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The Hot Scots Power 40: Peter Taylor, Town House Collection

21 February 2013
The Hot Scots Power 40: Peter Taylor, Town House Collection

Ranking 12

Peter Taylor - Snapshot

Peter Taylor is the owner and founder of the Town House Collection. This comprises two hotels: the Bonham in Edinburgh and the recently opened Blythswood Square in Glasgow. Peter has received many plaudits during his career including the Silver Thistle Award for outstanding contribution to the development of tourism in Scotland.

Peter Taylor - Career guide

Peter Taylor graduated from Strathclyde University (Scottish Hotel School) and went on to train with Strand hotels, for whom he opened the Albany hotel in Glasgow. He later worked as a director with Thistle, Forte and Stakis hotels before going it alone in 1984 with the Lundin Links hotel in Fife.

In 1989, he created Channings, reputedly Scotland's first boutique hotel and from which the Town House Collection was born. He later opened the Howard (1995) and the Edinburgh Residence (2002).

In 1997 he bought the Bonham hotel in Edinburgh. The restoration and renovation project of Victorian town houses (previously halls of residence for the city's university) opened in 1998.

In 2006 the company made its first foray outside of Edinburgh with the acquisition and redevelopment of the former Royal Scottish Automobile Club in Blythswood Square in Glasgow. It partially opened in 2009 and saw a full opening with luxury spa in 2010.

Three properties (Channings, the Howard and the Edinburgh Residence) were sold to help fund the redevelopment of Blythswood Square. It is Glasgow's only AA five star hotel and boasts 100 bedrooms and a luxury spa.

The Town House Collection picked up many awards during 2012 including the Bonham receiving the Boutique Hotel of the Year award at the Scottish Hotel Awards and Blythswood Square winning the National Finals of the Thistle Awards. Blythswood Square has won Best Hotel and the regional final for Best Café, Bar or Restaurant for the Salon.

Peter Taylor - What we think

Taylor is recognised as a great ambassador for the tourism and business sectors in Scotland. He is a Director of the Scottish Tourism Alliance and past chairman of British Hospitality Association UK and British Hospitality Association Scotland. In 2005 he was awarded an OBE for Services to Tourism. He has also received the highest accolade in the Scottish tourism industry, the Silver Thistle Award for outstanding contribution to the development of tourism in Scotland.

The opening of Blythswood Square during the beginning of the recession was seen as a bold move by many but Taylor refers to it as "a confidence statement about modern Scotland" and certainly ticks all the boxes in terms of interior design and what Taylor refers to as "green luxury" (green initiatives include nine 100m boreholes underneath the hotel for ground source heat pumps to provide the bulk of hot and cold water).

He displayed great tenacity in redeveloping one of Glasgow's historic properties into a luxury hotel and this determination seems to be serving the Town House Collection well.

Town House Collection sells two Edinburgh hotels >>

Town House boss picks up AA Lifetime Achievement >>

Peter Taylor - A Minute on the Clock >>

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