Hazel Scott takes a trip to the Granite City where she discovers a stylish Aberdeen hotel. Here’s everything you need to know about the warm welcome that awaits when planning a wedding at Sandman Signature Hotel & Spa
I’m slightly ashamed to admit that until my visit to the Sandman Signature Hotel, I’d never been to Aberdeen before. So you can imagine how excited I was when the invite came through and I had a great reason to visit the city. I had high hopes – and both the place and the hotel surpassed all my expectations. The latter struck me as distinctly Aberdonian, with bags of personality, so much so that you’d never guess it was part of a chain.
It’s right in the heart of the city centre, in a building that was once part of Robert Gordon University. The structure takes up an entire block and has an air of grandeur. Inside there are still some traces of the original features peeking through, such as the exposed-brick archways in the lobby.
When I walked in, the first thing I noticed were the brightly coloured glass umbrellas suspended from the ceiling. Combined with yellow couches, seagull-shaped lights and cowhide chairs, they create a dramatic, arty first impression. It didn’t take long for the hotel’s wedding and events manager Molly to confirm exactly what I was thinking: this must be a favourite spot for newlyweds to be photographed.
The friendly and accommodating Molly showed me around the venue, taking me on a tour similar to the one any couple considering getting married here would receive. The hotel has three spaces available for ceremonies and receptions, as well as a few other places to drink, relax and mingle.
The Robert Gordon Ballroom
The largest space is the Robert Gordon Ballroom. As luck would have it, there was a wedding scheduled for the following day, so I saw the spacious room midway through set-up and got a demonstration of the colour-changing lighting. It was wonderful to be able to visualise how a wedding here would look.
“Couples can choose any colour for the lighting,” Molly explained. “Some like to match it to their colour scheme or have warm lighting during the ceremony and then something different for the reception.”
The ballroom also has two projectors, which come in handy for displaying photos during the speeches. As for the rest of the decoration, you have free rein to do whatever you like, with the events team happy to recommend trusted suppliers.
The Alberta Room
From there, we moved into the Alberta Room, which is a popular choice for ceremonies because of its long proportions. You can stay here for the evening meal or head to the Ballroom to continue the celebrations.
And it’s not just large weddings that happen at the Sandman Signature; the Maple Room is ideal for more intimate gatherings.
As well as these main areas, there are a few hidden gems to discover. The Ballroom has its own private bar and there’s another bar on the mezzanine level which offers a view over the lobby. This space is also often used for first looks and photos.
Freedom An’ Whisky Lounge
My favourite spot in the entire hotel has to be the cosy Freedom An’ Whisky Lounge. With soft lighting, plush seating and a bar made (appropriately enough) from granite, it’s a stylish retreat from the excitement of the day. Molly mentioned that newlyweds often pop in here to have some quality time alone together. The groomsmen have been known to enjoy a pre-wedding drink here too, and there’s space for up to 50 guests to mingle before dinner.
The Chop Grill & Bar
While there, my partner and I had dinner at the hotel’s Chop Grill & Bar. We had a ribeye steak which was cooked to perfection and a tasty falafel and spinach burger. The dessert really blew me away; their white chocolate brownie was the perfect end to the evening.
So we can attest that the food is great!
Planning your wedding at Sandman Signature Hotel & Spa
Sandman Signature Aberdeen will help make your wedding your own. Here’s the lowdown for planning your big day…
Not only does Sandman Signature offer an extensive menu for your wedding breakfast, but the evening buffet is full of favourites like macaroni cheese, pies and stovies. The Signature Wedding Buffet includes a Dirty Fries Bar – no better way to fuel up for a night of dancing.
How many people can you have at a wedding?
The Robert Gordon Ballroom can host big numbers – up to 250 for the ceremony and 300 for the evening reception. If your guest list is shorter, consider the Alberta Room (which easily accommodates 80 people) or the Maple Room (35 ceremony guests and 26 for a meal).
The Sandman Signature Hotel Spa
The hotel has its own spa, and I was transported to a place of bliss as soon as I walked in. A bubbling water feature was all that could be heard as Molly pointed out the nail salon, relaxation room, steam room and sauna.
I can’t think of a better way to unwind before your wedding than with a spa day! While in the relaxing escape, you can indulge in an invigorating massage, treat yourself to a facial or a manicure, and then let go of your stress in the sauna and steam room.
Wedding accommodation at Sandman Signature Hotel & Spa
With 218 bedrooms, your guests won’t need to look elsewhere. Whether you make the booking or they do, they’ll enjoy a discounted room rate. Each of the bedrooms capture the personality of the hotel, with exposed brickwork, corrugated steel beams, and touches of tartan and brown leather upholstery.
Your accommodation is sorted too, as the newlyweds get a complimentary overnight stay with breakfast the following morning. Molly recommends the two-room suite for brides – it has lots of natural light and plenty of space for setting up hair and makeup on the wedding morning.
It has taken me all this time to get to Aberdeen, but now I know what a unique place the Sandman is and what a warm welcome awaits, I know I’ll be back soon.