Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course
The four-star Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Course has just undergone a £4.5m revamp to expand its facilities and usher in a new era for the establishment. Located in the heart of the tranquil Aberdeenshire countryside, Meldrum House has long been a popular destination for guests looking for a luxury stay with a Scottish flavour.
The new wing includes a new state-of-the-art ballroom and banqueting facility plus 28 new luxurious guest bedrooms. There has also been a change to the main hotel with the former private dining room being changed into a new dining room for guests to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. The total number of rooms now offered by the hotel stands at 51.
Set in 240 acres of stunning landscape, Meldrum House includes a golf course, lake and a field for its very own Highland cattle. The history of the original building dates back some 800 years and as such is awash with historical artefacts from paintings to the revered Meldrum family coat of arms. Central to the hotel is blending this past with modern design and features. It is something guests are aware of from the moment they arrive with automated glass doors bringing them into the building. The reception area has a modern feel but sits in front of a staircase decorated with grand paintings from a different era.
The new wing is very contemporary and modern in its design. While the older wing of the hotel has luxury four poster beds and very traditional designs with regard to its soft furnishings and wall coverings, the new wing offers elegant contemporary rooms. Designed by Thr3 Design, the new bedrooms have floor to ceiling windows which make full use of stunning views out across the golf course. Super King rooms are corner rooms and as such have windows on two sides. Massive curtains that stretch around are therefore incorporated, adding to the grandeur of the rooms and highlighting the expense Meldrum House has put in to the renovation. A small number of rooms also have glass balconies to enhance the guest experience further still.
Each room has a colour palette that consists of beige, light browns and gold that adds to the light and bright feel first introduced by the large windows. Televisions have been subtlety hidden in the bottom of the beds whilst the soft furnishings are of the same exceptional quality. Luxury also comes in the form of carefully crafted tiled bathrooms.
In addition to the rooms, the new wing also encompasses a stunning new ballroom that has been created to make the most of the gorgeous views provided by the location. To reach the new suite you have to descend an impressive set of stairs from the original hotel. This takes you into the bar area with double height windows that stretch the width of the area. The actual ballroom has subtle colours and makes an excellent choice for weddings with up to 200 guests. There is also a terrace to hold drinks receptions.
The setting that Meldrum House provides means weddings are a unique experience and are hugely popular. In addition to the stunning location the hotel also provides assistance with contacts for photography, flowers, pipers and others, as well as tailored menus and a dedicated master of ceremonies.
The new wing spans over 950m2 and was the first extension to the hotel since a complete renovation was carried out over seven years ago. As a whole, despite the contemporary design, it marries with the original historic building and is an example of how old and new can be blended. The hope is that the new wing will help Meldrum appeal to a broader audience.
However, it wasn’t just the new wing that benefited from the major investment. The main building has also seen a large overhaul with the former private dining hall being changed into a contemporary restaurant while the bar, known as The Cave, has been extended and now has double the space of its previous capacity.
In its original guise, The Cave was a small cosy bar with arched stonework. The wall at the rear of the bar has now been knocked through and what was formerly a hotel bedroom has been completely transformed into a contemporary feeling bar. Memorabilia on the wall such as displays of old keys adds character to the space. Seating is provided in two cosy turreted areas, with tartan playing a prominent role on the back of chairs and on the walls. Guests at The Cave can sample local ales, cocktails and a selection of over 120 whiskies.
The newly refurbished restaurant continues the sophisticated and contemporary feel. The colour palette in the restaurant is muted with a tartan carpet in various shades of beige. Striking olive green paper adorns the walls alongside framed pictures of Meldrum House and the surrounding area. Rather than fixed seating, guests can enjoy their meals in comfort with leather seats and sofas at heavy rosewood tables inlaid with brass.
Food is served using the best locally sourced ingredients under the guidance of executive chef David Murray. Loin of Highland Venison, Pan Fried Turbot and Breast of Gressingham Duck are some of the dishes currently on offer. Dining in the hotel has previously been awarded two Red Rosettes. Meldrum House was also named AA Hotel of the Year Scotland for 2014 and 2015.
Commenting on the development, CEO Andy Burgess said:
“This is a perfect addition to Meldrum House. It doubles our bedroom capacity as well as giving us a banqueting suite that is unrivalled for the area. With our world-class accommodation, coupled with the history of Meldrum House, we plan to market it to visitors all over the world as a luxury destination.”
General Manager Peter Walker added:
“People have asked us why we might do something of this level when things are so gloomy in the City. But we were always committed to this project. We have deliberately produced something at Meldrum House that will attract people to Aberdeenshire. We have big plans.”
While there can little doubt the new development adds to the indoor appeal of Meldrum House, the hotel also boasts an excellent 18-hole golf course. Suitable for both accomplished golfers and those looking to take a more leisurely approach, the course makes the most of its surroundings. With mature woodland providing the backdrop, detailed landscaping and abundant wildlife make for a unique experience. Head Pro Neil Marr is ranked in the top 25 coaches in the UK by Golf Monthly magazine and operates a world-class teaching academy with a well-stocked Pro Shop that is open to the public seven days a week.
