Premier Hospitality Scotland

Upgrading Banchory Lodge Hotel

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire
Written by Roma Publications

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire

 The Banchory Lodge Hotel – an imposing Georgian former country house overlooking the River Dee in Aberdeenshire – has just benefited from its latest phase of refurbishment comprising the extensive upgrade of its public areas.

The works included trebling the size of the hotel’s original cocktail bar, together with a major overhaul of the restaurant and South Lounge, as well as the creation of a new external terrace.

Works to the cocktail bar included internal major extension, re-decoration, the addition of new contemporary lighting, carpets, timber flooring, curtains and seating. The original bar was incorporated into the new scheme, with the addition of a new custom-made pewter bar top, new back bar fitting and new gantry.

Brightly coloured tiled flooring was laid to the area in front of the bar and new artwork was added throughout. A number of ‘quirky’ new features have also been added, including a multi-coloured row of stag’s heads, and a mirror featuring a leaping fish on the back bar, visually acknowledging the popularity of the area with the fishing fraternity.

The upgrade of the South Lounge involved the addition of new carpets, curtains, re-decoration and re-upholstery of existing seating.

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire

The new external timber terrace, which leads off from the cocktail bar, features a seating area and a pizza oven.

The Interior designers for the project were Thr3 Design; Main Contractors were Speyside Property Services – both of whom worked on all previous phases of the refurbishment

The first phase of work involved the upgrade of the hotel’s function room, which comprised redecoration and the fitting of new curtains and carpeting, as well as the formation of a new bar off the function room in an area which had previously been used as additional dining space.

Suzy Kingswood of Thr3 Design told Premier Hospitality: “Banchory Lodge are a great company to work with, they are very open to our ideas and are prepared to push the range of works that little bit further to achieve results. They particularly encourage the use of unusual features which gives us more scope with the design.”

Gaskell Mackay Carpets Limited is a specialist manufacturer of tufted and woven carpets primarily for the hospitality and leisure markets, with more than 75% of its products made to order. The company worked closely with Thr3 Design to come up with a sympathetic but elegant design for the dining room and south lounge of Banchory Lodge.

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire

The design brief was to develop ideas to complement the overall interior scheme in line with Thr3 Design’s vision. Once the design was approved by the client Gaskell Mackay manufactured the carpet in their state of the art factory on the very latest high speed looms.

Due to the challenging project requirements, Gaskell Mackay turned the production of these individual carpet designs around in 4 weeks to ensure that the installation took place as scheduled.

Stephen Donlan of Gaskell Mackay, said:

“At Gaskell Mackay we take great pride in every project, from the recently completed Shangri-La Hotel in The Shard, London to Banchory Lodge. We take every project seriously and our aim is to make every interior unique whether that is iconic buildings known throughout the world or a historic lodge like Banchory. Each and every interior deserves to be special and we think that the results at Banchory Lodge speak for themselves.”

Ultimate Contract Furniture specialises in supplying furniture for restaurants and hotels on a national basis and has played an integral role in this project. The Scotland based firm supplied all of the loose furniture and tables to Banchory Lodge Hotel.

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire

We caught up with Paul Armour from Ultimate Contract Furniture to find out why it is important for Ultimate to be involved. He commented:

“It is great to be involved with the venue as it boasts a high end brasserie-restaurant serving quality food and wine. Also the project has been designed by an established designer who is very much respected in the sector.”

The hotel also has a new menu with fresh, seasonal, locally sourced produce, including a seafood platter and chargrilled meat section with steaks as a speciality. Other dishes include sea bream, Goan fish curry, loin of venison and aubergine and tamarind stew.

The story of Banchory Lodge started in the early 1800s when General William Burnett acquired Arbeadie on the north side of the River Dee, along with lands in the valley of the River Feugh, including the whole parish of Strachen. He then had an old tavern known as the Coble Heugh Inn incorporated into a new mansion which he named Banchory Lodge. The small inn was transformed into a stately house in the dignified style of the period and was surrounded by newly created extensive and beautiful grounds. General Burnett died unmarried in 1839.

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire

Banchory Lodge opened as a hotel in 1939. The hotel had its own mile stretch of the River Dee for Salmon and trout fishing and also had its own private approach to Banchory Railway Station, which closed in 1966.

WJI Upholstery 

WJI Upholstery specialise in the production of bespoke upholstery and soft furnishings for hotels and high end domestic projects. Having been in operation for ten years the firm has worked for many private clients as well as undertaking projects for Mariott Hotels and Macdonald Hotels.

We caught up with Willie Logan, the owner and director of WJI Upholstery, to find out more about the firms latest project Banchory Lodge.

Banchory Lodge, the River Dee in Aberdeenshire

Willie commented:

“We did the blinds and re-upholstery of all of the venues existing furniture. This project was important to be involved in because Thr3 Design is one of our main clients as well as being one of the top design firms in Scotland.

“We pride ourselves in our high quality.”

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