Gemma Wayne-Wills is the Marketing Director at Cameron House on Loch Lomond. The stunning 17th-century baronial estate offers guests an exceptional experience not only in terms of location but also its facilities and customer service. Here Gemma tells us more about her role and passion for marketing, and the recent multi-million-pound restoration of the resort and also shares some top insider tips. Read on to discover more.
Please tell us a little bit more about yourself
I’ve been Marketing Director at Cameron House on Loch Lomond for almost 7 years. I have a young family, my husband and I both work in the hotel sector, so we’re very busy as you can imagine. My family inspire me and allow me to be my best at work, so it’s extremely rewarding too!
I’m from the west coast of Scotland, Oban. When I was very young, my grandfather ran his boat tour business from the north pier in Oban and would take thousands of tourists every season to the Isle of Mull, so I spent a lot of my youth seeing the west coast and being around hospitality. I’ve been very creative from a young age with a passion for collecting art and fashion, therefore hospitality and marketing seemed like a natural fit for me.
I loved the idea that marketing could give you so many opportunities, so I started working for local tourism publications, travelling around the country supporting businesses to reach incoming tourists, and then moving on to hotels and hospitality. I’ve now worked in hospitality and tourism for almost 20 years. I am a great believer in finding what you are naturally good at, and where your talents and passion cross over – that’s where you’ll find your strengths.
For our readers, who are not already familiar with Cameron House, please tell us more about this beautiful loch-side luxury hotel.
Cameron House Hotel is a stunning 17th-century baronial estate. Nestled on the beautiful banks of Loch Lomond only a 25-minute drive from Glasgow Airport, and with the gateway to the Scottish Highlands on our doorstep, I believe we are one of the best-located resorts in the UK.
Each of Cameron House’s guestrooms offers exceptional luxury and exudes the warm Scottish charm the resort is famed for. Designed with the surrounding Trossachs in mind, each of the bedrooms features Scottish artwork and the chance to take in the sweeping views of the grounds and shores of Loch Lomond, while the bespoke furnishings and fine textiles create beautiful relaxing spaces for leisure and business travellers alike.
During a stay, guests will enjoy unique special touches, combined with a storied history and paired with unrivalled facilities, from exquisite food & drink – we have six restaurants and five bars on-site – to the plentiful loch and land experiences including an award-winning spa with stunning views of Ben Lomond, a championship golf course, a brand-new leisure centre, plus a range of outdoor pursuits.
How would you describe it in three words?
Incomparable, desirable, memorable.
The hotel has recently undergone a huge (multi-million pound!) restoration, please can you tell us more about the transformation and what guests can expect from their stay.
Cameron House has a fantastic history. For three centuries, the land was part of the Smollett estate which welcomed the likes of Princess Margaret, Winston Churchill, as well as the famed poet, Tobias Smollett.
It was – and is – a place that has inspired poetry and tales of magical Scotland, so it was important to celebrate the heritage of the building as part of the restoration.
Our design teams worked to sensitively adapt the building for the number of guests coming through the door each year. Integral to the work has been making the most of the setting, developing the spaces to let in the light of the spectacular views across Loch Lomond, whilst still maintaining the atmosphere created by the hotel’s several hundred-year history.
The new design has created bold, memorable, comfortable and luxurious spaces. Each area blends Scottish history and luxury, with traditional and contemporary twists.
There is a great emphasis on a new activity programme, especially outdoor pursuits, which is no wonder given the spectacular location. Please tell us more!
Whether on the loch, on the land, or even in the sky, our experienced team can arrange an exciting programme of activities to suit any guests. We have 400 acres of lush Scottish countryside to be explored, choosing between exhilarating mountain bike routes, Segway safaris and challenging 4×4 driving routes. Alternatively, guests can try the ancient art of falconry or clay-pigeon shooting.
The loch on our doorstep is what makes us unique, and guests can experience the serenity of Loch Lomond by paddleboard, kayaking, or keen anglers may reap its hidden rewards fishing.
Guests can also take to the skies on the Loch Lomond Seaplane and soar over the stunning Scottish scenery including lochs, glens, and rugged mountain peaks. Or keen golfers can try their hand at The Carrick Golf course, where the front nine and back nine are split across the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands for a unique twist to the game.
And not forgetting the indoor activities and facilities – we love the idea of a spa day then a night at the cinema…what’s on offer for guests to experience.
The Cameron Spa is the ultimate place for revival and boasts an extensive menu of luxury treatments. The rooftop infinity pool boasts invigorating views across the Loch, Ben Lomond and towards the highlands. It really is a sublime haven with facilities including a hydrotherapy pool, scented showers, an ice fountain, tepidarium, caldarium, sauna, and hammam room to name but a few highlights.
Our new 29-seat cinema has been hugely popular, mixing sumptuous red seats with all the latest releases from Top Gun: Maverick to Elvis. The cinema can be booked privately, and we can have everything from returning brides and grooms enjoying a screening of their wedding day, to birthday parties, product launches, corporate events and presentations.
Dining is a highlight of every stay. From the signature restaurant the Cameron Grill to fine dining at Tamburrini & Wishart, or a more casual affair at The Boat House with its seafood menu, each shares a passion for local produce. A fine Scottish tipple awaits in the Great Scots Bar, where the Whisky Bar has more than 300 drams to choose from. Alternatively, guests can try a cocktail from the talented mixologists in the elegant Lobby Bar with its grand marble bar.
Your role as Director of Marketing at Cameron House, must be varied and interesting what does a typical day involve if such a thing exists?
With it being such a large resort, you are completely correct. There isn’t a typical day, every day is different, and it’s a very fast-paced environment. I absolutely love my job. When you have a resort as iconic as Cameron House, situated in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, it’s a Marketeer’s dream! The requirements of the business can change as the business grows, I’m always ready to adapt, learn new ways and remain open-minded. Culture is everything, I focus on building a great team and culture, that everybody wants to be part of, and we make room for concepts, we make time to think outside the box, and to think long term.
And are there any exciting plans in the pipeline for the hotel?
We have just unveiled our magnificent new Lomond Wing and ballroom, establishing us as one of the UK’s leading conference and event venues, adding 68 new luxurious bedrooms and suites, a 700 square meter ballroom and a new loch-facing terrace. This brings the resort’s total offering to 208 bedrooms, including 28 spectacular suites.
Do you have any insider tips for guests you can share with us?
There are so many unique experiences at Cameron House! A champagne cruise on Loch Lomond onboard the Celtic Warrior, a trip on the iconic seaplane, and landing at the private pontoon at the front door of the hotel. Or a twilight dip in the infinity pool at the Cameron Spa. Our new myths and legends cocktails, celebrating the magic of Scottish folklore and the Afternoon Tea in The Lobby bar are also unforgettable experiences.
A firm favourite would be a speedboat trip to one of Loch Lomond’s islands where you can have a picnic. Located in the heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, there are so many beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the list is endless.
Luxury is highly subjective – what does it mean to you?
True luxury shouldn’t be impersonal, it’s about creating a meaningful sense of place for your guests, and creating personalised experiences, so having an understanding of your guests is key, and a genuine care for our teams and people, when that all comes together, the magic will happen.
Finally, what is your life motto.
Everything I aspire to today is where I want to be in the future.