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The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

Situated on Queens Road in Aberdeen’s West End, The Chester Hotel – formerly Simpson’s Hotel – is a stunning new hotel development, providing guests with high quality service in luxurious surroundings.

The hotel boasts a new fine dining restaurant and dazzling cocktail lounge, a full conference and function suite with independent lounge bar; and in an adjacent wing, 54 refurbished guest rooms, guest gym and two beauty rooms.

In 2013 the property closed its doors to undergo a £5 million transformation which completely revitalised both public and guest facilities. This included the demolition and re-construction of the two-storey restaurant building behind the original granite townhouse, and the addition of a further new extension at the rear of the hotel.

Graven was commissioned to design the hotel’s public spaces, comprising the IX restaurant, IX bar and function suites, whilst Ambiance Interior Design refurbished the building’s reception, as well as the bedrooms – including two suites – and a beauty room. Both companies worked in collaboration with executive architect Graham Mitchell Architects.

The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

Owner and Director at The Chester Hotel, Graham Wood, said:

“We are delighted with the newly renovated and extended Chester Hotel and are fortunate to have worked with Ambiance Interior Design and Graven.

“Ambiance styled the interiors at our sister premises, The Chester Residence in Edinburgh, and guests love it, so we knew we had hit upon an excellent formula. Visitors to The Chester Hotel appreciate the warm and subtle decoration throughout the bedrooms and feel utterly comfortable.

“When it came to designing the restaurant and bar areas, our vision was for a space that would operate smoothly and allow us to achieve high levels of service but that would be cutting-edge and beautiful as well. Graven produced an extraordinary restaurant and bar which have given the building a new lease of life.”

The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

Willie Nolan of Graven, said:

“It was crucial to get the structure and flow right before starting to think about furnishings and decoration. Spatially, great bars and restaurants work best where there’s lots of interaction, both overt and discreet; eye contact, flirting, people watching are important and fun, so there’s a theatricality to the design, with spaces of different scales and intimacy.

“I took some inspiration from the feel of smaller, traditional old bars with lots of nooks and crannies and hidden back rooms, which reveal themselves in a very seductive way. It’s like a contemporary speakeasy. The idea is very much to get drawn into the bar and restaurant in this manner, each space leading tantalisingly onto another, so wherever you are sitting you’re aware – through sight, sound and the fabulous cooking smells – of other really interesting things going on.”

The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

He added:

“The centrally located bar counter and the theatre kitchen each act like social and visual pivots and were key to resolving the new layout. From this, the various supporting spaces and partial views interact and add character and reference points as people experience the new interiors.”

Acoustic operable wall specialists, Cord Contracts were brought into the project to provide their expertise on The Chester Hotel.

The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

Stewart Brown of Cord Contracts, said:

“I was brought into the project at an early stage to provide advice on the type and performance specification of the acoustic walls planned for the hotel. I was able to provide detailed information to the structural engineer regarding the support needed for the wall panels and advise the architect on the possible layouts and stacking arrangements for the walls.

“The acoustic performance of the building structure was specified at an early stage and this required Cord Contracts to mesh with other trades and programme a three stage installation process to suit.”

Stewart added:

“The initial approach came from Graven whom we worked with in the past and given that the hotel carried a prestige rating, we were delighted to assist and be involved.”

For more information about The Chester Hotel, please visit: www.chester-hotel.com.

The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow


Graven is an internationally renowned design consultancy specialising in branding, interior design, graphic design and communications design. Graven has delivered ambitious and successful design solutions for almost 30 years creating successful and pioneering commercial, leisure and retail environments for organisations, including those in commercial & corporate, education & health and hotels & leisure, and across both public and corporate sectors.

Graven, 175 Albion Street, Glasgow G1 1RU

The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

Tel: +44 (0)141 552 6626 | Web: www.graven.co.uk | Twitter: The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen, St Roberts, Glasgow

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