The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen’s west end has opened its new ballroom, increasing venue capacity by up to 60% and creating 40 new jobs.
At 507sqm, the Granite Suite now offers one of the biggest hotel event spaces in Aberdeen and the surrounding area, with scope to host as many as 320 people for dinner-dances and conferences. The capacity of the previous ballroom was just 200.
Work on the redevelopment of the hotel bar, which will see floorspace more than double, will be completed later this year, as will construction works extending the hotel into the neighbouring property at 55-57 Queen’s Road. The new extension will create 21 additional bedrooms, bringing the total number of rooms and suites to 71.
The Chester Hotel general manager Stephen Gow said: “The hotel has earned a reputation as one of the leading event venues in the city, but the feedback we were receiving from organisers was that there was a real shortage of venues in the region with the capacity to host large-scale events.
“We felt that there was an opportunity to carry out a renovation of the ballroom in tandem with plans to extend other parts of the hotel to meet this demand. The result after five months of work is a stunning new ballroom with the capacity to host as many as 400 people for a drinks reception.
“Over the past 12 months we have seen an increase in the number of corporate events enquiries, which is evidence of confidence returning to Aberdeen after the downturn in North Sea oil and gas production.
“While the extension may have been driven by demand from the events sector, we have also seen an increase in the number of enquiries about weddings due to the additional space we can now offer and the flexibility of the ballroom set up.”
The Granite Suite can be configured in a variety of ways to accommodate events of different sizes, and four private dining areas are also available for smaller gatherings.
The ballroom redevelopment has resulted in 40 new full and part-time banqueting jobs being created, bringing the total number of people employed at The Chester Hotel to 100. That number will increase again later in the year when the next two phases are completed.