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Issue 86 - Your Guide to Scotland's Best Hotels

Scotland Magazine Issue 86
April 2016

 

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Your Guide to Scotland's Best Hotels

The results of the 2016 Scottish Hotel Awards

Founded in 2003, in the earlier days of the internet when the potential for consumer feedback was just being realised, the Scottish Hotel Awards grew rapidly to become the stand-out national hotel awards for the country, embraced by the better and best of establishments, large and small. “The flagship hotel awards for Scotland”, said the First Minister a few years ago when speaking at the event. Today partnered with Scotland Magazine and its online channels, the Scottish Hotel Awards works with over 150 hotels and many hundreds of individuals employed in every area of business within the hotel industry.

Our researchers and judges are industry experts with the full ability both to compare the best within Scotland, and Scottish hotels and hotel people with the best in the world. The awards scheme is open to most properties, and those hotels with most confidence are, of course, keenest to participate. A good sign if you’re planning to book!

The team visits a number of times: announced research visits and interviews are followed by mystery visits. Additional meetings may be held, and further, secondary research is undertaken. To cap the annual scrutiny, the team has a unique continuity of knowledge going back decades, plus a regular flow of consumer comment, nominations and reviews, received via our website. Eventually, the judges select the best in each category in nine regions – these regional winners are revealed a few weeks before the annual Scottish Hotel Awards gala dinner. Additionally, we recognise teams and individuals via the People of Excellence awards and these too are announced at a regional then national level. Since our inaugural year, the underlying aim of the Scottish Hotel Awards is to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in Scotland’s thriving and essential hospitality industry. Below, we are delighted to highlight this year’s very best.

Fellowship for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry: Albert Roux

A
lbert Roux is one of the world's most renowned and influential chefs, who has received many prestigious awards and accolades. These include the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and Honorary Chapter Les Amis d'Escofier Honorary Lifetime Membership. In 1967, he and his younger brother Michel opened Le Gavroche, Britain's first ever Michelin-starred restaurant and now a legendary, two-Michelin-starred institution. They founded the Roux Scholarship in 1985, renowned as the creme de la creme culinary competition for the training of young, talented, ambitious chefs. After 30 years, their sons, Michel Roux Jn and Alain Roux, now oversee the Scholarship under the scrutiny of their fathers.

Having started working with Inverlochy Castle in 2005, Albert Roux is now Culina
ry Consultant to the ICMI collection of hotels, and over recent years has established Chez Roux Restaurants throughout the group. Albert Roux frequently visits these hotels to discuss seasonal menus with each team of chefs, and bring his masterly guidance into the kitchens.

Dedicated to training and education, he is involved in the charity ‘Adopt A School’ (part of the British Academy of Culinary Arts) to expose children to the taste of food, working in schools from the Scottish Borders to the Highlands. A Professor at Bournemouth University, he also lectures in Hospitality departments at universities and colleges around the UK and France, guiding a new aspiring generation in the industry.

Now at the age of 80, Albert Roux is indeed in his prime – an indefatigable, inspirational pioneer for the culinary arts in the UK and across the world. For his exceptional contribution to the industry, including his personal, dedicated interest in developing and evolving the Chez Roux restaurants in partnership with ICMI, Albert Roux is a most worthy recipient of the Fellowship for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry in 2016.

The Gold Laurels

In Hollywood, Gold Laurels are presented to talented visionaries in the motion picture industry and the unsung heroes behind the scenes of Oscar winning movies. ‘Visionaries’ is the ideal term for those who receive our prestigious Gold Laurels. These entrepreneurial awards recognise an exceptional achievement, outstanding innovation, architectural and interior design or business success that requires a very special accolade.

The Balmoral - Excellence in Brand Identity Projects

The Balmoral is chan- ging conceptions of what constitutes Scottish luxury. In a category which often shies away from families, the Families R Forte initiative instead welc- omes children as little VIPs. The hotel offers bespoke services across age ranges dubbed ‘R Babies’, ‘R Kids’ and ‘R Teens’. This innovative approach has seen such success that it is now being implemented throughout the Rocco Forte group.

Further to this, an inspirational collaboration with Kinloch Anderson has created a designer collection of staff uniforms. The Balmoral and Kinloch Anderson had already collaborated in 2013 for the launch of the hotel's dedicated whisky bar, Scotch. Over the past year, the two Scottish institutions have been working together again to develop a new uniform concept for the hotel’s door staff, concierge, and front of house team. The new uniforms feature a contemporary design using the natural landscape of Scotland as inspiration.

