Scotch Whisky Experience insights

I asked 5 fire questions to Julie Trevisan Hunter, Head of Marketing at one of my properties which I represent, The Scotch Whisky Experience, Edinburgh……

  1. What in your mind makes your venue different from others? No1 whisky, No2 location and No3 our team.  As Edinburgh’s whisky home and the custodians of the world’s largest collection of Scotch whisky the point of difference has to be in the internationally acclaimed product which is know in all corners of the globe and is a “must do” when in Scotland.  Our location at the top of the Royal Mile, in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town world heritage site brings a whole sense of history and heritage to the arrival.  In addition you are afforded great views of the city from our Blender’s Room and McIntyre Gallery. Finally our team love what they do, love whisky and can’t help infusing every visit with their passion for this fabulous product.  This is really the cherry on the top to create lasting memory at our events.   
  2. In your opinion what are some of the best experiences to enjoy when visiting Edinburgh? Making the most of town and country is in my view the most unique aspect to Edinburgh.  Combine cosmopolitan dining and drinks with history and heritage in the galleries, museums and attractions and enjoy the coast, hills, rivers and countryside all within the compact city.  This what makes Edinburgh vibrant and relaxing, energising and restorative all in one breath.  
  3. What whisky from Scotland would you say a visitor must try? You have to take the time to be guided to fine your whisky.  There is one for everyone and with some time learning about the varied flavours and characteristics you’ll find one that suits your palate. It might be served straight, as a cocktail, matched with food – who knows?  There is nothing more personal and subjective that your own tastes so there is no “best whisky” and that’s what keeps out 120 malt whisky distilleries going!
  4. What dish with whisky from Scotland would you say a visitor must try? Personal favourites are fish and seafood, especially scallops.
  5. What motivates you in this industry? One of the main aspects is working half and half in two different industries: Whisky and Tourism.  Both are cornerstones of the Scottish economy, both cover every region of Scotland and both are full of people who love what they do working together for a  greater good.  I always feel that there is a balance and harmony to these two aspects; whisky producing a huge volume export from Scotland to the rest of the world providing one of the many hooks that then brings visitors in their millions from the rest of the world into Scotland. An ebb and flow with each bottle of Scotch containing an invitation to seek out its origins.


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5 quick questions to my property Executive GM


I am delighted to work with the family who built and own Hawkswood House & The Roundel, two exclusive use properties outside St Andrews.

Working very closely with Mary-Jo part of the family and the Executive General Manager, I put to her some quick fire questions:

Question: What in your mind makes an exclusive use property different from a hotel?

A hotel is a bit like a conveyor belt. With an exclusive use property guests receive a personal touch and their own private space without bumping in to anyone else. You go that extra mile for your guests to make sure that their expectations are exceeded and that they have a wonderful experience.

Question: In your opinion what are some of the best experiences to enjoy when visiting St Andrews/Fife area?

That’s hard because we are very lucky to have some amazing experiences from food to taking a boat to the Isle of May. I would have to say a distillery tour, Scotland is very passionate about their malt, it’s a unique experience.

Question: What dish in Scotland would you say a visitor must try?

It has to be haggis! You can’t come to Scotland and not try it.

Question: What activity in Scotland would you say a visitor must try?

The best activity has to be walking the Fife coastal path and it is free! The path stretches for many many miles but you can do small sections at a time between fishing villages. The scenery is breathtaking, you feel like you are in another world, it’s simply stunning.

Question: What motivates you in this industry?

The feedback from our wonderful guests, not just about our five star accommodation but the love for our country. We get to meet guests from all corners of the globe and they all say what a beautiful country we have. Scotland is an amazing place and we are very blessed to be here.

To view more information on the stunning properties click here

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Am I an agent?

Many clients have spoken to me over the years who are new to Sales & Marketing Representation and presume I am an agent.  Well I am here to tell you I am not and how does Sales Representation vary from an agent?

  1. I work for key properties doing the role of a sales person instead of them recruiting personnel internally.
  2. I work with and in addition to any in house teams.
  3. I am pro-actively working to gain further awareness on only specific properties and venues.
  4. When I take an enquiry I can only and do only, quote a property that I represent the sales representation for.  Unlike at agent who has acts for no specific property.
  5. Sales & Marketing Representation does not work on a commission structure which enables me to sell to many agents and they retain all the commission.
  6. There is a greater loyalty for a particular property as my reputation in the quality of product and service they offer reflects a greater deal on my business.
  7. Sales Representation can be done by way of maintaining the property branding for example having their company email in order to respond to clients under their logo.
  8. And lastly carrying out sales & marketing representation requires creative ideas and always thinking out of the box for my clients.



