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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Kings Arms Hotel.

103 George Street, Oban, Argyll. PA34 4NT. Tel: 01631 570552.


Kings Arms Hotel 2008

Kings Arms Hotel is now called the Kings Arms Holiday Flats.

Kings Arms Oban1

Kings Arms Holiday Flats. 2008.

The original King's Arms Hotel was owned by Alexander McTavish. Right in the centre of the bay and town of Oban was convenient of both tourists and businessmen. Mr McTavish was an ideal host, who seemed intuitively to have the happy knack of knowing exactly what his patrons required, and giving them happy recollections of their stay in Oban.

Alexander McTavish 1895

Mr Alexander McTavish. 1895.

Mr McTavish was born in the bonnie village of Crieff and spent his youth in Killin, where he went to school. His aunt, Mrs McTavish who brought him up, had the inn there for a long period of thirty years, and under her careful and experienced eye he learned the business of hotel-keeping in its every detail.

At the age of twenty-two years, having worked his way up through all the grades to the position of head waiter, he was fortunate in winning the hand of Miss McNeil, a Crieff lady.

In 1864 the younger generation went to Rowerdennan, Mr McTavish entering the service of Mr A Blair. From thence he went to the Trossachs, where he remained for eleven years, a popular and well-known figure to tourists, proving himself to have all the qualities required for his arduous position.

Drawing of The Kings Arms Hotel Oban 1895

The Kings Arms Hotel. 1895.

In 1887 Mr McTavish took over the Kings Arms in Oban, and active, attentive, and with such a wide-spread connection, so well did he prosper, that in 1886 he found himself in a position to become his own landlord, and two years afterwards pulled it down and presented an elegant structure, so well known to all sojourners in Oban.

Mr McTavish was a gentleman of striking personality; an unmistakable Highlander of the best type, fond of all outdoor sports, he was an authority on many of them. A keen Freemason, he was a member of the Lodge Commercial, No 180. A curler, golfer and more than usually successful fly fisher, he was a gentleman whose versatility had made him known fat beyond the North of Scotland. Making his customers his friends, his connection extends to every quarter of the globe; taking a lively interest in every movement for the good and advancement of the town, he was a prince of good fellows and a model host.


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