Renowned hotelier Ken McCulloch wins Very Special Achievement

Ken McCulloch has won ‘Very Special Achievement’ at the Scottish Style Awards in celebration with Moët & Chandon. The renowned hotelier’s legacy of style includes One Devonshire Gardens, the Malmaison chain, Columbus Monte Carlo and the bold Dakota concept.

In an evening where the stars of style descending upon Glasgow for the 13th Scottish Style Awards, Ken won the prestigious award in recognition of his five-decade-long career. 

Ken McCulloch

Ken McCulloch was born in Glasgow, the youngest son of impresario Archie McCulloch and singer Kathie Kay, and brother to Stewart and Donald. Leaving school at 16, his start in the industry came as a trainee chef in the kitchens of British Transport Hotels in Scotland. These included Gleneagles, the North British (now The Balmoral) and the Central Hotel’s renowned Malmaison restaurant; the latter would present a “eureka” moment for McCulloch some 30 years later when he secured the famous Malmaison name for £100. At the age of 27 he opened Glasgow's first wine bar, La Bonne Auberge. Against the odds, it became a success and McCulloch went on to launch Charlie Parker’s and The Granary. During this era, he was also responsible for transforming two of the city’s most enduring statements of style; The Buttery and Rogano.

Ken McCulloch’s reputation as a hotelier was made with One Devonshire Gardens, which he opened in 1986 as Scotland’s first boutique hotel. A luxury bolt hole, the 5-star destination was favoured by celebrities such as Bob Dylan and Madonna and saw then-head chef Andrew Fairlie gain the first Michelin star for Glasgow in 1996.

One Devonshire Gardens was swiftly followed by McCulloch’s creation of the phenomenally successful Malmaison, the first new hotel brand for 30 years. Chic, cosmopolitan and accessible to the discerning masses, Malmaison heralded a hotel revolution in Britain. Daring to be different, Malmaison was a bold statement against mediocrity at the height of the nineties recession, with 15 unique locations including a converted church in Glasgow and the renowned conversion of Oxford prison.

Within two years of selling Malmaison, McCulloch had opened the 5-star Columbus Monte Carlo. Overlooking the Mediterranean, Columbus encapsulated the New Riviera spirit with its reassuringly glamorous and understated simplicity.

Watch a special video on Ken below:

Now, in a long career – which spans 50 years and counting – Ken McCulloch has returned home. It is from here in the city he is overseeing what is arguably his finest achievement of the last 5 decades, and most ambitious so far, the growth of Dakota.

Named after DC3, the first commercial airliner, Dakota is amplifying the luxury hotel experience with a signature that is synonymous with Ken McCulloch. Breathtakingly bold statements at Eurocentral, South Queensferry, Glasgow city centre and Leeds defy convention. Interiors seduce and thrill. Expectations are surpassed with dramatic effect.

Few have challenged the way hotels operate like Ken McCulloch.

In a notoriously competitive environment he remains at the top of his game. Along with his award winning interior designer wife Amanda Rosa, McCulloch (pictured) continues to build an outstanding legacy of style.

One Devonshire Gardens was swiftly followed by McCulloch’s creation of the phenomenally successful Malmaison, the first new hotel brand for 30 years. Chic, cosmopolitan and accessible to the discerning masses, Malmaison heralded a hotel revolution in Britain. Daring to be different, Malmaison was a bold statement against mediocrity at the height of the nineties recession, with 15 unique locations including a converted church in Glasgow and the renowned conversion of Oxford prison.

Within two years of selling Malmaison, McCulloch had opened the 5-star Columbus Monte Carlo. Overlooking the Mediterranean, Columbus encapsulated the New Riviera spirit with its reassuringly glamorous and understated simplicity.

Hospitality winners on the night:

Others who were awarded on the night included John Byrne, one of Scotland’s most celebrated and most loved cultural figures, who won Most Stylish Male and artist, singer, songwriter and record producer Roisin Murphy, who was honoured with the Style Icon. The Voyage of Buck in Edinburgh won Most Stylish Bar, The Spanish Butcher – Most Stylish Restaurant and Ken’s Dakota Deluxe was named Most Stylish Hotel. Most Stylish Venue went to BAaD, Glasgow.

Video courtesy of the Scottish Style Awards in celebration with Moët & Chandon and The Vine PR & Events.
Pictures by Clive Watkins.