By Ian McConnell

TRANSPARENT “igloos” and a 20-metre, open-sided marquee form part of an Aberdeen hotel’s reopening plans, as it aims to capitalise on its outdoor space in a world of social-distancing.

The Chester Hotel yesterday highlighted its plans to offer alfresco dining as soon as reopening of open-air spaces to serve food and drink is permitted by the Scottish Government.

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The hotel, owned by Graham Wood, furloughed staff in March as it closed temporarily amid lockdown measures implemented by the UK Government to slow the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

It proposes to erect a 20-metre, open-sided marquee with a transparent roof over the car-park area in front of 55 to 57 Queen’s Road. It plans to put the marquee up next week.

A spokeswoman noted the marquee was a temporary structure and said this meant planning permission was not needed initially.

However, she added: “The hotel is considering that people will perhaps want to meet outdoors even after the bar and restaurant open, so it may be there longer.”

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The 71-room Chester Hotel noted the marquee would “complement the existing covered outdoor seating area”. It added that the marquee space, along with the canopied patio, would give, with appropriate social-distancing, space for around 100 guests.

Two transparent domes, described by the hotel as “Eden Project-style”, are planned. These vented “igloos”, which give a 360-degree view, will be constructed at the front of the hotel.

The hotel noted that customers would be able to pre-book these “conservatory-style-structures” for small groups of up to eight to meet and dine.

Mr Wood said: “Although we have a large area of our outdoor seating area already under canopies, the addition of this 20-metre marquee will give us one of Aberdeen city’s largest outdoor spaces.”