New owners and a new name for hotel

The new owners of Dunnikier House Hotel, Doug and Sarah Philip. Pic credit:  Fife Photo Agency
The new owners of Dunnikier House Hotel, Doug and Sarah Philip. Pic credit: Fife Photo Agency
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One of Kirkcaldy’s oldest and grandest hotels is under new ownership ... with a new name.

Dunnikier House Hotel has been bought by young couple Doug and Sarah Philip from Edinburgh who officially took over the hotel on January 9.

Doug and Sarah are planning to change the name of the hotel to Oswald House Hotel. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

Doug and Sarah are planning to change the name of the hotel to Oswald House Hotel. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

And not only are they overhauling the Georgian mansion house, which dates back to 1793, by giving it a completely new makeover, but they are also planning to change its name to Oswald House Hotel - after the hotel’s original owners, the Oswald family.

Sarah (30) is originally from Glasgow, while Doug (31) has connections in Fife as he grew up in Elie and his father owned The Ship Inn in the village for 25 years.

They both have experience they will be calling on to help with the challenge of managing their own hotel – Doug has a recruitment business, while Sarah has been running Lunga House, a Scottish country house on the west coast, where she organised weddings and other family functions.

The couple said it has been their dream to run their own establishment and looked at a number of venues before deciding on Dunnikier House Hotel.

Sarah said: “We looked at an old run down mill and another country house, but when we saw this one we thought it was perfect and we fell in love with it.

“We see it as a project for us – we are planning to give it a complete overhaul and we think it will take about three years to complete the renovations.”

She added: “Keeping the hotel’s traditions is very important so this is why we wanted to name the hotel after its original owners, and the bar will be known as The Dunnikier Bar.”

Doug said: “We are stripping out the top floor and doing the rooms upstairs first - putting in new carpets, furniture, re-decorating and creating a new bridal suite.

“We are also renovating the reception area and the conservatory and putting in new pipes from the bar to the beer cellar.

“But we also want to keep some of the hotel’s traditional features like the fireplaces and the wood panelling so it is in keeping with its history.”

The couple are looking to transform the hotel into a first-class wedding venue, as well as catering for other special occasions. They will also be launching new food menus next Friday, offering lunches and dinners seven days a week.

They added: “It is a challenge but also an exciting new start for us and the hotel.”