Des Thomson, 50 and Sinead Finnegan, 40, returend to a nightmare on December 19 when they found their beloved Osprey Hotel in the Scottish Highlands completely trashed
A couple who spent four years and their life savings renovating a hotel say they have “lost everything” after they returned from a holiday in Sri Lanka to find the property destroyed.
Des Thomson, 50 and Sinead Finnegan, 40, walked into a nightmare when they returned from their dream trip on December 19 to find their beloved Osprey Hotel, in the Scottish Highlands, completely trashed. To their horror, they discovered that a pipe had become dislodged in the loft and water had been flowing for several weeks, destroying everything in sight, the Daily Record reports.
Des and Sinead are unable to claim on their business insurance due to a clause that states the premises must not be left unattended for more than 30 days – and they spent more than a month away on their travels. “We are waking up every morning and dealing with a nightmare,” Des told the Record. “When we came back from our holiday, I could see the condensation on the windows and knew straight away that something was seriously wrong.
“I walked in and thought, ‘we are done here’. We have done everything ourselves and needed a well-earned rest, ready to carry on. But we have come back to nothing, every single thing is affected. It’s destroyed our lives and we are distraught. We’ve lost everything.”
Des, originally from Glasgow, bought the Osprey in 2019 when moving back to Scotland after living in Dublin for 20 years. The hotel in Kingussie was in a state of disrepair but after four years of painstaking work, they finally opened its doors in April.
After non-stop trade for six months, they decided to go for a well-earned break in October. “A friend was supposed to be staying so I assumed everything was fine, never could we imagine what has happened,” Des continued.
“Such was the damage, that everything we worked so hard for was destroyed. Every wall, ceiling and floor will have to be ripped out. Every door frame, door, cornice, and skirting needs replaced.
“All the soft furnishings, mattresses, carpets, TVs and electronics are destroyed. Our commercial kitchen equipment and dining room along with furniture and décor are also destroyed.” The couple also claim they have since been told that the plumbing fault at the root of the flood stems back to faulty workmanship which was carried out by previous proprietors.
Despite the estimated £125,000 cost, Des and Sinead are not giving up and have decided to rebuild their hotel. A fundraiser has been set up for customers to pay forward a donation they can claim back for a stay in the future.
Des added: “At first I thought we’ll have to give it back to the banks, but we’ve decided we won’t let it defeat us and we’re going to get it back together. It’s our life, business and home.
“We don’t want people just giving us money so we thought about giving people vouchers instead. We’ve been a wee bit overwhelmed by the generosity of customers and it’s spurred us on to get it going sooner rather than later. We hope to have it back open in July.” If you would like to donate to the Osprey fundraiser, click here.