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About

The Luxury Castle for Whisky Connoisseurs

Rothes Glen is a Walpole member

In September 2023, Rothes Glen became an official Walpole member. Learn more about Rothes Glen, The Luxury Castle for Whisky Connoisseurs, in our interview from Walpole with the Rothes Glen owner, Damian Riley-Smith

A helicopter landing at Rothes Glen
A private jet arriving at a local airport near Rothes Glen
Driving to Rothes Glen through Rothes.

Travelling to Rothes Glen

Rothes Glen is situated just to the north of Rothes, in the heart of the Spey Valley. Elgin is 7 miles to the north, with the Moray Firth 5 miles beyond. Inverness Airport is 40 miles (1 hour) to the west, and Aberdeen airport 58 miles (1 hour 15 minutes) to the east. Aviemore train station, with direct connections to Edinburgh and on to London, is 43 miles (1 hour). There is a private helicopter pad and unlimited parking.

Travelling to Rothes Glen

Rothes Glen is situated just to the north of Rothes, in the heart of the Spey Valley. Elgin is 7 miles to the north, with the Moray Firth 5 miles beyond. Inverness Airport is 40 miles (1 hour) to the west, and Aberdeen airport 58 miles (1 hour 15 minutes) to the east. Aviemore train station, with direct connections to Edinburgh and on to London, is 43 miles (1 hour). There is a private helicopter pad and unlimited parking.

Meet the Rothes Glen team

Rothes Glen is fully staffed by our friendly local team who will look after your every need during your stay. Our General Manager will arrange every detail, from transport and dining to fully bespoke trips and experiences. Our award-winning chef will prepare delicious breakfasts, lunches, teas and dinners using the very best locally sourced fresh produce. We have extensive menus for you to choose from, however he is always happy to accommodate requests.

Damian Riley-smith, Managing Director and Owner of Rothes Glen

Damian Riley-Smith

Managing Director & Owner

Damian has 25 years’ experience in publishing and events. He is founder of Whisky Magazine, American Whiskey, Scotch Whisky and the Whisky Live tasting events and, with his business Paragraph, now encompasses the World Whiskies Awards, Icons of Whisky, and the Whisky Hall of Fame. He has curated exceptional experiences for whisky enthusiasts around the world and has brought together this passion in the purchase, renovation, and opening of Rothes Glen in Speyside.

 

His wife Pippa has lent her innate talent for interior design and meticulous attention to detail to the refurbishment, helping to merge luxury design with nods to whisky heritage and appreciation in a property that encapsulates their shared love for Speyside and their desire to provide an unrivalled experience to whisky enthusiasts.

Joanna Murdoch, Manager at Rothes Glen

Joanna Murdoch

Manager

Born in a castle, raised in Speyside, Joanna was destined to end up spending much of her life in one. Her unrivalled energy and passion for hospitality shines through to every guest and provides the perfect example for the rest of the team to follow.

 

With a passion for travel, Joanna loves to get to know the guests, their stories, traditions and hopes for a special trip.  Every stay at Rothes Glen is unique, and her expertise in event planning will make sure that everything runs smoothly.

Moira Gilchrist, Commerical Manager at Rothes Glen

Moira Gilchrist

Commercial Manager

Moira joined the Rothes Glen team at the very beginning in 2021 and has over 25 years’ experience working in hospitality sales, having worked for several big brand hotel groups in the UK as well as the Scottish Hotel Awards. 

With a passion for sales, Moira enjoys building strong relationships with new and existing customers and partners.  Continually striving to exceed client expectations in partnership with the professional and fun team at the castle, she finds this challenge refreshing and exciting.

Alan Robertson, Head Chef at Rothes Glen

Alan Robertson

Head Chef

Born and raised in Speyside with a love for both cooking and whisky, Alan combines his passions when creating thoughtful menus and stunning dishes. The kitchen is the heart of any home and Rothes Glen is no different. Alan has been with Rothes Glen since it opened, not just creating magic behind the scenes. He is always happy to chat with guests, talk them through his processes and learn about their lives, whilst sharing his fervent opinions on scotch whisky.

