Kenny McMillan has taken the reins at Macdonald Aviemore Resort to help drive customer growth in both the local area and further afield.
Kenny returns to Aviemore, where he first trained as a sous chef between 2004 and 2007, with a wealth of experience gained across Macdonald Hotels & Resorts. In 2009, he was named regional executive chef and then group executive chef in 2012, becoming more involved in the business side of food as well as its delivery.
His passion for quality produce and first-class service was recognised by industry peers when Kenny was named executive chef of the year at the 2015 Scottish Hotel Awards. As North of Scotland executive chef, Kenny oversaw the development of numerous properties throughout the UK and Europe – including consulting for some of the company’s key Scottish locations.
In 2019, he was named general manager of Macdonald Drumossie Hotel in Inverness following a similar management spell at Pittodrie House Hotel, near Inverurie.
Drumossie was recently named employer of the year at the Highland Business Awards, where Kenny collected the trophy on behalf of the team. It was another night to remember for the hotel when it clinched tourism and hospitality employer of the year at the Highlands & Islands Thistle Awards.
Judges were impressed by the introduction of weekly workshops to enhance skills, a culture that encourages staff to experiment, and a modern apprenticeship scheme that retains and develops talented young people.
Welcoming Kenny’s appointment, Gordon Fraser, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts’ group chair, said, “We are delighted, and indeed privileged, that Kenny has agreed to become managing director at our Macdonald Aviemore Resort.
“The commercial, operational and leadership skills that Kenny has successfully demonstrated in his career to date when applied to his new role will give a wonderful boost to our valued staff at the resort and will also give Kenny the further career challenges and development that he fully deserves, to further enhance the Macdonald Aviemore Resort as a world class leisure and conference destination.
“On behalf of the board, I wish Kenny every success in his new role.”
Kenny McMillan, managing director at Macdonald Aviemore Resort, said, “I’m extremely pleased to have accepted the challenge of managing a truly world-class destination here in the north of Scotland. It really is a one-of-a-kind setting where we are proud to offer something for people of all ages, with a host of outdoor activities on our doorstep.
“We have always had a strong reputation for delivering unrivalled experiences for our guests whether they’re visiting the resort on business or creating memories with their families, particularly as we gear up for yet another bumper festive season.
“We have a fantastic team in place in Aviemore and I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues, strengthening relationships with the local community, and building upon the positive work done over recent months to help the resort realise its enormous potential.
“Following on from the awards success for Drumossie, I’m also keen to implement some of the initiatives that worked well in Inverness in terms of retaining and developing our talented staff.
“Hospitality is a fantastic career path and one that has provided me with so many opportunities personally, which is why I feel so strongly about supporting young people – especially from the local area – get a foothold in the industry.”
Macdonald Aviemore Resort, which dates back more than 50 years, was named Resort Hotel of the Year at the Scottish Hospitality Awards 2019. It is a collection of four hotels, 19 luxury woodland lodges, a conference centre, the Macdonald Spey Valley Championship Golf Course and luxury shopping.
In recent years, a new clubhouse has been built for the Spey Valley golf course while the popular Giovanni’s Italian Ristorante has been refurbished to sit alongside the resort’s signature restaurant, Aspects.
Significant improvements have also been made to lift the Macdonald Morlich and Macdonald Aviemore hotels from three to four-star status as part of a multi-million pound investment.