Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club has unlocked the doors to newly-modernised rooms after undergoing a £2m revamp – with help from Mary, Queen of Scots’ previously unseen keys. 

The £2m hotel refurbishment has helped shine a light on historic keys which played a part in Mary, Queen of Scots’ temporary prison break from Loch Leven Castle in 1568. The keys belong to the 22nd Earl of Morton, who lives on the Dalmahoy estate, and today marks the first time the precious keys have been seen in public since the end of the 18th century. 

It’s said the Earl’s ancestors helped play a part in Mary, Queen of Scots’ prison break; the keys were discovered and returned to the 16th Earl of Morton on the Dalmahoy estate in 1791, where they remain to this day. The Earl has kindly allowed the keys to be photographed so guests and visitors can view them for the first time. 

Unveiling the modernisation at the independently-branded hotel, Alistair Kinchin, General Manager of Dalmahoy, said: “It’s very apt that Mary, Queen of Scots’ keys are officially unlocking the doors to our restyled hotel – a refurbishment which carefully blends modernity, whilst helping us celebrate the building’s incredible past. 

“We’re excited to welcome our guests to the new-look Dalmahoy today, which marks almost three years since we began operating as an independent property. We’ve received really positive feedback from our guests so far.” 

Located within one of Scotland’s most prestigious estates near Edinburgh, Dalmahoy is one of the country’s few true leisure resorts with an array of dining options, two 18-hole golf courses, swimming pool and nature walks all on site. 

Hamilton Hotel Partners is a world-class hospitality advisory company which manages Dalmahoy on behalf of the owners. Frank Croston, Partner at Hamilton Hotel Partners said: “This is a very exciting time for Dalmahoy. In the almost-three years since becoming an independent hotel, turnover and profits have increased substantially. By continuing to invest in the resort, we will ensure Dalmahoy’s continued prominence in Edinburgh’s competitive four-star market.” 

The recent three-month refurbishment project, led by Scottish design firm 10 Design, owned by Liz McNeill, is part of a two-year major upgrade of the resort. 

“The brief was to create a design that delivered modernity – right down to details such as USB charging points – whilst keeping the traditional feel of the country house. I think we have achieved this by utilising some iconic Scottish touches such as the artwork featuring Scottish wildlife and cushions containing classic paisley pattern designs whilst ensuring that all modern conveniences are thoughtfully installed,” said Liz.

Other 2019 developments include a recently-refurbished driving range, a children’s play area planned for later in the year, and a new CHP unit (combined heat and power) that will allow the hotel to reduce its energy consumption and lower its carbon footprint. 

The recent three-month refurbishment project was led by Scottish design firm 10 Design,