Yarn colours in heather, moss, thicket, zest, greenfinch and rave were selected in light tweed. The new tartan is currently being submitted to the Tartan register. Together, these projects display an impressive and innovative commitment to the continued evolution of the hotel’s identity and its place in Scotland’s capital.

Loch Lomond Arms - Changing conceptions of Corporate Events

O
n the bonnie banks of scenic Loch Lomond, this former 17th Century coaching inn is artistically and impeccably designed around Scottish clan heritage. Situated in the charming village of Luss, the hotel has developed itself as a unique destination for corporate events and special occasions.

Both the number and quality of events here particularly impr- essed the judges – and word of the Loch Lomond Arms’ expertise is clearly spreading. The develop- ment of its events is clearly reflected in winning of business such as luxury car launches and blue-chip company conferences. For the public, exceptional weddings, private dinners and celebrations have been a strong focus in 2015 and the judges found the team’s attention to detail commendable.

The newly extended Inchconnachan suite offers first class facilities for functions and provides panoramic views of the Luss Hills. This is a fantastic investment in the future of the property. Importantly, the whole Luss estate is at the event organiser’s disposal – a truly unique offering. As they say, “Eat Haggis and Ceilidh On.” For transcending the norm in terms of both location and delivery of high quality events to both corporate and con- sumer clients, we are pleased to recognise the Loch Lomond Arms.

Scottish Hotel Manager of the Year - Marc Jones, Holiday Inn Aberdeen West

M
arc Jones has built his career around Aberdeen over the last 18 years. After graduating from Robert Gordon University with a BA in Hospitality Management, he started life as a young trainee food and beverage manager in 1998 at the Copthorne Hotel. Over the next eight years Marc held various management positions in Aberdeen, before joining Holiday Inn Aberdeen West as deputy general manager. In 2014 Marc’s hard work and commitment was recognised when he became the general manager of the hotel. Marc is very people focussed and leads his team, as all great leaders should, from the front.

During his tenure as manager, both he and his team have been recognised within the industry by way of numerous awards; this includes such prestigious accolades as ‘2015 Warmest Welcome Host,’ awarded by Area Tourism Partner, as well as repeated internal recognition within the Holiday Inn brand. In fact, in November 2015 the property was awarded the ‘HeartBeat Torchbearer Award’ by Holiday Inn’s parent organisation, the InterContinenal Hotel Group.

Competing against over 650 other properties, this accolade recognises that the hotel has achieved the highest levels of excellence and are in the top 3% of all European Holiday Inns – a truly outstanding achievement.The Scottish Hotel Awards team have tracked Marc’s progress for some time and this year feel it is truly fitting that Marc should hold the title of Scottish Hotel Manager of the Year.

Independent Hoteliers of the Year 2016

This year the panel of judges found the task of naming one Independent Hotelier of the Year an impossible task – the scoring was just too closely matched. After a great deal of deliberation it was decided that for the first time there would be joint winners!

Nick & Nikki Horne - The Pierhouse Hotel

Nick and Nikki have owned the Pierhouse Hotel in Port Appin, Argyll for 10 years and are rightly very proud of their renowned hospitality and commitment to all that is local and good. The hotel, located on the shore of Loch Linnhe, serves amazing seafood from the AA Rosette Restaurant and a fabulous selection of over 90 whiskies as well as a fine wine list. Alastair Sawday, 'the doyen of travel guides and expert in finding special places to stay', shared his 20 favourite unsung hotels and B&Bs and The Pierhouse came top of
the UK list!

Nick and Nikki are also keen environmentalists and were recently awarded a Gold Award in Green Tourism, this embraces not just environmental issues, but also such issues such as sustain- ability, contributions to the community and charity amongst a long list of criteria.
Congratulations!

Peter & Caroline Mackenzie - The Scalloway Hotel

Peter and Caroline have owned the Scalloway Hotel in Shetland for eight years and pride themselves on providing the very best that Shetland has to offer. They work tirelessly in the community and are well recognised for their charity and community support.

Their renowned 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant showcases the wonderful larder of Shetland and they go to great efforts to promote all that Shetland can offer. They have recently completed room renovations utilising local plaid cloth for curtains, lampshades and even the guest compendium is bound by Shetland tweed!

Peter and Caroline have always recognised the value of their loyal team and were the first hotel in Scotland to be accredited as a ‘Living Wage Employer.’ Peter and Caroline are a testa- ment to quality and hard work as well as exceptional recognition of the locale.

