De Vere hotels group sets sights on ‘urban resort’ in Dundee

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HOTELS group De Vere, ­owner of the Cameron House resort on the banks of Loch Lomond, is planning a move into ­Dundee as part of a major ­expansion of its Village “urban resorts” in Scotland.

The group has 25 of the combined hotel and fitness venues across England and Wales, and recently unveiled plans to bring the brand to Scotland with resorts in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Robert Cook, the Scots-born chief executive of De Vere’s ­hotels division, told Scotland on Sunday he has set his sights on Dundee. He said: “To come to Scotland with this product is really exciting for us.”

The £60 million investment in Scotland’s three largest ­cities is expected to create up to 360 jobs, and Cook was confident that the Glasgow venue, which is expected to be close to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, would be open in time for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Along with its hotels and leisure resorts, De Vere runs nine “academies of hospitality” in England and Cook said the firm is talking to local authorities about rolling out the training centres across Scotland to help nurture the next generation of “hospitality stars”.

He added: “It’s the not-for-profit side of our business, supported by the UK government. We’ve had over 2,500 students come through it – not just into our own business, but hospitality in general.”

Cook joined De Vere in January last year after eight years as chief executive of hotel chains Malmaison and Hotel du Vin. MWB, the parent company of the two brands, went into administration in November but Malmaison is pressing ahead with plans to open a 91-bedroom hotel in Dundee.

Cook began his career in Peter­head, where his family ran the Aberdeenshire town’s Palace Hotel.