Hotel plan revived for love nest of Chanel and Duke
PLANS to turn Coco Chanel’s former Highland love nest into a luxury hotel have been revived.
Planning permission to breathe new life into Rosehall Estate in Sutherland, a regular haunt of the famous French designer and the 2nd Duke of Westminster during their long affair , is due to expire next month.
But the owners of the derelict estate have now applied to Highland Council to renew the consent, keeping hopes of the ambitious development alive.
Under plans approved in February 2014, the 20-room Georgian mansion near Lairg would be fully restored and turned into an upmarket hotel, carrying many of the design features created by Chanel.
Having been neglected for more than 60 years, work on the project had been expected to begin early in 2015, but the plans have remained on the drawing board.
The property has been on the market for almost two years with a price tag of £3 million.
It was built in 1820, but its most colourful period was during the 1920s after it was bought by the Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor.
The wealthy landowner would spend his summers at the property with Coco Chanel, who was his lover between 1923 and 1929.
The designer fished on the estate’s river and caught more than 50 salmon, according to former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, who stayed with her at the property.
She redesigned the whole of the mansion’s interior, making it unique in the UK.
Despite her leaving the home 85 years ago, a number of the rooms still bear her work, including fragments of wallpaper she designed.
She had hand-blocked wallpaper shipped in from France, and oversaw local workmen as they put together simple fireplaces.
The planning permission renewal application – for a hotel and five new-built guest lodges in the grounds – has been lodged on behalf of Ghulum Choudry of the Rosehall Estate.
Malik Afsar, an agent at Westminster-based estate agents RE/MAX Central, which is marketing the property, said: “We have had interest but we haven’t had any serious commitment.
“It’s still a huge opportunity. This will go at a very good price, I’m very confident and sure about it.”
COCO CHANEL: She redesigned the interior.