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10 June 2024

The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa will soon be joining the Balmoral Group family

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New chapter for The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, as it’s set to change hands

Sir Jim Milne and Balmoral Group poised to acquire The Marcliffe from the Spence family.


Balmoral Group, an independent manufacturing and property company, has today stated its intent to acquire The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa (The Marcliffe), a renowned five-star hotel located in Aberdeen. The sale is expected to complete in late June.

The Marcliffe is currently owned and operated by the Spence family, with Ross Spence holding the Managing Director position since his father, Stewart Spence’s, retirement in 2021.

Together, Balmoral Group and the Spence family will define a transition plan for continuity and stability. Balmoral Group does not plan to adjust existing staffing to ensure the quality of service the hotel is known for and there will be no change to current event, wedding and hotel bookings. Acting as an investor, Balmoral Group has appointed Effective Hospitality Management (EHM) to operate the hotel in collaboration with The Marcliffe team.

Balmoral Group was founded in 1980 by Chairman, Sir Jim Milne and has built a reputation for quality and exceptional service through its businesses including Balmoral Comtec across the energy sector, Balmoral Tanks in bulk liquid storage, and Blaze Manufacturing, as well as its business park and property business. The move into the hospitality sector follows several years of successful growth and diversification to acquire and invest in market leading businesses that align with Balmoral Group’s values of excellence, integrity and customer focus.

Sir Jim Milne shared his excitement at the potential acquisition, saying: “The Marcliffe is an Aberdeen institution, and is an establishment very close to my heart. I’ve known the Spence family for a long time and it feels like a natural progression for Balmoral Group. Stewart is recognised as one of the best hoteliers in Scotland, and it’s through his work that we have strong foundations to continue his legacy.”

Balmoral Group will continue the ongoing refurbishment programme at the hotel and has plans to inject a substantial initial investment into modernising the hotel’s systems, processes and suites to offer an elevated customer experience and quality.

Sir Jim added: “Maintaining the quality and standards that the Marcliffe is known for, while also retaining jobs, is of the utmost importance to us. We are completely committed to the Aberdeen community through our backing of Friends of ANCHOR and other charitable foundations, and we want The Marcliffe to prosper through our ownership.”


Ross Spence, Managing Director and the son of Stewart Spence, said: "While it’s bittersweet to think we may soon be handing over the keys to The Marcliffe, we know that Balmoral are the perfect fit to continue its legacy. As long-time custodians of The Marcliffe brand, our family has cherished and nurtured it with love and dedication. So much of our lives have been spent here and the staff and regular customers have become family over the years – Sir Jim is part of that. We are confident that Balmoral will honour The Marcliffe’s heritage and care for it with the same passion and commitment that has been at the heart of our family so that the hotel will thrive for decades more."

Bill Main, Deputy Managing Director at Balmoral Group, commented: “We are looking forward to welcoming The Marcliffe team into Balmoral Group, with the help of EHM we are confident we can make it a seamless transition.”

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