 

Striving to create bespoke dining experiences reflecting guest favourites, Alan’s menus at Rothes Glen reflect his passion for providing unfussy fine dining and treating the world-class seasonal local ingredients with the love and care they deserve.​

Violet Philpot, Breakfast Chef and Chef's Assistant at Rothes Glen

Violet Philpot

Breakfast Chef and Chef's Assistant

Growing up in a large family and having seven children of her own, Violet has been cooking and caring for people all her life.  Life and work within Speyside has seen her engaged in the worlds of whisky and hospitality for many years.

Since joining Rothes Glen she has been able to showcase her skills: be it a delicious hearty breakfast, sumptuous scones or assisting Chef with creating beautiful dishes, Violet is a key component of making Rothes Glen feel like home.

Stephen Crossland, General Assistant at Rothes Glen

Stephen Crossland

General Assistant

Having been immersed in the hospitality, brewing and distilling industries throughout the North of Scotland for more than 25 years, Steve has a passion and depth of knowledge which he is more than happy to share with anyone prepared to listen.

 

Whether hosting a whisky tasting, a casino evening, providing snooker coaching or just offering advice on Speyside, he is always close at hand to make each stay at Rothes Glen unique and special for guests.

Oliver Philpot, Groundskeeper at Rothes Glen

Oliver Philpot

Groundskeeper

Joining the Rothes Glen team part time and turning it in to a real family affair (alongside both his mother and sister), Oliver has been helping out from a young age, dabbling in every department. With both his education and a lifelong hobby in engineering, he knew he enjoyed practical work and added this to his love of the outdoors.

 

It didn’t take long, working in tandem with our skilled gardener Mario, for Oliver to realise this was the role for him.  Relied on to keep the grounds immaculate, equipment running smoothly and be a general jack of all trades, he does so with a great sense of humour and a smile, come rain or shine.

Mario Carvalho, Gardener at Rothes Glen

Mario Carvalho

Gardener

Mario originally hails from the Portuguese island of Madeira but moved to Speyside in 2007 in order to experience a better climate. Gardening is a role that requires a combination of passion, patience, hard work, and knowledge and Mario has these by the spade load. 

 

As well known for his green outfit as his green fingers, Mario’s attention to detail is second to none and he is constantly seeking ways to create, develop and grow the castle gardens at Rothes Glen. 

Charloitte  Philpot, FOH Assistant and Housekeeper at Rothes Glen

Charlotte Philpot

FOH Assistant and Housekeeper

Having dabbled in a few careers, Charlotte finally feels like she has found what she wants to do in life. Having already grown her skills from housekeeping to front of house, Charlotte is keen to continue her development in hospitality and has her sights set on a future in FOH, event planning and guest care. The youngest member of the in-house team but already skilled in ensuring everything runs smoothly.

  • Bedroom Information

    Managing Director & Owner

    Damian has 25 years’ experience in publishing and events. He is founder of Whisky Magazine, American Whiskey, Scotch Whisky and the Whisky Live tasting events and, with his business Paragraph, now encompasses the World Whiskies Awards, Icons of Whisky, and the Whisky Hall of Fame. He has curated exceptional experiences for whisky enthusiasts around the world and has brought together this passion in the purchase, renovation, and opening of Rothes Glen in Speyside.

     

    His wife Pippa has lent her innate talent for interior design and meticulous attention to detail to the refurbishment, helping to merge luxury design with nods to whisky heritage and appreciation in a property that encapsulates their shared love for Speyside and their desire to provide an unrivalled experience to whisky enthusiasts.

  • Bedroom Information

    Manager

    Born in a castle, raised in Speyside, Joanna was destined to end up spending much of her life in one. Her unrivalled energy and passion for hospitality shines through to every guest and provides the perfect example for the rest of the team to follow.

     

    With a passion for travel, Joanna loves to get to know the guests, their stories, traditions and hopes for a special trip.  Every stay at Rothes Glen is unique, and her expertise in event planning will make sure that everything runs smoothly.

