The second floor was a later addition as this earlier postcard from another angle demonstrates:-
The Grampian Hotel stood on the road to the station at Dalwhinnie, just off what was the old A9 through the village by-passed since the late 70s. The hotel was still standing relatively recently as you can see it on Google Earth imagery dated 2005:-
But it had gone by the time the Google Streetview car was driving round in 2008/2009:-
I'm sorry to have missed it. Except for the snippet that apparently Barbara Cartland regularly stayed there, there's frustratingly little information about the Grampian Hotel available online - you'd normally expect the demolition of an art deco building to have generated quite a lot of interest
Anyway, the Grampian Hotel was one of a number of road-side hotels built in the 1930s to capture trade from what was, at the time, the relatively new-fangled but growing craze of motoring. They were a sort of new generation of coaching inns and also a sort of previous generation of motorway service stations and "travel lodges". The A9 itself was considerably upgraded in the late 1920s in response to the growth of road traffic having been little changed since General Wade built it as a military road in the mid 18th century.
Another example of a hotel built in the 1930s in response to the growth in motor traffic is the the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, although this was built in a more vernacular style of architecture:-
A new hotel was necessitated here by the realignment of the A82 between Tyndrum and Glen Coe in the early 1930s carrying it round the east end of Loch Tulla and by-passing the centuries old coaching inn at Inveroran at the west end of the loch. (Happily, in more recent decades the Inveroran Inn has gained a new lease of life from walkers on the West Highland Way which follows the line of the old A82 past its front door).
Some other examples in art deco style are:-
The Royal Stuart Motor Hotel on the old A9 just south of Inverness, like Dalwhinnie by-passed by the new A9 since the late 70s. I remember this when the old A9 still went past its front door in the early 70s on our way to family holidays in Wester Ross - passing it meant we were nearly at Inverness and thus at a significant waymarker on what was at the time a long, long drive from Edinburgh. The RSMH is still very much in business today as the New Drumossie Hotel.
As you'd expect, there are some good examples along the A8 between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Going from east to west, first, there's the Maybury Roadhouse in Edinburgh situated at what, in the 1930s, would have been one of the most important road junctions in Scotland - straight ahead on the A8 for Glasgow; middle fork for the A9 to Stirling (this was where the A9 used to begin before it was cut by the building of the "new" runway at Edinburgh Airport in the mid 70s: now it's just the road to the airport cargo terminal); and right up Maybury Road to take you to the A90 at Barnton for Queensferry.
|Maybury Junction in 1945|
Fittingly, Maybury Road and the Roadhouse were named after the engineer Sir Henry Maybury who designed the road in the late 1920s as part of a scheme to bring Edinburgh's road network up to date for the motor era. The Roadhouse is now a casino:-
|Maybury Roadhouse - photo credit Pete Cracknell|
Further west on the A8, at Whitburn, there's a building I don't know the original name of except that it's now the Royal Regent Cantonese Restaurant:-
Like the A9, the A8 was also re-engineered in the late 1920s/early 1930s to meet the demands of the new motor age. Although built as a single carriageway, the verges and bridges were built wide enough to accommodate a future upgrading to dual carriageway. In fact this never happened and the M8 motorway was eventually built in the 1960s along a different line but you can see this all in the extract below from Google Earth. The Royal Regent is the building at the top and the 1930s A8 is the road coming in diagonally from top right - note its wide verges and the equally wide "ghost" bridge over the River Almond just left of the roundabout. The M8 runs along the bottom.
Further west still on the old (1930s) A8 before it was by-passed by the motorway is the splendid Newhouse Hotel.
Note the petrol pumps to the right emphasising the establishment's importance to the motorist. The Newhouse Hotel is still in business as a Premier Inn, although recent alterations have masked its art deco features somewhat:-
And finally, back in Edinburgh, another building in the same genre is the Hillburn Roadhouse on Biggar Road (A702 to Biggar and Abington) on the edge of the city in Fairmilehead. Like the Maybury, it was not built as a hotel but as a bar-restaurant catering to passing motorists. More recently it was known as the Fairmile Inn but has been empty and vandalised for a number of years.
Well, I've strayed quite a long way from the Grampian Hotel at Dalwhinnie - and nowhere near a kyle or a Western Isle - but if you know of any other 1930s or art deco "roadhouses", wherever they may be, then do leave a comment.