Scottish Hotel of the Year 2016 - Balbirnie House

B
albirnie House, set in parkland and flanked by immaculate lawns, is renowned as a frequent winner of the Scottish Wedding Hotel of the Year category over the past decade, and justly so. But there's much more to this well managed, beautifully designed Country House.

The owners, Nicholas and Gaynor Russell, along with the Manager, Angela Ferguson, have truly demonstrated an enthusiasm and dedication to preserve and enhance this classic Grade 1 listed Georgian mansion. Gaynor leads the way in design; her style is very evident as they work through the refurbishment of the hotel. Each room is unique, luxurious and exudes quality. Their most recent project has been to create the Pearl Suite – a most sumptuous space, principally designed as a pre-wedding room for the bride. It boasts a magnificent canopy bed and an amazing freestanding shower that is a feature of its own. You have to see it to believe it!

The cuisine has developed beautifully under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Callum Dow who recently joined Balbirnie from Gleneagles Hotel. The choice of Bistro, Orangery Restaurant and Chef’s Table, as well as private dining and events, have all benefited from investment, combined with Chef Dow’s inspiring menus. Over the past year, the owners have focussed on improving the guest experience – bedrooms, corridors and the spectacular suites. A most impressive LED external lighting system can illuminate the hotel in the colour of your choice. Archie Forrest artwork adorns the walls of the Orangery and he is currently working on an exciting new commission for the Drawing Room and Lounge.

The Russells, the management and ‘family’ – as they refer to their dedicated team of staff – are quite rightly very proud of this wonderful hotel. Their continued success as a wedding venue and overall exceptional standard of hospitality has made Balbirnie House our first choice to receive the title of Scottish Hotel of the Year 2016. Congratulations team Balbirnie!


Establishment Award Winners


BAR DINING OF THE YEAR
GLASGOW & CLYDE
This charming eight room hotel is a hidden gem of a place, attached to the National Piping Centre in a renovated old church. The focus is all about a warm welcome, friendly helpful staff, comfortable rooms and a taste of Scotland on the menu: Cullen Skink, grass-fed Scotch Beef, Loch Fyne Scallops and for dessert, Atholl Brose. Authentic Scottish culture from music to dinner and drinks.

BAR OF THE YEAR
THE BALMORAL
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
Scotch Bar at The Balmoral has swiftly become an Edinburgh institution. The interior decor is world-class: cages protect rows of backlit bottles; warm, low lighting creates an intimate atmosphere; tweed sofas and leather armchairs lend a touch of Scottish chic. This is before we’ve even got to the delights one can find inside the bottles. Rarely does one find such a range of Scotch whiskies in a hotel – even in Scotland – and the level of knowledge exhibited by the passionate team is class leading; this is a bar is truly of international standard.

BREAKFAST OF THE YEAR
SHERATON GRAND HOTEL & SPA
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
The elegant, contemporary design of One Square offers space, comfort and castle views as you indulge in your morning coffee and croissants. An exemplary buffet offers a feast of fresh fruit, cereals, pastries, Egg Chef Station, with an additional a la carte menu. Superlative healthy options, such as their beetroot smoothies and avocado omelettes stand out particularly when compared with competitors, a standard rarely achieved in hotels of this size. “The Sheraton Grand Breakfast definitely steals the show” says a guest review. We agree.

FINE DINING RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
KILDRUMMY INN
NORTH EAST
In the heart of rural Aberdeenshire, this family-run, four bedroom hotel was a 19th Century Coaching Inn, so expect log fires and cosy lounge bar. Head Chef David Littlewood presents a seasonal, innovative menu: Jerusalem Artichoke with Goat's Puree and Fennel; Venison Loin, Shin Pie, Braised Red Cabbage; Lemon Posset with Rhubarb, meringue, Pear and Sorrel. Front of house, Nigel Hake is your genial, welcoming host ensuring slick professional service.

INFORMAL DINING RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
GLENFINNAN HOUSE HOTEL
HIGHLANDS
On the shores of Loch Shiel, near Glenfinnan (think Harry Potter) viaduct with views of Ben Nevis, this is an archetypical, traditional Highland home. Chef Duncan Gibson creates a quality menu of local beef, game, seafood, and, alternatively, hearty dishes (mussels, sausage and mash) in the Bar. With entertainment from local musicians, this is a popular community pub where hotel guests and local residents socialise over good food and drink.

