Couple who spent their life savings renovating a hotel return from holiday in Sri Lanka to find it destroyed after burst pipe flooded the entire building

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Written By Maya Cantina

A couple who spent their live savings renovating a hotel returned from a holiday to find it had been destroyed after a burst pipe flooded the entire building.

Des Thomson, 50 and Sinead Finnegan, 40, were left distraught after finding their beloved Osprey Hotel in ruins.

After returning to the Scottish town of Kingussie from Sri Lanka on December 19, they found that a pipe had burst in the loft and water had been flowing out for several weeks.

To make matters worse, the couple’s business insurance have refused to pay out because they were away from the premises and out of the country in excess of thirty days.

Mr Thomson told The Daily Record: ‘We are waking up every morning and dealing with a nightmare.’

Des Thomson, 50 and Sinead Finnegan, 40, were left distraught after finding their beloved Osprey Hotel had been destroyed

To make matters worse, the couple's business insurance have refused to pay out because they were away from the premises and out of the country in excess of 30 days. Pictured: Damage caused in the dining room by the flood

To make matters worse, the couple’s business insurance have refused to pay out because they were away from the premises and out of the country in excess of 30 days. Pictured: Damage caused in the dining room by the flood

The couple found that a pipe had burst in the loft and water had been flowing out for several weeks. Ceilings, floors, and walls will need to be ripped out

The couple found that a pipe had burst in the loft and water had been flowing out for several weeks. Ceilings, floors, and walls will need to be ripped out

He said that he knew something was wrong immediately when they saw condensation on the hotel’s windows when they got back.

The distraught hotel owner added: ‘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.’ 

Mr Thomson, who is originally from Glasgow, purchased the hotel in 2019 after moving back to Scotland having spent 20 years in Dublin.

Despite Covid hitting within months of their acquisition, they continued to sink their life savings into transforming the hotel which was in need of a major refurbishment.  

After four years of hard work, the couple finally opened up for business in April. The Osprey had been doing a roaring trade for six months when the couple decided to book a holiday in October.

Mr Thomson revealed that a friend was supposed to be staying at the hotel so he assumed everything would be fine – but it was not.

The couple will need to rip out every wall, ceiling and floor while all soft furnishings such as mattresses, carpets, TVs and electronics have been ruined.

The commercial kitchen equipment and dining room have also been destroyed, leaving the couple with a near-impossible task to refurbish the hotel for a second time.

Mr Thomson, who is originally from Glasgow, purchased the hotel in 2019 after moving back to Scotland having spent 20 years in Dublin. Pictured: The Osprey Hotel

Mr Thomson, who is originally from Glasgow, purchased the hotel in 2019 after moving back to Scotland having spent 20 years in Dublin. Pictured: The Osprey Hotel

A bedroom is pictured at the hotel before it was completely destroyed by the flooding while the owners were away

A bedroom is pictured at the hotel before it was completely destroyed by the flooding while the owners were away

A bar area is seen at the hotel. The owners are raising money to try and refurbish the hotel again

A bar area is seen at the hotel. The owners are raising money to try and refurbish the hotel again

The entrance to the Osprey hotel which is in the Scottish town of Kingussie

The entrance to the Osprey hotel which is in the Scottish town of Kingussie

The couple claim that they have been informed the plumbing fault which led to the flood goes back to some botched work carried out by previous proprietors.

Despite a mammoth £125,000 quote to repair the hotel, the owners have refused to give up and have vowed to rebuild their hotel. They hope it can open its doors again by May. 

They have set up a GoFundMe, where they wrote: ‘The Osprey is our life, business and home. We will need to strip the hotel back to its joists and we will. We intend to rebuild it bigger and better.’

At the time of writing, the couple have raised almost £8,000. 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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