Murray Thomson, one of Scotland’s foremost hospitality professionals, has joined Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, as General Manager.
Thomson, who has 30 years experience under his belt, takes over Alistair Kinchin who has retired after 18 years at the helm. Thomson will be responsible for the daily operations and strategic direction independently-branded resort, located on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The hotel, with 208 room and seven suites, boasts a fine dining venue, Pentland Restaurant; The Brasserie & James Braid Bar, afternoon tea lounge and a Golf and Leisure Club.
Says Thomson, “It’s an absolute privilege to be taking the helm of this flagship Scottish hotel at such a defining point in our collective history. We have a great team here at Dalmahoy so the immediate focus will be on reopening our doors and welcoming guests back in the hopefully not-too-distant future. I then hope to embark on a journey that will set the hotel up for more positive times to come.”
While Kinchin said, “Passing the baton to someone of Murray’s calibre and standing in our sector is a real triumph – his vision and style will continue to help cement our reputation as one of Scotland’s leading leisure and golf resorts. I have no doubt he will be able to confidently steer the business through one of the most challenging times the hospitality sector has ever seen.”
Murray has worked with some of Scotland’s top hotels including The Balmoral in Edinburgh, and most recently Blythswood Square in Glasgow but he started at the bottom – as a linen porter. working his way up through the ranks in operations, sales and marketing and latterly management for some of Scotland’s best-loved hotels – Glasgow’s Grand Central and Cameron House on the banks of Loch Lomond amongst them.
He also belongs to an esteemed cohort of career hoteliers improving and impacting the sector; as the chair of HIT Scotland’s annual industry dinner was recently been joint-chair of the Greater Glasgow Hoteliers Association.
Whilst some might baulk at the thought of starting such a job in the middle of a global pandemic, Thomson is remaining optimistic about the challenge ahead. “Although it’s an incredibly tough road ahead for our entire sector and for every brilliant individual that is part of hospitality in Scotland, the reason we exist is to help create joy and memories in people’s lives. We haven’t been able to do that in the same way as we did before, however, we will go out of our way to create good times ahead, of course within the parameters set out to us. I spend most of my day with people creating happiness both for guests and my team and this is even more important in the times we currently find ourselves in.”
The hotel, which is set in 1,000 acres of countryside yet only seven miles from Edinburgh city centre, has remained closed – with the exception of its two golf courses – since coronavirus lockdown restrictions were introduced at the end of December 2020. It will reopen with comprehensive safety measures again in place to allow guests a comfortable and relaxing stay once the Scottish Government announces it is safe to do so.