Our proprietor – Stewart Spence
YOUR host, Stewart Spence, was educated in Aberdeen at Ashley Road Primary School and Robert Gordon's College. He opted for a career in the hospitality industry in 1962, at the tender age of 15, as a trainee chef in Aberdeen. The first six years of his career was spent with British Transport Hotels.
During the first decade of his career in the hospitality industry he held the following posts:
1962–65 Station Hotel, Aberdeen (Chef/Waiter)
1965–67 Fouquets, Paris (Waiter/Barman)
1967–68 Great Northern, London (Office and Bar)
1968–70 Treetops, Aberdeen (Assistant manager)
1970–72 Commodore Hotel, Stonehaven (General manager)
Stewart and his family bought their first hotel - The Atholl Hotel, Aberdeen – in 1972, and he has subsequently owned seven hotels and restaurants in the Aberdeen area. They include:
1972–89 Atholl Hotel, Aberdeen
1974-78 Capitol Restaurant, Aberdeen
1973–93 Queens Hotel, Aberdeen
1979–83 Marcliffe, Queens Terrace, Aberdeen
1982–90 Belvidere Hotel, Aberdeen
1983–93 New Marcliffe, Aberdeen
1987–93 Invery House, Banchory
From 1993, Stewart has been the proprietor of The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa which was opened in 1993 by former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. It is Aberdeen's only five-star hotel (VisitScotland).
Among Stewart’s honours and achievements are:
Master Innholder and Freeman of City of London 2007
Honorary Doctorate, Aberdeen University 2009
Honorary Doctorate Robert Gordon University 2010
Board member Prestige Hotels and Small Luxury Hotels of the World 1988-96
Board member Grampian Enterprise 2000-2008
Board member ACSEF 2008-2012
Chairman, Hospitality Training 2001-Present
Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality (UK)
Royal Aberdeen Club Champion 1989
Honorary Life Member of Trump International Scotland
Stewart is divorced but was the father of four children; Jackie, Greg, Craig and Ross. Sadly, Jackie died in December, 2009.
Stewart has been a keen and accomplished golfer since his childhood and plays off a handicap of seven. His home club is Royal Aberdeen Golf Club but he is also a member of Cruden Bay Golf Club, Deeside Golf Club, Ballater Golf Club and The St. Andrews Club. He gives financial support to the career development of junior golfers, through the Paul Lawrie Junior Foundation.
An avid fisherman, he fishes for salmon in Russia and Iceland every year, and is an enthusiastic fundraiser for Orri Vigfusson “Patron Saint of Salmon”, and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund.
Stewart also supports many local charities and good causes in Aberdeen and North-east Scotland.
He is a wine lover and his tastes include Penfolds “Grange” (Red), Pavillon Blanc Margaux (White), Domaine Ott (Rose), All Domaine Romanee Conti Wines, Hennesy XO Cognac.
He smokes the occasional cigar, including: casual – Rio 6; formal – Davidoff & Cohiba.
Stewart drives a Range Rover and BMW 7 series.
He regularly shops at Harrods (Brioni) and has a passion for Turnbull and Asser shirts, Bvlgari ties and Church’s shoes.