The hotelier, who went to university in the Scottish city before scoring a job with Holiday Inn, gave the advice as part of his keynote speech at last week’s Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester.
Built around the ‘Seize the Day’ theme Cook unveiled how he had used opportunities presented to him to his advantage, unveiling details of his career such as working at the Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh, building up the Malmaison brand and launching a hotel in Monaco for Formula 1 racing driver David Coulthard before taking on his current role with De Vere.
Cook told the 600 delegates that De Vere Hotels and Village Urban Resorts was one of the few hotel groups who had recognised the potential for Aberdeen and was one reason why it was targeting Scotland so heavily.
He said: “Seizing the opportunity for us is where we are not in the market and we are not in Scotland.
“I see Scotland as a growth market. We are opening in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
“Glasgow I look at as a conference market. It has two world events coming there next year and will host the 2015 World Gymnastics so we had to get Glasgow and get there now.
“Aberdeen is hot and those who are not there already, I urge you to get there. Anybody with a luxury hotel brand that is looking for a home in the UK could do well in Aberdeen. It’s a fantastic city, it’s a centre of excellence for oil and gas exploration innovation and this brings lots of potential.”
Cook revealed that De Vere Hotels and Village Urban Resorts was planning to open more hotels just outside the M25.
“We are planning to open 25 to 35 hotels over the next three years. Scotland is next and the M25 will come after that,” he said.
He said plans to re-launch the Belfry, the golf resort hotel acquired by KSL Capital Partners in 2012, were going well and the property would be ‘better than ever’ when it re-opened next spring.