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Raemoir House Hotel in the snow

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Happy New Year

Welcome to Raemoir and a good New Year to all our guests.

Where does the time go? Another year is over and trying to remember what we accomplished last year is hard enough never mind trying to remember what it was that we set out to do for 2012! The “to-do” lists got drawn up, re-drafted, torn up, drawn up again, thrown away, picked out of the bin, re-written..…the never ending circle of strife. Sometimes it’s what wasn’t planned that is most easily remembered and on reflection, for Raemoir and all the staff that have worked so hard to help re-establish the business, it has to be retaining the Country House Hotel of the Year title. We can plan to paint rooms, renew carpets, change curtains, upholster seats – the list is endless but getting recognition from your peers is probably the most reassuring event that you are doing the right thing. The bigger picture for us is always to keep raising the game at Raemoir and take it to new levels of product and service so 2013 will be another year of challenges…although the priority list is being amended as I type!

Although it looks like a deceptively mild start to the year, I think it would be naïve to think that we will avoid any snow later in the month and no doubt into February as well. This brings its own beauty to Raemoir but also brings the inevitable leaks that are a continual source of head-scratching for Dennis. Ironically, the unwanted water that does occasionally come into the building seems to be balanced by the amount of water that doesn’t come into the building – by way of a couple of showers on the top floor.  Having exhausted all the obvious reasons, we have not been able to yet determine why the water pressure is more of challenge than in the rest of the House so some deeper investigative work will be required although I envisage unearthing more extraordinary plumbing ‘solutions’ as a result of some less than considered DIY arrangements from years gone by….

Carpets upstairs are on the list, a simple lift downstairs, lay upstairs and lay new downstairs was planned however the “boss” (well at least when she is in the hotel at the same time as me), Mrs Rae, has been attracted to a new design for downstairs so the simple plan has become a little more convoluted. The Sitting Room and Dining Rooms are due a refurb which will need scaffold for the ceilings so my apologies in advance for any upheaval or inconvenience over the next few weeks. Already I am looking forward to March!

Our best wishes for 2013.

Enjoy your stay.

Neil and Julie Rae              

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The Summer Marquee Ball

Large cheque for £30050 being handed over to the Gastroscan team

We are all proud and delighted to announce that we presented the funds from the 2012 Summer Marquee Ball over to Gastrocan last night.

THE GRAND SUM OF £30,050.00

This will be used for research into gastric cancers in the Grampian area. Our heartfelt thanks to all at the Gastrocan team and everyone who supported this years event.

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October 2012

It has been a busy summer at Raemoir so the welcome letters have been a little more erratic than I would have liked but hopefully this is us back on track again now.

The last few months have seen continual changes at the hotel inside and out. The grounds have been tended wonderfully by Derek and given the weather he has had to cope with even now they look good on the way up the drive. It’s hard to recall that two years ago everything was so overgrown, the front lawn was a field, the drive potholed, no parking or flower beds  – the whole place looked so grey and dreary. It really has been a remarkable transformation and almost single handed as well. The trees are now beginning to turn so we can look forward to a final burst of Autumn colour for a couple of weeks before the Winter comes in.  I am not sure what the long term forecast is, for the last two years we have had the extremes – 2010 saw up to 3ft of snow and temperatures dipping to -20degC whereas last year we saw +15deg at 10.30pm one February night! What we (hopefully) can say now is that at least the temperature should be warmer now in the hotel than we have known!

When we came to Raemoir in September 2010 the enormity of the task ahead became apparent quite quickly and prioritising jobs became a challenging but tedious, and daily changing, ritual. We were always aware of the heating and that its eventual inadequacies would give us a headache and so it came to pass two weeks ago when the boiler finally failed. The weather was on our side fortunately so it wasn’t an insurmountable problem – the angst of wondering whether all our guests would all be able to use the showers and baths at the same time was the greatest concern but it passed reasonably smoothly and finally the new boilers were fitted.  With a great sigh of relief it was fired up and now runs silently (which we are still trying to get used to – previously when entering the boiler room silence meant a problem!) however not without its foibles! As expected, due to the efficiency of new technology, we are now finding leaking radiator stems and header tanks overflowing due to the increased temperature effect on the system water volume. The old boiler didn’t allow us the luxury of temperature control so this is now a novelty for us so please be patient with us while we try to get the balance – we’ve not experienced it cold since the new boiler was fitted but we have had it stiflingly hot!! The biggest issue that we’ve not quite mastered yet is the hot water – it can be very hot so please be careful when running taps!


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Summer Marquee Ball

Group photo of Marquee Ball organisers

The 2012 Summer Marquee Ball will be changing both date and venue this year. After the event going out to tender, the 2012 Summer Marquee Ball with now be held on Saturday 25th August at Raemoir House Hotel, recently voted Scottish Country House Hotel of the Year for the second year running.

Neil and Julie Rae, owners of the hotel are delighted to welcome the Ball to Raemoir.

The Summer Marquee Ball, last year broke through a fundraising landmark by raising over a quarter of a million pounds for local charities since it began back in 1998. Over the years the ball has supported many charities including The Archie Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, Children 1st, Click Sargent, Altzheimers Scotland, Friends of Glen O’ Dee, Aberdeen Special Nursery and The Scolty Centre.

Last year was one of the most successful events raising £28,500 for Homestart Deeside.

This years beneficeries are to be Gastrocan.

Gastrocan is the only charity raising money specifically for the research into stomach and oesophageal cancer. All funds donated to Gastrocan are used to support local research efforts in NHS Grampain, and the University of Aberdeen into this devastating disease, allowing local patients to benefit from the latest new treatments and enable the University of Aberdeen to lead national and international research projects.

By supporting research, Gastrocan aims to improve the treatment of stomach and oesophageal cancers, and at the same time, raise awareness of the disease to enable earlier diagnosis.

Banchory based Fundraising Co-ordinator for Gastrocan, Laura Tulloch, commented that “the charity was delighted to be chosen as this years beneficery from the Summer Marquee Ball and the Gastrocan team were looking forward to working alongside the Ball committee and Raemoir House”.

Anyone wishing to support the Ball by either a donation for the charity, a Fine Auction or Grand Raffle Prize, or even some company branding, please contact Logan Sangster or Dawn Law on 01330 824300.

We take this opportunity in thanking Mrs Margaret Jaffray and team at the Banchory Lodge Hotel for all their support over the last few years.

From Logan Sangster – Ball Organiser

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Raemoir Wins Top Award

At the Scottish Hotel Awards 2012 on Sunday (20th May at the Glasgow Thistle) we picked up the Country House Hotel of the Year award for the second year in succession, a feat which has never happened in the history of the event! Over 480 people attended the night and saw Neil & Julie Rae presented with the award by the Chairman of the Judges, Gary McLean-Quinn.

Neil and Julie took over Raemoir House in September 2010 and embarked on a refurbishment programme to help restore the hotel to its position as one of the leading Country House Hotels in the North East of Scotland and the result of this was to win the 2011 Award. “To be recognised and awarded the accolade of Scottish Country House Hotel 2011 was fabulous. To be awarded it again this year is a remarkable achievement. To be recognised so highly by the Scottish Hotel Awards is a fantastic compliment and we can only thank everyone that has been involved in the hotel from the start, it’s reassuring to know that all the efforts so far have not been in vain.”

At the same ceremony Raemoir’s Executive Chef, David Littlewood, won the category Hotel Chef Médaille d’Or. “David and the team have been with us from the start and they have been widely recognised for their food. It was wonderful to see his efforts being rewarded with a Gold Medal.”

2012 Scottish Hotel Awards logo


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