The Vaults, and the Queen’s Hotel, Dundee.
Mr William Smith. 1887.
William Smith was born in Dundee and was thoroughly trained to the trade, and being possessed of a good business qualifications, opened the Vaults around 1865 and became a prosperous wine, spirit and malt liquor merchant.
In 1887 he had an extensive trade and was considered to be the largest bottled beer trade in the district, where he was sole agent for Messrs. Bass & Co. of Burton-on-Trent. In 1877 he launched the palatial establishment the Queen’s Hotel and it was this he was best known by those who visited the North.
Situated on the banks of the Tay and overlooking the Tay bridge the Hotel had an interesting and beautiful view. Both internally and externally the hotel was architecturally a wonderful design. The Queen’s Hotel was the favourite resort of visitors to Dundee attracting tourists and businessmen from all over the world.
Large numbers were drawn by the Tay Bridge which in turn amde the Queen’s Hotel very popular. Amongs the guests included His Royal Highness the King of Saxony and his suite, as well as a large number of the nobility and distinguished visitors in Scotland. The fitting up of the Saloons, Cuisine, Stabling, etc., were capable of satisfying princely patronage, whilst the commercial side was equally well provided.