  • Bedroom Information

    Commercial Manager

    Born in a castle, raised in Speyside, Joanna was destined to end up spending much of her life in one. Her unrivalled energy and passion for hospitality shines through to every guest and provides the perfect example for the rest of the team to follow.

     

    With a passion for travel, Joanna loves to get to know the guests, their stories, traditions and hopes for a special trip.  Every stay at Rothes Glen is unique, and her expertise in event planning will make sure that everything runs smoothly.

  • Bedroom Information

    Head Chef

    Born and raised in Speyside with a love for both cooking and whisky, Alan combines his passions when creating thoughtful menus and stunning dishes. The kitchen is the heart of any home and Rothes Glen is no different. Alan has been with Rothes Glen since it opened, not just creating magic behind the scenes. He is always happy to chat with guests, talk them through his processes and learn about their lives, whilst sharing his fervent opinions on scotch whisky.

     

    Striving to create bespoke dining experiences reflecting guest favourites, Alan’s menus at Rothes Glen reflect his passion for providing unfussy fine dining and treating the world-class seasonal local ingredients with the love and care they deserve.​

  • Bedroom Information

    Breakfast Chef and Chef's Assistant

    Growing up in a large family and having seven children of her own, Violet has been cooking and caring for people all her life.  Life and work within Speyside has seen her engaged in the worlds of whisky and hospitality for many years.

    Since joining Rothes Glen she has been able to showcase her skills: be it a delicious hearty breakfast, sumptuous scones or assisting Chef with creating beautiful dishes, Violet is a key component of making Rothes Glen feel like home.

  • Bedroom Information

    General Manager

    Having been immersed in the hospitality, brewing and distilling industries throughout the North of Scotland for more than 25 years, Steve has a passion and depth of knowledge which he is more than happy to share with anyone prepared to listen.

     

    Whether hosting a whisky tasting, a casino evening, providing snooker coaching or just offering advice on Speyside, he is always close at hand to make each stay at Rothes Glen unique and special for guests.

  • Bedroom Information

    Groundskeeper

    Joining the Rothes Glen team part time and turning it in to a real family affair (alongside both his mother and sister), Oliver has been helping out from a young age, dabbling in every department. With both his education and a lifelong hobby in engineering, he knew he enjoyed practical work and added this to his love of the outdoors.

     

    It didn’t take long, working in tandem with our skilled gardener Mario, for Oliver to realise this was the role for him.  Relied on to keep the grounds immaculate, equipment running smoothly and be a general jack of all trades, he does so with a great sense of humour and a smile, come rain or shine.

  • Bedroom Information

    Gardener

    Mario originally hails from the Portuguese island of Madeira but moved to Speyside in 2007 in order to experience a better climate. Gardening is a role that requires a combination of passion, patience, hard work, and knowledge and Mario has these by the spade load. 

     

    As well known for his green outfit as his green fingers, Mario’s attention to detail is second to none and he is constantly seeking ways to create, develop and grow the castle gardens at Rothes Glen. 

  • Bedroom Information

    FOH Assistant and Housekeeper

    Having dabbled in a few careers, Charlotte finally feels like she has found what she wants to do in life. Having already grown her skills from housekeeping to front of house, Charlotte is keen to continue her development in hospitality and has her sights set on a future in FOH, event planning and guest care. The youngest member of the in-house team but already skilled in ensuring everything runs smoothly.

The history of Rothes Glen

Learn the history of Rothes Glen, it's origin and the extensive renovation the castle that has undertaken.

The Ultimate Whisky Weekend

Join us at Rothes Glen, The Luxury Castle for Whisky Connoisseurs, to experience a three-night, all-inclusive ultimate whisky getaway, in the heart of Speyside this November.

Rothes Glen, The Luxury Castle for Whisky Connoisseurs, offers guests the rare opportunity to experience the ultimate whisky getaway. The owner of Rothes Glen and Whisky Magazine, Damian Riley-Smith, invites whisky lovers to stay in this picture-perfect castle in the heart of Speyside to enjoy the ultimate whisky experience.

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