In this series, we go behind the front desk to learn everything from the strangest room service requests to quirky fun facts, to the most heartwarming reunions. We pick a new destination and hotel each month to give you the inside scoop.
Next up – Staybridge Suites Dundee, a traditional and historic building in the heart of Dundee City Centre with a modern twist. We spoke with Marketing Manager, Dianna Bruce, who has been with the hotel since it opened 3 years ago.
1. What has been your most memorable guest room request?
We have many guests who stay with us to celebrate special occasions, from birthdays to weddings. One of our favorite requests was the time a guest and his girlfriend were staying with us to celebrate her birthday. They were heading to a Rita Ora concert in Dundee, and the girlfriend was a huge fan. So, the team pulled together, and we decorated the room with Rita memorabilia and added song lyrics to the bedroom (and lift) mirrors, alongside some birthday balloons and some of Rita’s music playing on arrival. We loved being a part of her special weekend – she told us it was her best birthday yet!
2. What was the strangest item a guest forgot or left behind?
One child left behind a puppet, and as soon as we realized, we took pictures of the puppet around the hotel to share with the guest’s mom, so he knew his puppet was safe and sound while we sorted his ‘transport’ home!
3. What was the most memorable reason for stay/celebration?
We recently had a group of eight divers installing a new offshore wind farm in Dundee stay with us for almost a year. They formed great relationships with our team and regularly shared their underwater adventures at Staybridge Social events.
4. Most recognizable guest or celebrity stay?
We tend to get a lot of local sports teams staying at the hotel and lots of fans turning up to try and spot their heroes. We have also had quite a few doggy influencers staying with us, including one of Scotland’s leading travel blogs – featuring pet-friendly stays from the eyes of Casper the West Highland Terrier!
5. Cool hotel features that guests don’t know about?
Paying tribute to Dundee’s heritage and culture, most of our bedrooms display original features – including exposed brickwork and ornate trusses. The stylish décor incorporates clever design nods to the city’s ‘jam, jute and journalism’ past. The developers worked closely with Historic Environment Scotland to ensure faithful restoration and protect the area’s legacy. Some guests have even mentioned a connection to the former mills – via grandmothers and great-grandmothers who worked there – so there’s often an emotional moment when they see how the building that played such a key role in their family’s, as well as the city’s, history has a new lease of life.
6. The moment you were most proud of the brand?
Staybridge Suites Dundee is the first and only (for now!) Staybridge Suites in Scotland, and we are proud that we’ve brought the brand to both our city and country!
7. What is your favorite place to visit outside of the hotel?
As a huge ice hockey fan, it has to be at Dundee Ice Arena watching the Dundee Stars! Or, if design is more your speed, we’re stone’s throw away from the first Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum outside London, next to Dundee’s waterfront. Opened in 2018, the V&A museum showcases the best of design around the world where visitors can take in the past, present and future of how design shapes our lives.
Finally, The McManus Art gallery & Museum offers a look into Dundee history and is in a beautiful gothic revival-style building!
8. Any other fun fact you’d like people to know about the hotel?
As part of the hotel’s commitment to local community, and IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Journey to Tomorrow, we introduced a ‘shop local’ notice board in the public areas promoting Dundee businesses, and stocking local items – from Arran Aromatics fragrances to tipples from Tayport Distillery – in The Pantry so guests are able to take home a piece of Dundee after their stay.
9. If you had to pick your favorite guest room, which would it be and why?
Room 509 is one of the team’s favorite rooms. It’s a split-level, spacious room with a view of [also nearby!] Hotel Indigo’s bell tower.
10. What’s your most favorite F&B offering and why?
We are lucky to have an onsite restaurant in our complex, Daisy Tasker. Head Chef Stewart “Macca” Macaulay does a delicious dessert which is a firm favorite of mine – pineapple carpaccio, coconut, rum, chilies and lime sorbet.
11. How would you define the hotel in three words?
Homey, Friendly, Historical