BRAND HOTEL OF THE YEAR
HOLIDAY INN ABERDEEN WEST
NORTH EAST
This modern, stylish hotel has an exceptional location; it is just twenty minutes drive to the city centre, convenient for visiting local castles, whisky distilleries, Cairngorms National Park, Westhill Business Park and the AECC. Hotel facilities include the Scot’s Corner Pub, Luigi’s Italian Restaurant and fitness centre; it’s family and dog friendly too. This Holiday Inn ticks all the boxes and offers a great base for exploring both the city and the Grampian region. It has been recognised by InterContinental Hotel Group as being in the top 3% of its brand in Europe, and is a leading exemplar of how a branded hotel can transcend visitor expectations.

CONFERENCE HOTEL
OF THE YEAR
SHERATON GRAND HOTEL & SPA
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
Regarded as the flagship Sheraton hotel in Europe, this is a renowned conference hotel with the largest facilities in Edinburgh and an ideal location beside the EICC. An excellent range of banqueting and flexible function venues cater for large corporate events and board meetings alike. An attractive, spacious atrium leads to break out lounges, all with a convenient designated entrance that is separate from hotel reception. The Sheraton Grand offers first class accommodation and business facilities, blending 5 star formal service and hospitality with the contemporary ambience of a truly international city hotel.

EVENTS HOTEL OF THE YEAR WALDORF ASTORIA EDINBURGH – THE CALEDONIAN
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
First opened in 1903, the Art Deco Caledonian Hotel, “The Caley”, has been luxuriously re-imagined as the Waldorf Astoria for an international taste of five star accommodation and hospitality. Banqueting suites, Pompadour Restaurant and Peacock Alley create elegant function rooms for corporate and private parties, concerts, fashion shows, book launches, dinners, cocktail parties as well as seasonal entertainment and Festive celebrations.

AIRPORT HOTEL OF THE YEAR
CROWNE PLAZA, ABERDEEN
NORTH EAST
Located just 200 metres from the airport via a covered walkway, the new 4 star Crowne Plaza Hotel opened in September 2015; 165 bedrooms, Conference centre, 10 meeting rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, 24 hour fitness centre and the Offshore Bar and Grill. Excellent transport links - free shuttle service to/from Dyce Station, city buses and secure parking with park, stay and go packages. The hotel offers digital and connectivity provision for business and conferencing guests to a standard the likes of which are rarely seen in Scotland. The modern, state of the art conference centre with ten meeting rooms, offer first class facilities for small and large, conventional or creative corporate events. It is a true haven for the business traveller.

CITY HOTEL OF THE YEAR
VILLAGE THE HOTEL CLUB
GLASGOW & CLYDE
The Village Hotel Club is one of the latest and most refreshing additions to the Glasgow hotel scene. Situated in Finnieston near the BBC, SSE Hydro and the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre; the hotel offers one of the best Health & Fitness centres in the country, a spa, fashionable bedrooms, a Starbucks coffee shop, a vibrant restaurant and bar (with plenty of healthy dishes too), design-led public spaces and a buzzing creative atmosphere. The Village is an exciting and innovative place to stay, keep fit, eat and drink while you explore Glasgow, and represents an impressive investment in the future of a city that is going from strength to strength.

ISLAND HOTEL OF THE YEAR
SKEABOST HOUSE HOTEL
ISLANDS
This impressive white-washed Victorian hunting lodge boasts a tranquil location on Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye, and has recently been transformed into a truly great leisure and sporting resort: four poster suites and garden rooms, cosy, comfortable lounges, a conservatory, stunning bar and restaurant. The hotel has its own nine hole golf course and fishing beat, enjoy hill walking, fabulous wildlife, and simply relax at this romantic Hebridean hideaway.

TOWN HOTEL OF THE YEAR
THE PORTREE HOTEL,SKYE
ISLANDS
Country lodge decor meets 21st Century rooms, while its Antlers Bar and Grill offers an impressive drinks list and quality dishes; all at a price that is attractive to both locals and visitors. Relax in the West Highland Bar by the log stove, listen to live music and, importantly, get to know the locals – they’ll be there! A hearty Hebridean breakfast will set you up for the day exploring Skye – try the ‘Stornoway black pudding, haggis, smoky bacon and poached egg stack’ with whisky dressing! Phew. A reborn town hotel that already is clearly at the heart of its community, and a noteworthy investment in the future of the town.

