Jan 10 2012 by Andrew Welsh, Perthshire Advertiser Tuesday
A UNIQUE hotel building in Highland Perthshire is to be restored to its original glory.
Modelled on a Scandinavian ski chalet, the Log Cabin Hotel in the hills above Kirkmichael was constructed by a Norwegian company in 1967 to cater for the burgeoning skiing fraternity at Glenshee, seven miles away.
Aptly dubbed ‘The Edelweiss’, the 13-bedroom mountain venue quickly became a fashionable destination for skiers.
Now the couple behind Ballinluig adventure company Nae Limits have secured a lease on the former ‘cult-status’ attraction, which is made entirely from Norwegian pine, safeguarding jobs at the remote site.
John and Kate Mason-Strang plan to re-awaken the Malaysian-owned hotel’s ski roots – and bring a touch of Scandinavia to scenic Kirkmichael.
“The original concept was based around the Scandinavian ski chalet idea and there was nothing else like it in Scotland,” said Mrs Mason-Strang.
“It has had a fascinating and colourful past.”
The building’s features include a Viking long-boat carved into wood in the main lounge, as well as turf roofs.
It has been described as “like walking into a Cinzano advert”.
“What we are looking to put the place on the map again,” Mrs Mason-Strang added.
“We want to be faithful to its ski origins but make it a place where all families who love the outdoors and adventure can come and feel part of it.”
Mr Mason-Strang’s CV includes a stint as a ski instructor at Glenshee Ski Centre.
“In the days when we had super reliable snow in Scotland and the ski industry was thriving, this place used to be the place to hang out,” he declared.
“I can remember thinking it would be great to run it because it was like having a piece of the Alps in Scotland.
“Since we’ve taken over, we’ve had people, even in their sixties, saying they remember the place and saying it is wonderful it is back again.”
The couple have secured a series of winter bookings and plan to make a wide range of adventure sports available through the hotel, which sleeps 37.
Perth and Kinross Council has invested a five-figure sum on the 63-mile Cateran Trail nearby and accommodation for ramblers is badly needed.