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Susan Reid Collection celebrates 13 years today


When I set up the business of sales & marketing representation on the 3rd November 2003, 13 years ago today I honestly had no idea how the business would progress or appeal to the market place.

13 years on I love working for myself and feel every day is a privilege to work for the Owners I have over the years.  The tenacity they show to their own businesses is incredible and it is a joy and pleasure to be part of their journey to building awareness and business success in the hospitality market place.

The buyer clients I have also worked with over the years from all over the World make every day worthwhile with their support and belief and trust in the properties and venues I sell to them.  I thank them very much for this.

So here’s to many many more years and to the success of the properties on the Susan Reid Collection you all mean a great deal to me, thank you.

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A remarkable setting this Festive Season


Nestled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, Candacraig is an inspiring, exclusive retreat and a wonderful placwe to create some festive memories or see in the New Year.  Steeped in history and surrounded by the wild beauty of the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands.

Originally built in the 17th century, Candacraig House was enlarged in the Scottish baronial style with its pepper pot turrets and crow stepped dormer windows in 1836. It has been extended several times over the years and was reconstructed in 1955 retaining its Scottish style.   The current owners Lynne & Marc Lino bought the property last year from Billy Connolly a famous comedian/actor and have since placed considerable investment into this stunning property.

Guests enjoy exclusive use offering 12 bedrooms, an impressive formal Dining Room, Drawing Room, Games/Billiard Room, and a Whisky Library that through many years of collecting provides a leading selection of single malts.

Outdoors, guests have full access to 18 acres of private woodland and manicured lawns, including a large Victorian walled garden, a lochan fed by the celebrated River Don and a woodland bonfire area – a very special spot to enjoy a warm drink by the fire.

Exploring the lavish grounds you will find one magical setting after another – exclusively yours to enjoy during your stay.  For the Festive period we can assist in arraning any entertainment and catering or for a rare opportunity guests can self-cater in this stunning Castle.


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What makes our golfing property different?


Susan Reid Collection is fortunate and proud to work with the Owners of Hawkswood House & The Roundel on the outskirts of St Andrews.  The attention to detail in particular for golfing parties is incredible and continues to ensure the properties receive 5 star reviews from guests staying with us.

So what makes them different and appealing to golfers:

  1. The location is perfect as only 10 minutes from St Andrews but they go that step further and have two courtesy vehicles taking guests all over Fife which is perfect for golfing parties being taken direct to their golf course of choice.
  2. Before golfers step on the golf course they like time for a short practice and where better than your own private short game area which comes with renting Hawkswood House.  The Short Game Area was designed and built by a golf professional, to provide the perfect practice area for honing your short game.  The course has 4 pitching mats, 6 holes and two bunkers, providing a wide range of lies and distances. This offers the opportunity to practice a variety of shots.
  3. Our accommodation provides 5 bedrooms in each house, 4 of which convert from super king to twin accommodation therefore ideal for 8 ball groups.  Larger groups can then rent both properties providing 10 bedrooms with 8 twins.
  4. Needing to relax and soak those muscles after golf then enjoy the luxury hydro spa which comes with each property.
  5. The Owners do not stop there and always looking to add and improve the facilities (if that is even possible), so by Summer 2017 a 750+ meter private driving range and second short game area are being built.  Perfect for further practice with friends, golf professional or somewhere to try out those new golf clubs.

A delight to work for and represent an Owner whose aim is not to sell their property to clients but market the experience which is tailored to our guests.


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An Interview with the General Manager of The Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh – Adrian Hayes


Susan Reid Collection is delighted to have represented the sales & marketing role for The Royal Scots Club for just over 12 years and asked our General Manager, Adrian Hayes some questions:

  1. What in your mind makes a private members club different from a hotel?

A private members’ club has that unique characteristic that generally seeks to enhance the visiting members experience, be they using the Clubs’ facilities for working, dining, meeting or staying overnight. The member, who after all is paying an annual subscription to “belong” does so, so that he or she can guarantee the experience they expect. Whilst commercial profit is very important it is not the only thing that counts. There is always a good atmosphere of conviviality in a members club, especially when members will go out of their way to make others feel at home.

  1. In your opinion what are some of the best experiences to enjoy when visiting Edinburgh?

Go underground and visit the city under the city at Mary Kings Close, watch an International game of rugby at Murrayfield and climb Arthurs Seat.

  1. What dish in Scotland would you say a visitor must try?

Haggis is the obvious answer! Another bit of advice would be to avoid the deep fried Mars bar

  1. What drink in Scotland would you say a visitor must try?

There is a growing selection of micro-breweries producing some excellent ales as well as increasing options for differing gins, both alternatives to the traditional malt whisky!

  1. What motivates you in this industry?

Meeting financial targets by ensuring that members and guests expectations are met and working with and helping to develop a good team of staff.


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