B&B / GUESTHOUSE OF THE YEAR
CRAIGATIN HOUSE & COURTYARD
CENTRAL & FIFE
Surrounded by pretty gardens, this Victorian mansion has fourteen fabulously designed bedrooms with leather sofas, wool throws and soft towels. All areas of the experience have a bespoke feel; breakfast is served in the light and airy conservatory featuring one of the best breakfast menus we’ve come across – porridge with a dram of whisky; an array of fresh fruit, croissants and made to order pancakes, full Scottish or Arnold Bennett omelette – they know who he was, too! The Andersons are omnipresent (and perhaps omniscient) hosts, who predict guest needs and deliver an exemplary service.

CASTLE HOTEL OF THE YEAR
DALHOUSIE CASTLE & SPA
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
Scottish castles imbue a sense of fairytale magic and mystery, inspiring visitors from across the globe. Surrounded by woodland gardens, the 13th Century Dalhousie Castle offers authentic Royal heritage preserved in the grand Baronial architecture and furnishings: stained glass, wood panelling, antiques, medieval suits of armour, four poster beds. Enjoy a dram in the Library bar and a romantic dinner in the candlelit Dungeon Restaurant. Following a change of management three years ago, the property has developed exponentially and now offers a truly Scottish castle experience fit for a King.

COUNTRY HOUSE OF THE YEAR
GREYWALLS
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
Designed in 1901 as a family holiday home by Edwin Lutyens, its beautiful Arts and Crafts period heritage and lifestyle is preserved with antiques, portraits, comfy sofas, log fires and homely, vintage-styled bedrooms. Stroll around the Jekyll-inspired garden, enjoy a leisurely aperitif in the Library before dinner in the Chez Roux restaurant overlooking Muirfield golf course. Elegantly charming, Greywalls is a place of quiet relaxation and romantic timelessness.

COUNTRY SPORTS HOTEL OF THE YEAR
BALLATHIE HOUSE HOTEL
CENTRAL & FIFE
Located on the banks of the River Tay, Perthshire, near the royal estates of Atholl, Glamis and Scone Palace, Ballathie is a Victorian Shooting Lodge offering guests outstanding fishing, shooting and stalking experiences. The annual Sporting season runs from salmon fishing in February, Red Grouse in August, to Roe Deer in October. With traditional country house comforts, bar and fine dining restaurant, Ballathie is an idyllic paradise for the country sports enthusiast.

INN OF THE YEAR
THE OLD MILL INN
CENTRAL & FIFE
An Inn is defined as “a tavern with lodging for travellers.” This former 19th Century flour mill beside a stream, hidden away down a lane is the convenient place to stay, eat and drink when visiting Pitlochry. Contemporary bedrooms have the ‘wow factor’ – super-king beds, soft tweed sofas, luxury bathrooms. Eat and drink in the traditional Pub-Bistro and sample quality cuisine in the Restaurant. A buzzing place with live music gigs at weekends.

SERVICED APARTMENTS OF THE YEAR
OLD TOWN CHAMBERS
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
A growing category where standards are extremely high, Serviced Apartments offer a degree of privacy and space that few hotels can compete with. From a couple’s studio flat to the penthouse suite, sleeping six, with private balcony – Old Town Chambers continues to impress us. Contemporary, open plan design, home-from-home facilities, bespoke furnishings, Smart TVs and free Wi-Fi. Guests have the authentic experience of staying within the World Heritage Old Town, a short walk from tourist attractions, bars and restaurants - a truly unique place to stay. Be sure to ask about the Merchant’s house.

SMALL COUNTRY HOTEL OF THE YEAR
THE LAKE OF MENTEITH HOTEL
CENTRAL & FIFE
“So much happiness is produced by a good Inn or Tavern” – James Boswell. It’s been over 200 years, but these words still ring true. On the lakeside with views of Ben Lomond, this is an iconic, New England-styled small country hotel. Guests are welcomed with cream tea in the lounge; spacious bedrooms are stylishly designed and be sure to sample Daniel Bryant’s superlative, seasonal Scottish produce – expertly repared, of course. A destination hotel surrounded by natural scenic beauty for a relaxing rural break – Mr Boswell would certainly approve.

BOUTIQUE HOTEL OF THE YEAR
THE RAEBURN
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
Located in the affluent neighbourhood of Stockbridge, which is – according to the Sunday Times – the “best place to live in Scotland”, this Georgian Townhouse combines original heritage character with contemporary artistic design. Ten glamorously furnished bedrooms feature marble bathrooms, roll top tubs, rain showers and luxury amenities. Like an urban inn, this has a buzzing bar (gins, beers, cocktails) and brasserie (Josper Grill steaks, seafood, gastropub favourites), outdoor terraces and beer garden. This is boutique for the 21st Century.

