At the age of 54, Andrew McKenzie has already amassed a remarkable 41 years within the hospitality industry, commencing employment at the tender age of 13 as a hall porter in the Royal Hotel Bridge of Allan. Experience at the likes of Thistle hotels and Intercontinental, led him to his first general manager position at the age of 26. He then joined Shire Hotels in 1990, managing three of their properties for eight years, before taking his current position as managing director of The Vineyard Group in 1998.
The Vineyard Group owns and manages a diverse portfolio of properties, including ownership of the five-star The Vineyard, Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, Newbury, (which has grown its room inventory from 57 to 113 during McKenzie’s tenure) and The Barns Hotel, Bedford; two golf courses – Donnington Valley Golf Club and Deanwood Golf Club; and The Vineyard Cellars. McKenzie has led the Vineyard Group for 18 years, developing both the business and its people; Alumni have gathered eight Michelin stars, numerous sommelier awards, AA Hotel of the year, acorn winners, MIALD and Cornell participants to name a few.
McKenzie is also involved in many industry bodies and organisations, including holding the position of director and past chairman of the Master Innholders and previously chairing the hotels association in Carlisle, Bristol and Newbury.
His chairmanship of the Master Innholders saw him spearhead and introduce a nationwide work experience scheme ‘Inspire’ which has been adopted industry wide and following on from his McKenzie became a mentor for various different groups, including The Master Innholders Mentoring Scheme and the ‘10-out-of-10’ training programme. McKenzie has instilled his philosophy within the company ‘What is important around here;’ a clear, easy to understand brief which underpins every facet of The Vineyard business.