New operations manager for The Chester Hotel

The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen has appointed a new operations manager with big plans for the latest addition to the city’s luxury hotel market.

Alistair Unicomb, originally from Glasgow, aims to develop the hotel’s wedding and special occasion offering as well as increasing overall profitability while maintaining and improving the five star standards for which the hotel has become known.

A Stirling University politics and philosophy graduate, Alistair brings with him nine years’ experience of working at luxury hotels in Australia after flying there solo to develop his career, aged only 22, in 2003. He met his Scottish partner, who works in the oil industry, while on holiday back in the UK and gave up a dream job at a resort hotel on Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean to return to Scotland in 2012.

Alistair, aged 34, says: “When The Chester Hotel first opened last year it was all about raising our profile in Aberdeen, which I think has been achieved. My main focus now is ensuring our high standards are maintained and improved upon where possible, plus increasing both the efficiency of the service we provide, so that people keep coming back, and the overall profitability of the hotel.

“We are also keen to host more social events, such as weddings and special occasions, as well as corporate events, and I bring lots of relevant experience with me from my time working in luxury hotels in Australia. I’m really excited about the new role and I’m already getting stuck in, getting to know the team and developing strong working relationships across the city.”

The Chester Hotel combines the original features of its stunning 19th century listed building on Aberdeen’s famous Queen’s Road with luxurious contemporary design. Following a spectacular upgrade throughout, the hotel reopened in March 2014 and provides 54 guest rooms and two suites, plus conference facilities for up to 300 delegates and wedding suite venues for up to 300 guests. Award-winning executive chef Kevin Dalgleish oversees the fine dining IX Restaurant and private dining rooms. There is also a stylish lounge cocktail bar, a fully equipped gym, and beauty and nail treatment rooms for guests and non-residents.

The Chester Hotel is the latest venture of hoteliers Graham and Gillian Wood, and builds on their notable success The Chester Residence in Edinburgh which was named Number 1 Luxury Hotel in the UK (and 7th Best in Europe) at the Tripadvisor Awards 2015.

Graham Wood says: “We’re so pleased to have Alistair on board as he has some excellent luxury hotel experience and some exciting ideas for taking The Chester Hotel forward. We have a great team now and we’re all working hard to put the hotel more firmly on the Aberdeen map.”

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For further media information, images or a copy of The Chester Hotel factsheet, please contact Samantha McKay-Challen or Fiona Vernon at Niche Works on 0131 669 0333 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Notes to Editors:

  • Alistair Unicomb

A high-resolution image of Alistair is available upon request.

  • The Chester Hotel
  • Graham and Gillian Wood purchased what was formerly known as Simpson’s in spring 2012
  • The hotel, restaurant and bar closed in spring 2013 for a £5m refurbishment and extension project
  • Aberdeen-based interior design company, Ambiance, was appointed to style the guest rooms
  • International design consultants Graven Images, whose previous projects have included Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh and Blythswood Square in Glasgow, designed the public areas
  • The hotel has 54 luxurious guest rooms including two suites, a fine dining restaurant and relaxed lounge cocktail bar, plus a function suite for up to 500 delegates and a gym
  • Its two beauty rooms offer Thalgo body and skincare, exclusively in Aberdeen, with Vita Liberata tanning products
  • Room rates per night, including breakfast:
  • Classic Single: £130-£330
  • Classic Double: £150-£350
  • Grand Single: £165-£365
  • Grand Twin/King: £185-385
  • Club Room Single: £205-£405
  • Club Room King: £225-£425
  • Rothesay Suite Single/Double: £320-£455
  • Chester Suite Single/Double: £360-£495