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Aurora Hotel Collection to Open Stirling's First 5-star Hotel

Founder and Chief Executive of the Aurora Hotel Collection, Steven McLeod has confirmed that the luxury 40-bedroom Hotel Colessio will open in the centre of Stirling early July this year, generating employment for over 100 people in the area. The Aurora Hotel Collection doubled its original investment in the project, which has been beset by problems and delays; and has now committed almost £10m to ensure completion of the project and the opening of Stirling’s first 5-star hotel, on the site of the former Stirling Royal Infirmary.

McLeod admits the development of Hotel Colessio has been fraught with more problems and delays than he could have envisaged when he embarked on the project more than four years ago.

“I think it would be fair to say that this has been one of the most challenging projects I have ever worked on for a number of reasons,” said Steven, “from difficulties with some of the contractors to unforeseen problems during building and construction, all of which was outwith my control. Ideally I would have wanted to open Colessio before now, but I simply would not open the doors until I felt everything was perfect.

“Admittedly there have been moments over the last few years where I have felt like walking away from the project, but I am very determined and I could also see the potential for Stirling in having a five-star hotel in the centre of the city. As difficult as this has been, it will be all the more satisfying to see Colessio welcoming guests.

“In some ways the timing of the opening couldn’t be better as we’re ideally placed to take advantage of the influx of visitors to the city which is at the heart of the homecoming celebrations, as well as golf enthusiasts heading to the Ryder Cup and people attending the Commonwealth Games.”

The restoration and refurbishment has been a massive undertaking and McLeod has been involved in overseeing every stage of the project, which involved stripping the property back to the bare walls and starting from scratch, as well as replacing the entire roof.

“The building is a landmark in Stirling and we’ve been sympathetic in the restoration of its exterior, but when people walk through the door they’re going to see a daring re-invention of this grand Victorian property, with a dramatic palette of black and white providing a striking backdrop for object d’art and designer touches. There will be nothing else like it in the city.”

“My philosophy with Colessio, as with my other hotels, is to offer a high quality venue that offers 5-star quality and service without a prohibitive price tag. By offering luxury products at an affordable price it will appeal to diverse audiences, encouraging regular footfall and return visits. The hotel will have 40 truly amazing rooms, including three stunning suites, as well as a bar and restaurant, The Grill Room, plus an events suite for up to 300 guests and designer finishes throughout.”

McLeod is known for his uncompromising standards and this will be reflected in the abundance of designer elements in Hotel Colessio, including interior decoration and furnishings by Andrew Martin, stunning bespoke light fittings by Studio Italia and bedrooms boasting sumptuous Philippe Starck bathrooms.

McLeod is a highly respected industry figure with a string of awards to his name. Last year he was recognised with the ‘Award for Success’ at the DRAM awards, and in 2012 he was named Scottish Hotelier of the Year by his peers.

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