake of Menteith Hotel has rebranded and now launches as Karma Lake of Menteith.

The hotel, located near Aberfoyle in the Trossachs, can accommodate 48 guests, has 18 en-suite bedrooms, including several with lakeside views, and dog-friendly rooms.

It also boasts a whisky “malt vault” and 32-seater dining room overlooking the lake, which is Scotland’s only natural lake-loch, loch Inchmahome.

Lake of Montieth malt vault. Photo by Hanna thomas.
Chris Diplock general manager in the Lake of Montieth malt vault. Photo by Hanna Thomas.

Plans to collaborate with local visitor attractions and further develop the hotel’s whisky vault are being led by general manager Chris Diplock (62), who came out of retirement for the role.

Busy welcoming guests, recruiting new local staff, and overseeing subtle refurbishments and redesigns of key areas in the Hotel, including the bar and malt vault, Chris is right back in the thick of things.

“I’m delighted to be here at Lake of Menteith, this resort is a fantastic addition to the Karma portfolio.” said Chris who first joined Karma in 2007 in Goa, India as General Manager of a sixty-three-apartment holiday resort in North Goa near Baga Beach.

Many of our Karma locations have a calming holistic air to them, and certainly you feel that here – looking out over the Lake is truly mesmerising with Stirling’s hills and mountains in the distance.”

He continued: “It’s so peaceful and tranquil that you can’t help but feel better when you come here, so important for guests after the trials and tribulations of the last two years,

“There’s heaps of potential to develop our offering here at Karma Lake of Menteith in the coming months.

“We’ll add value to the guest experience through our range of whiskies – with another seventeen bottles just added to the collection – together with collaborations with other visitor attractions in the area.”

Chris explained that Elizabeth Gilmour, a British cycling qualified mountain bike leader and cycling coach who lives nearby has agreed to offer guided bike rides around Loch Ard Forest.

Chris is also reaching out to local artisan suppliers in the area who could provide him with handcrafted products to sell alongside the “own label” range of beers, wines and spirits available across Karma resorts.

We work with vineyards and distilleries all over Europe,” he said.

“We’re always on the lookout for local suppliers, not necessarily just for alcoholic drinks, but for any product that is delicious, sustainable if possible, and reflects local heritage and location.”

We have a particular requirement for our own label honey which we thought would be a fantastic addition to breakfast, and could be retailed to guests here, and across our global resorts.

“We’ve already had a very positive conversation with local renowned chef Nick Nairn who has his own hives.”

Chris continued by saying that since he had arrived at Karma Lake of Menteith, he and his team had been implementing some changes to the look and feel of the Hotel, which initially appeal to Karma owner and founder, John Spence.

“It had the air of a New England lakeside retreat with lots of local timber and stone used in the décor, along with a huge open-hearth fireplace by which to sit and relax.”

“We’re certainly going to retain that airy, paired back look, as it lets the views do the talking,” said Chris, “but, as with any hospitality business, there’s always maintenance to complete. 

Lake of Monteith room
Chris and his team have been hard at work refurbishing areas of the hotel but want to let “the views do the talking.”

“We are replacing wooden flooring, dining tables & chairs, and refreshing décor in the common areas.”

Chris explained that he was redesigning the “malt vault” which would soon be unveiled.

“Yes, we want to make a few changes here,” he said. “We’re going to go for a “gentleman’s club” type of look with Chesterfield Sofas and muted lighting.

“But we are aware that many ladies drink whisky too, so it will be a cosy space to appeal to all.”

Chris finished by saying that, although he had retired to Spain in 2019, he quickly realised “retirement wasn’t for me.” 

“I jumped at the chance to re-join the Karma family and head up this amazing place, it’s a real privilege, and I know I can achieve a great deal in passing on my extensive skills and experience to younger people in hospitality as the sector recovers.

“We must build for the future.”

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