A major extension of conferencing and events facilities at Aberdeen’s ‘only four silver star hotel’ has been completed, creating one of the biggest hotel events spaces in the north east of Scotland.

The new ballroom at The Chester Hotel in the city’s west end has officially opened, increasing venue capacity by 60%.

At 507sqm, the Granite Suite now has the scope to host up to 320 people for conferences and gala dinners. The capacity of the previous ballroom was just 200. In addition, it will be able to host as many as 400 people for drinks receptions.

The investment in extending events facilities at the luxury property, which has led to the creation of 40 additional banqueting jobs, is in response to increased demand from the events sector for spaces with large capacity.

The Chester Hotel general manager, Stephen Gow, said: “The hotel has earned a reputation as one of the leading event venues in the city, but the feedback we were receiving from organisers was that there was a real shortage of venues in the region with the capacity to host large-scale events.

“The events sector in Aberdeen has been stagnant in recent years as a result of the downturn in North Sea oil and gas production, but in the last 12 to 18 months we have seen a significant uplift in corporate events business.

“The energy industry is cyclical in its nature with peaks and troughs, but we are now at the point in the cycle where we are seeing confidence returning to the sector. With a highly adaptable space suitable for both large and small events of all kinds, the Granite Suite puts The Chester Hotel in a leading position to be able to respond to the rising demand.”

The Granite Suite continues to offer a very flexible format with a variety of different configurations for different sized groups. It provides the very latest in audio visual technology, an upgraded sound system and bespoke lighting which can be altered to suit the mood of an event.

For very small gatherings, The Chester Hotel has its exclusive use Granite Balcony – ideal for parties of up to 24 – as well as private dining rooms that can hold up to eight guests. Both the Granite Balcony, which has an outdoor space with panoramic views to the south of the city, and the private dining rooms are within the hotel’s fine-dining two AA Rosette restaurant.

The ballroom extension is part of a wider redevelopment of the hotel. Work will be completed later this year on an extension into the neighbouring property at 55-57 Queen’s Road, creating an additional 21 bedrooms. This will take the total number of rooms and suites to 71. The plans will also result in the current floorspace of the hotel bar more than doubling.

Based at 55-63 Queen’s Road, Aberdeen, the luxurious The Chester Hotel holds a four star silver rating from the AA and its restaurant, IX Restaurant, holds two AA Rosettes. For further information, visit www.chester-hotel.com