Plans go in for extension as £30m revamp of Kelso hotel continues

How an extension planned at the Roxburghe Hotel, near Kelso, would look.
How an extension planned at the Roxburghe Hotel, near Kelso, would look.

A proposed £30m expansion of a Borders hotel has moved another step closer now a planning application for alterations and an extension have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council.

The Roxburghe Hotel at Heiton, near Kelso, reopened at the start of this month under the new name of the Schloss Roxburghe after closing last autumn to allow its current 22 bedrooms to be upgraded.

It is now set to be extended to provide 62 extra bedrooms – 18 fewer than first proposed – plus spa and conference facilities, an external spa garden, new terraces, landscaping and extra car parking.

The plans for the proposed extension, part of a wider investment in the hotel, were submitted following extensive discussions with planning officers at Scottish Borders Council over the last year.

It is expected that, once complete, the redevelopment will create more than 60 new jobs, doubling the hotel’s workforce.

The move follows the purchase of the hotel last year by German-based developer and hotel operator 12.18 Investment Management from Guy Innes-Ker, the 10th Duke of Roxburghe.

At the time of that deal, one of the Dusseldorf firm’s managing partners, Jörg Lindner, promised a jobs boost for the region, saying: “We expect that after the complete redevelopment of the celebrated Roxburghe Hotel and golf course and the new available rooms on the ground, the number of staff employed with us will be more than doubled.

“Other businesses, restaurants and shops in the region will also economically benefit from this development.”

The hotel, formerly known as Sunlaws House, is thought to have been built in the early 1800s and rebuilt in 1885 and 1886 following a fire.

The house was acquired by George Innes-Ker, the ninth duke of Roxburghe, as part of the Sunlaws Estate in the 1960s and, after being used as an estate office, was converted into a hotel in 1982.

Originally called Sunlaws Hotel, it was renamed the Roxburghe Hotel in 2000.

A spokesperson for Edinburgh-based architecture firm ISA on behalf of the developer says: “Despite considerable investment by the duke in the associated golf course, trout fishing and shooting, the hotel has been unable to establish itself as a viable and sustainable business.

“The property was purchased in early 2018 by 12.18 Investment Management, who intend to refurbish, extend and develop the property into a destination resort hotel.

“The proposed extension is part of a larger masterplan for the development of the Roxburghe Hotel and estate.

“The refurbishment of existing house is now complete, along with the refurbishment of existing rooms in the adjacent grade B-listed stable block and the conversion of a former outbuilding into a new gun and boot room.

“Planning consent for 60 lodges within the woodland to the south of the hotel was previously obtained and construction work has commenced.

“The new extension is central to the business case for the whole estate, providing much-needed facilities to support the lodges, existing listed hotel building and existing golf course.

“The location of the extension is also physically central to the whole masterplan, with new estate roads and car parking created to serve the whole development and link the previously disparate parts of the estate together.”