Douneside House, the luxury Scottish country house hotel in Tarland, Royal Deeside collected three hotel awards and four people awards at the North East Regional Final of the Scottish Hotel Awards.
In the hotel awards category, Douneside won “Luxury Hotel of the Year”, “Small Country House of the Year” and “Hotel Breakfast of the Year”.
Douneside House, which is owned and managed by The MacRobert Trust, was re-opened in July, 2016, by HRH Prince Michael of Kent following a major renovation.
The MacRobert Trust invested £5M into the property, which was the original family home of Lady MacRobert, and the Trust now runs the property as a luxury hotel, restaurant, wedding and conference venue. There is also an on-site Health Club with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, state-of- the-art gym and fitness classes; used by hotel guests and Health Club members.
The renovation included a complete re-design and upgrade of the 14-bedroom main building, restaurant, public rooms, on-site cottages and apartments and Health Club and included restoring many original features, antique furniture and artefacts to carefully retain the property’s character. The renovation also included an overhaul of Douneside’s terrace garden, which is managed by Head of Gardens, Stephen McCallum, ex Hard Gardner at the Beechgrove Garden.
Following re-opening many of the staff employed prior to the renovation returned to Douneside and were joined by some new team members, including General Manager, Marcel Wassen and Head Chef, David Butters.
Wassen is an experienced Country House General Manager, having managed some of the finest properties in Scotland and further afield. At the Regional Awards, the Douneside team picked up several ‘People Recognition Awards’ including Carolanne Duncan (Housekeeper of the Year), Tomasz Bielawski (Restaurant Manager of the Year) and Jim Barron (Bar Manager of the Year).
Wassen said “I’m delighted that our people have been recognised in this way, we have a fantastic, loyal team here who consistently go above and beyond to exceed our guests’ expectations.”
As Douneside is owned by the MacRobert Trust, all profits generated by the hotel are re-invested in the property or distributed to UK charities through The MacRobert Trust’s grant giving scheme. On average, the Trust donates over £1m to UK charities each year, including several charitable organisations in the North East. Last year The MacRobert Trust donated to organisations including Charlie House, Befriend a Child, Winston’s Wish, Perth Autism Support, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s Rooftop Garden, among many others.
The MacRobert Trust’s CEO, Rear Admiral Chris Hockley said “We’ve been delighted at the public’s response since re-opening Douneside as a luxury hotel last year. My sincere thanks to the team –it’s due to their hard work and dedication that we’ve reached this point. Ultimately, the more successful Douneside is, the more we can give to worthwhile charities. I wish the Douneside team the best of luck at the Scottish Hotel finals in April.”
Douneside will now compete against properties Scotland-wide at the Scottish Hotel Awards Finals, which will be held on the 23 rd of April, 2017 in Glasgow.