The Deeside Inn, situated in Victoria Street, has been undergoing a £2 million refurbishment – and will be re-launching under the new name of the Balmoral Arms.
However, around 200 yards away, in Netherly Place, sits the Balmoral Bar, and there are concerns that because the names are so similar, it could cause confusion.
Rachel Patterson and her husband John took over the lease of the Balmoral Bar in July 2020.
Rachel said: “Whilst a newly refurbished hotel will be great for the village, we have concerns at there being two ‘Balmorals’ in Ballater and the possible confusion for customers as well as emergency services should they be required. We know No.45 – a B&B previously called The Deeside Hotel – had to change its name when The Deeside Inn reopened. We don't want to feel bullied into doing the same – the whole team have worked incredibly hard for years to build The Balmoral's reputation.
"As is evident from comments on Facebook, there is a lot of bad feeling about this and we undoubtedly have the support of the local community in this matter. Our pub has a great reputation – a quick scan of TripAdvisor will confirm this.”
Crerar Hotels owns the Deeside Inn, soon to be the Balmoral Arms.
A spokesperson said: “The £2m investment into the renovation of the current Deeside Inn will create a five-star accommodation offering in the heart of Ballater. The location and proximity to Balmoral Castle played a key role in the decision to rename the property, and in the final selection of the name. As well as accommodation, we have plans upon launching, to secure an AA-Rosette awarded restaurant and develop a new spa – an offering which completely differentiates the property from any other local businesses and should aid the avoidance of any confusion.
“As well as creating an additional 20 jobs locally, our investment includes a tourism drive to truly showcase everything the area has to offer, with the ultimate aim of providing economic benefit to the area thanks to attracting additional footfall to the region.”