Travel

Where to stay in Scotland: The Scottish Hotel Awards 2020

The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links on Islay was crowned Scottish Hotel of the Year 2020 at the virtual Scottish Hotel Awards event in April. We round-up some of the other national winners to help with your holiday planning

Although the pandemic put paid to the Scottish Hotel Awards’ annual ceremony, the event still went ahead online. Winners of both the Scottish Hotel Awards 2020 and People of Excellence Awards, Scotland’s leading awards schemes for the hospitality industry, were revealed during a much-watched virtual Awards Night on Facebook on 26 April 2020.

Considering current travel restrictions, the awards offered a bit of light relief for the industry and a chance to celebrate their achievements of the past year. “At this difficult time, with all hotels currently closed, we are acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead,” said chairman of judging Gary McLean-Quin. “We hope that the announcement of the 2020 results will give members a valuable boost as they begin to reopen their properties later this year, when the time is right to do so.”

Here’s a run-down a few of the stand-out victorious hotels, including the national winner, so you have the pick of the bunch when travel recommences.

The overall winner, The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links, was not only named Scottish Hotel of the Year 2020, but also the national Golf Hotel of the Year 2020, having received the latter regional title for the first time in 2019. What is most impressive about this luxury hotel nestled in the pristine dunes of Islay, is the fact that it only opened in late summer 2018. Manager Iain Hamilton, an Ileach himself, his team and Campbell Gray Hotels have developed this hotel on all fronts at breakneck speed.

The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links

Of course its unrivaled location, set beside seven miles of pristine beach in the Inner Hebrides and on the edge of its own coastal Links, has done its fair share of the legwork.

The Machrie is set beside seven miles of pristine beach on the isle of Islay

Back on the mainland, New Hotel of the Year 2020 went to Market Street Hotel in Edinburgh, which also clinched the national prize for Best Bar Food for its rooftop champagne lounge, Nor’ Loft. If you’re after a more restorative city break though – and we all will when this is over – then The Old Course Hotel & Spa in St Andrews should top your list, after it won national Resort of the Year 2020 on awards night.

Credit: Market Street Hotel, Edinburgh

On a smaller scale, Lys-na-Greyne was the national winner of the B&B/Guest House of the Year category, and Glenegedale House, back on Islay, were the proud national winners of B&B Breakfast Award – so now you know where to go when you want that traditional Scottish breakfast that will keep you going all day long. Plus, we’ve heard Emma Clarke, co-owner with husband Graeme, is a keen and talented baker.

Credit: Lys-na-Greyne

If this sounds more up your street – and great food and remote islands tick your boxes – then check out Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island. It won the national award for Fine Dining in the Scottish Hotel Awards, offering  300 acres of luxury and tranquility just off the coast near Oban.

Credit: The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews

A full list of the winners in each category – national and regional – and endless travel inspiration, can be found on the Scottish Hotel Awards website, or you can view it here. There’s something for everyone – from the Country Sports Hotel of the Year to Family Hotel of the Year.

To watch The Scottish Hotel Awards unfold in full, head to their Facebook page.

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