New general manager for £2.2m revamped Highlands hotel

A new general manager has taken her place at the helm of one of Crerar Hotels’ Scottish Hghland hotels, the Balmoral Arms.

Seasoned hotelier Joanna Whysall joins from her most recent role as general manager at the Scottish hotel group’s Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa, to take the reins at Balmoral Arms, currently undergoing a £2.2m refurbishment.

Formerly known as the Deeside Inn, the property will re-launch in the coming months as the Balmoral Arms, with Joanna heading up the team striving to achieve five-star status.

Whysall dedicated six years to the Crerar Hotels property in Ballater from 2012 to 2018 and is excited to move back to the area to oversee the final stages of the refurbishment and rebranding – including a recruitment drive to build the team that will re-launch the new proposition.

For the last two years, Whysall has focused on developing Loch Fyne Hotel & Spa, leading the team to record results.

A total of 29 roles will be created within the local area including chefs, housekeeping, and food and beverage team members.

Whysall said, “It’s an absolute privilege to be leading the launch of Balmoral Arms at such an exciting and crucial time. Having been part of the Crerar Hotels family for a number of years, I’m well aware of the high standards of authentic Scottish hospitality that our guests are accustomed to.

'I’m looking forward to recruiting an outstanding team to reopen what will undoubtedly be a five-star proposition in the heart of Royal Deeside – and at the most fitting time, during a milestone Jubilee year.”

Chris Wayne-Wills, CEO of Crerar Hotels, said, “We’re delighted to name Joanna as the new General Manager of the soon-to-launch Balmoral Arms.

'We’re investing heavily in creating a retreat fit for royalty and Joanna is an absolute expert when it comes to ensuring the level of service that goes along with such a proposition.

“I have every confidence that Joanna will create an outstanding team that will not only thrive, but also achieve real success during the final stages of the refurbishment, and beyond.”

The tranche of investment across the three properties comes just months after Crerar Hotels unveiled the results of a £500k investment in the five-star Glencoe Inn and a £3.5m transformation of Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa.

It takes the Group’s total spend on the portfolio to £10m over the past 12 months.