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Martin Gilbert and his family toast success at Scottish hotel “Oscars”

Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert
Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert

A mystery surrounding the ownership of a north-east hotel with links to the Titanic and, further back, the legendary Knights Templar can be revealed for the first time.

Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) chief executive Martin Gilbert and his family have Maryculter House Hotel in Lower Deeside in their private investment portfolio, it emerged yesterday.

The Gilberts also own a 1.5mile stretch of the River Dee – the Tilbouries fishing beat, nearby – a spokeswoman for the family confirmed.

Their ownership of Maryculter House and fresh details of the Gilbert’s local fishing beats came to light as the historic hotel announced success at industry “Oscars”.

It was among contenders from nine different regions of Scotland recognised for excellence at the 2016 Scottish Hotel awards, and came away from the event with five gongs.

Mr Gilbert said: “The Maryculter team works very hard to continually enhance the hotel offering by taking advantage of the position of the hotel on the banks of the River Dee and its proximity to top quality fishing and golf.

“My congratulations go to everyone who has worked so hard to deliver such a high quality product, along with top-class customer service.”

According to their spokeswoman, the Gilberts have owned the hotel for several years.

As well as the Tilbouries fishing beat, the family owns – through the hotel investment – the Culter beat, a one-mile stretch of the Dee directly upstream of Maryculter Bridge.

Mr Gilbert’s interest in fishing is well-known – in 2010, he cashed in AMM shares worth more than £700,000 in order to acquire an exclusive stretch of the Dee to fish for salmon.

Another big sale of shares in 2012 saw him raise more than £1.5million, which he used to buy farmland in Angus.

AAM’s boss and co-founder also has a small stake in Aberdeen’s Malmaison Hotel, which is owned by the FTSE 250 Index-listed financial services giant.

Other properties in AAM’s global investment portfolio include the AB1 office complex, officially re-opened last year after a multimillion-pound refurbishment, in Huntly Street, Aberdeen.

Maryculter House was once home to Titanic disaster survivor Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and his wife, Lucy, and also a base for base for the Knights Templar, who protected pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land in the 12th Century.

In the 2016 Scottish Hotel Awards, it won regional honours in the country house, country sports, events, romantic and wedding hotel of the year categories.

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