History of Smiths Hotel by Alasdair Houston (MBE)
"In 1886 my great grandfather bought the Gretna Estate which included farming land and the tiny hamlet of Gretna Green. One of the buildings in the hamlet was the blacksmith’s workshop, already renowned for its romantic history as a haven for runaway lovers since 1754.
Over the past four generations my forebears and I have done our best to grow the Famous Blacksmiths Shop at Gretna Green into what is now an important international visitor destination.
In 2006 Smiths at Gretna Green became our latest adventure. When I began developing the idea for Smiths a year or two previously I knew that the hotel I wanted to build would be something different, a new style of Hotel for the Gretna Green area. A hotel that would appeal to discerning guests from both corporate and leisure markets. Working closely with the design team, we were able to translate that vision into reality within around two years.
Our aim at Smiths Hotel is to offer a blend of relaxed professionalism and individuality within a stylish and contemporary environment. We want you, our guests, to feel friendly, courteous hospitality from the moment you walk through our door. We believe our family ownership and independence from “the chains” is important. You are not just a number to us; you are as individual as we are.
Our agricultural roots remain strong and farming is still an important part of what we do here, forming an integrated link between field and table. Smiths Hotel sits in the middle of our farmland that you can see from the Hotel. We grow a range of crops and vegetables and run a prize winning herd of pedigree Charolais cattle.
Smiths at Gretna Green, (together with the Famous Blacksmiths Shop Attractions), are run by my family business, Gretna Green Ltd. I am actively involved in the day to day running of the business alongside a team of experienced staff, many of whom have been with Smiths since we opened in February 2006, and of whom I am very proud.
Our Hotel is for everyone who likes excellence. People from the local area are coming to enjoy a great meal in Smiths Restaurant or a drink in the bar; couples or larger wedding parties becoming part of Gretna Green’s amazing romantic history; business people here for meetings or conferences or stopping off en route north or south; international and leisure visitors and families looking for a taste of ‘Scotland with Style’. All are met with the same level of commitment to excellence. Smiths is about feeling welcome. We hope to be given the chance of extending our welcome to you."
Alasdair Houston (MBE)