Hotel Brands

Crieff Hydro expands offering with Highland safari acquisition

Highland Safaris has grown to become one of the biggest attractions in the area, attracting over 50,000 guests each year.

Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels has announced the acquisition of Highland Safaris, a Perthsire visitors experience in a bid to expand its offering. 

Highland Safaris, situated in Aberfeldy, will continue its operations as a standalone business within the Crieff Hydro Family portfolio, owned and led by the Leckie family. The hotels group is made up of eight hotels located in Perthshire, Dundee, the Scottish Borders and the Highlands.

The attraction opened in 1992 by Donald and Julie Riddell. Highland Safaris has grown to become one of the biggest attractions in the area, attracting over 50,000 guests each year by “drawing visitors from around the world off the beaten track”.

It includes Land Rover safaris, boat trips on Loch Tay, its Red Deer Centre, a collection of walking and biking activities, and Perthshire’s only Gold and Gem Panning Centre.

Julie Riddell, director of Highland Safaris, said: “Donald and I started the business the same year we got married, with one Land Rover, and we have put 30 years of hard work into the business to grow it to what it is today. Our commitment to first class customer care remains as strong today as it was then.” 

Donald Riddell added: “The time is right for us to take a step back and create the opportunity for the business to continue to thrive with the investment and energy Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels will bring.

“There is so much synergy between Highland Safaris and the Leckie family’s business, including a shared love of the local area and its wonderful wildlife. We are delighted to see Highland Safaris become part of their family.”

Stephen Leckie, chairman and CEO of Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels, said: “This is a fantastic milestone for us and a great example of positive investment in Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector. Welcoming Highland Safaris to our family will help us to achieve our growth strategy and expand our offering to guests, particularly for visitors at our hotels in Crieff.”

Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels is a fifth generation family of eight hotels comprised of Crieff Hydro, Peebles Hydro, Murraypark Hotel in Crieff, The Park Hotel in Peebles, Taypark House in Dundee, The Isles of Glencoe, Ballachulish Hotel and Kingshouse Hotel also in Glencoe.

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