Gleneagles Hotel set to close doors from Friday
Five star resort Gleneagles is to close its doors until the end of January due to increased lockdown restrictions in the area.
The closure is the second this year for the luxury hotel facility, which was shut for four months from March. During this shutdown, however, all golf courses and membership leisure facilities, including equestrian activities, will stay open.
It is understood that staff at the hotel, which was last month named the top UK hotel in the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, will be put on furlough after the UK Government extended the scheme earlier this month. Perth and Kinross was moved into level three lockdown on Tuesday, amid rising cases in the area. The change means that restaurants and bars cannot serve alcoholic drinks with or without a meal and must close by 6pm – although hotels can serve food to guests in their rooms until 10pm.
Gleneagles spokesman Conor O’Leary said: “Following the Scottish Government’s announcement that Perth and Kinross will be moved up to protection level three in the national coronavirus restriction system, we’ve taken the very difficult decision to temporarily close Gleneagles’ doors for the second time this year – from Friday, November 13 until Sunday, January 31, inclusive.”
He said: “Having worked so hard to provide a safe environment across our estate, we are saddened by this development, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, the highlight of our calendar for both teams and guests.”
Mr O’Leary added: “However, we’re committed to taking the additional measures necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone at Gleneagles, and to play our part in minimising COVID-19 cases in the region.
“The support and well-wishes we’ve received over the past eight months, including our four-month closure period earlier this year, have been truly humbling, and we look forward to welcoming back our hotel guests from 1 February, subject to government regulations.”
Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, hinted that the Scottish Government could be planning further support for hospitality and leisure businesses.
He said: “The news that Gleneagles will be closing its doors until February comes as no surprise to me given the recent announcements. I have been having conversations with hoteliers the length and breadth of the country and many are doing similar. The costs of remaining open and providing a total experience which the customer expects, with limitations and uncertainty are too high.
"While furlough is a welcome support for staff who would almost certainly be without a job right now in many businesses had it not been extended, it offers no direct financial benefit to businesses and a much greater degree of financial support is needed immediately to enable those both open and closed to remain solvent and bounce back when we are through the crisis period and into recovery. We reiterated this on a private call between myself, STA Chair Stephen Leckie and the First Minister yesterday who acknowledged this and we would hope that additional support measures for businesses operating throughout the sector would be announced in the very near future.”