A hint at the ambition of the hotel was given at the official opening of the new development. Renowned football manager Sir Alex Ferguson spent a number of his formative managerial years in the area at Aberdeen Football Club. Having opened Meldrum House’s last development in 2009, he returned in September of this year to speak at a VIP lunch and unveil a plaque in the hotel’s new ballroom.
At the opening Bob Edwards, Director of Meldrum House, said:
“We are delighted that Sir Alex was able to return to Meldrum House as he had opened our last development. It seemed fitting that he came back to see the expansion of the hotel and what we have achieved over the years. What we have created at Meldrum House is unrivalled for the area and we plan to market the hotel and its new development as a luxury retreat and golf destination, all over the world.”
Thr3 Design specialise in innovative and creative design solutions for the commercial and leisure sectors. The company has a reputation for completing projects on time and in budget and has 25 years of combined expertise and experience.
Laings is the largest independent kitchen, bathroom and bedroom retailer in Scotland. The company specialise in the design, supply and installation of kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms at every price point for both the commercial and retail sectors.
Established in 1862, Laings’ main operations have been based in the picturesque town of Inverurie in North East Scotland for more than 150 years. Originally focused on the installation of plumbing and heating systems for communities, businesses and individual homes, Laings extended their offering into design in the early 1980s. In 2016, Laings remains a family business, a fact of which they are very proud.
Laings have been supporting a wide range of hospitality clients for over 20 years. Clients include boutique establishments, like Meldrum House; large resorts, like Crieff Hydro who Laings have been working with since 2003; and small hotels in more remote locations, including the Ardvasar Hotel on Skye and the Lerwick, Kveldsro and Shetland Hotels on the Shetland Isles.
Laings recently completed a four year project for Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch, replacing 194 bathrooms in total.
Laings have been working with Meldrum House for a number of years and maintain close professional ties with the architect for the project, William Lippe. For this project Laings designed and supplied 28 en-suite bathrooms for the hotel’s luxury accommodation, Ladies and Gents bathrooms for the new function suite, all public and accessible WCs, including those for the meeting rooms, and staff WCs.
Katie Allan, Marketing Executive for Laings, said:
“Meldrum House plays a crucial role in bringing tourists and visitors to our local area. This project involved a number of local businesses from the community, of which Meldrum House is a part, so it was really important for us to play a role in it.”
“As a business, we are extremely proud of our track record in project delivery for the hospitality sector. To date, we have completed every single project on budget and on or ahead of schedule.”
Neil Murray Ltd
Neil Murray Ltd is a construction contractor specialising in housebuilding, renovations and the erection of industrial buildings. The company has been in operation for more than 25 years and within this time has developed sites in Turriff, Meikle Wartle, Ellon, Portsoy and Aberchirder.
Most recently, Neil Murray Ltd has been involved in the Meldrum House Hotel project. Working on this scheme, Neil Murray Ltd was appointed to deliver the project’s joinery work.
Janette Murray of Neil Murray Ltd, said:
“It was important to be involved in this project. This was our first hotel project of this size, so it gave us the opportunity to showcase our excellent workmanship on a much larger scale.”
“At Neil Murray Ltd we pride ourselves on our organisational skills, our attention to detail and our high quality finish.”
Ultimate Contract Ltd
Ultimate Contract Ltd is a contract furniture supplier, specialising in the supply of furniture to the hospitality sector. The company has been in operation for more than 20 years and within this time has supplied furniture to many prestigious hotels, golf clubs, restaurants and bars.
Past projects have included Monchique Hotel, Auchterader Golf Club, Bond Cocktail Bar Norwich and Harrods Veuve Clicquot, amongst others. Most recently, Ultimate Contract has provided furniture to Meldrum House Golf and Country Club Resort.
Working on Meldrum House, Ultimate Contract Ltd supplied furniture to the venue’s prestigious Whiskey Bar, as well as its new contemporary bedroom extension. Ultimate Contract’s new Anna collection of chairs was supplied for Standard & Executive rooms.
Paul Armour of Ultimate Contract Ltd, said:
“At Ultimate Contract Ltd we pride ourselves on our design, our reliability and our quality.”
NorDan, founded in Norway in 1926, is a leading European timber window and door manufacturer with eight factories across Europe producing energy efficient, environmentally friendly Scandinavian timber windows and doors for the European and UK markets.
With eight project offices across the UK to be close to customers NorDan prides itself on being able to assist with specifications before a project is built to ensure the best product. The design and construction guarantee high performance, low maintenance and long life expectancy. All products are manufactured from top quality Nordic pine sourced from sustainably managed forests.
NorDan supplies large projects across the UK, from 3,000 windows into a social housing project in East London for a borough council, to working with leading UK contractors, as well as providing the windows and doors for one off self-built homes. Windows have been supplied to schools such as the new accommodation block for Fettes College in Edinburgh, and windows into the the Arsenal FC regeneration project and Edinburgh’s Quartermile development. Recently NorDan provided their unique Stormguard windows for the £4million extension to the Meldrum House Hotel.
Gordon Mitchell, regional director of NorDan’s Aberdeen office, commented:
“Meldrum House Hotel has taken what was a semi-permanent marquee facility for weddings and turned it into a substantial new building, creating what I can only describe as truly luxurious accommodation for guests.”
For their customer and suppliers, the company is constantly trying to be the perfect partner and they work hard on their products in order for them to speak for themselves.