LUXURY HOTEL OF THE YEAR
CROMLIX
CENTRAL & FIFE
This Victorian shooting lodge retains all the elements of a graceful era: antiques, paintings, log fires, stag heads, billiard room and chapel. Fifteen suites and bedrooms are designed with immaculate taste as is the elegant drawing room; the oriental- designed cocktail bar leading into the chic Chez Roux conservatory restaurant. Lovely gardens, a trout loch and Wimbledon- themed tennis court. Five star hospitality combines classic tradition with a sophisticated style of contemporary luxury.

ROMANTIC HOTEL OF THE YEAR
KNOCKDERRY COUNTRY HOUSE
ARGYLL & LOMOND
This fairytale gingerbread house boasts unique architectural design, wood panelling and fine antiques. Homely bedrooms are luxuriously furnished, many with loch and mountain views. Relax in the bar, experience a superlative dinner and enjoy summer drinks on the terrace. As one guest said: “Hendricks gin and tonic in hand, whilst looking out to the loch, makes you realise that there are little havens in life... It’s a romantic gem.” Perfect for that first weekend away together, an exclusive-use wedding or a diamond anniversary.

STYLE HOTEL OF THE YEAR
LINKS HOUSE AT ROYAL DORNOCH
HIGHLANDS
All areas of the decor exude luxury and display incredible attention to detail. Plaid armchairs are upholstered in bespoke Links House tweed; public areas are adorned with period antiques and Scottish artwork; luxurious bedrooms are named after Scotland’s great fishing rivers; a peat fire burns in the dining room; the sumptuous drawing room and wood-panelled library make for a truly Scottish, luxury environment. All areas of design, comfort and hospitality reflect a strong sense of its identity, which strikes the perfect balance between contemporary and traditional.

FAMILY HOTEL OF THE YEAR MACDONALD FOREST HILLS HOTEL & SPA
CENTRAL & FIFE
Within the scenic beauty of the Trossachs National Park on Loch Ard, this leisure and spa resort is a sporting and adventure play- ground for adults and children: it has a swimming pool, kids’ club, games room and play park. At the water sports centre on the loch, learn to sail, kayak and canoe; experience mountain biking, pony trekking, wildlife trails; Go Ape in the forest – zip wires, Tarzan swings. Ideal family holiday accommodation in the hotel’s self-catering lodges.

GOLF HOTEL OF THE YEAR THE WESTERWOOD HOTEL
& GOLF RESORT
GLASGOW & CLYDE
This stunning rural location overlooking the Campsie Hills is just a few miles from Glasgow city centre. Many of the 148 bedrooms have a view of its challenging 18 hole; 6,307 yard; 72-par course. Designed by the renowned Seve Ballesteros and Dave Thomas, golfers pass through a natural landscape of silver birches, firs, heaths and heather. Facilities include a practice area, putting greens and club house. For those who wish to merge the natural bedfellows of golf and business, the hotel also boasts outstanding conference and meeting facilities.

PET FRIENDLY HOTEL OF THE YEAR
DRYBURGH ABBEY HOTEL
BORDERS
This Country House with lawns leading down to the River Tweed is very popular with fishermen, sports enthusiasts and families. Guests may bring up to three dogs, which are allowed in bedrooms, the bar and bistro. Outside, the gardens, local hills and forest trails are perfect for long walks. Comments in the guest book say it all: “From the moment we, and our dog, walked in, we were greeted with true hospitality. Dog most happy. A truly dog (and people) friendly hotel”.

SPA HOTEL OF THE YEAR
SHERATON GRAND HOTEL & SPA
EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS
The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is officially one of the top ten Starwood hotels in the world, and a visit to One Spa makes you believe it. It has a luxurious environment of space, light, heat and water, all dedicated to health and wellbeing. Take a sensual, scented journey through the Thermal Suite and soak in the rooftop hydropool. Indulge in Espa Ayurvedic and Australian Li’Tya soothing, holistic treatments, salt scrubs, wraps, facials and massages. It’s the perfect escape from Edinburgh city life.

WEDDING HOTEL OF THE YEAR
BALBIRNIE HOUSE
CENTRAL & FIFE
See Scottish Hotel of the Year

BUSINESS HOTEL OF THE YEAR
CROWNE PLAZA ABERDEEN
NORTH EAST
See Airport Hotel of the Year