Art dealers Iwan and Manuela Wirth to open hotel in Scottish highlands
Having recently celebrated the opening of their first Asian outpost during Art Basel Hong Kong, Swiss art dealers Iwan and Manuela Wirth, of Hauser & Wirth, show no signs of slowing down. The power dealers have now set their sights on a new hotel, opening in Braemar, Scotland, later this year.
Originally built in the 19th century by the Duke of Fife, the Fife Arms hotel cuts an imposing figure along the village streets. It’s a well-preserved architectural icon, featuring timber bargeboards, pink and grey granite, Aberdeen-bonded stonework characteristic of the region. The building has retained all of its timber sash and case windows with distinctive arts and crafts multi-paned upper sashes, and a large number of original chimney stacks.
Interior designer Russell Sage along with Moxon Architects have been tasked with breathing new life into the property’s 46 guest-rooms. The revamped interiors will include commissions from international artists, museum displays and a collection of paintings, drawings and objects narrating the history of the hotel, Braemar and Scotland. A restaurant with river views will focus on traditional Scottish cuisine, while additional guest facilities include a public bar, cocktail bar, family room and spa.
It’s a natural next step for the Wirths, who have proven to be canny hospitality impresarios with a panache for culture, food, and community. The restaurant Manuela at the couple’s Los Angeles gallery has proven an especially popular draw at the sprawling space, putting a new spin on Californian cuisine. Hauser & Wirth Somerset, meanwhile, boasts an artist-designed guesthouse packed with vintage furniture and contemporary art, not to mention the countryside outpost’s much-lauded Roth Bar & Grill. The couple also own The Bull Inn, located nearby in Hardway.