News, awards and what's on

It may be a little colder outside, but the competition for some of the industry’s most coveted awards is heating up this month.

We’ve seen some prestigious accolades bestowed and nominations announced, with the AA Hospitality Awards, the Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards and the VisitScotland Thistles all recognising Luxury Scotland members.

We also have the usual round-up of news, with some exciting new developments underway at Cromlix, and one lucky property featured in the BBC’s Life Beyond the Lobby.

Read on for all the details.

Watch and learn 

Ayrshire-based Luxury Scotland member Glenapp Castle recently featured on the BBC series Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. 

In the one-hour episode, hosts Monica Galetti and Rob Rinder try their hand at floristry in the hotel’s flower studio, collect home-grown veg for the hotel kitchens and head off on a sea safari! 

If you missed this fascinating insight into the property, you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.

Cromlix go cabin crazy

The team at Cromlix have been granted planning permission to build nine woodland cabins in the grounds of the beautiful Dunblane-based estate. 

These will be split across three categories – encompassing water-based, treetop and circular cabins. 

The cabins are part of a long-term strategy to invest in Cromlix, which also includes plans for a second restaurant. Watch this space for more updates!

Luxury Scotland members reach for the stars

The AA Hospitality Awards recently took place in a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House in London. 

Luxury Scotland Member Crossbasket Castle was the only new hotel to be awarded five AA Red Stars in the recent AA Awards. This means the property has been chosen as one of the best hotels in the British Isles. 

Huge congratulations to Fingal, too, who picked up Hotel of the Year, Scotland – a phenomenal achievement.

Read all about it!

Many congratulations to Glenapp Castle and Fingal, who were placed 22nd and 23rd respectively in the Condé Nast Traveller 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards. 

These audience-voted awards recognise some of the top hotels in the UK, and are judged on satisfaction levels. Well done to both venues!   


No little achievement for Heather

Many congratulations to Heather Matthews, Managing Director of Little’s Chauffeur Drive, who has been shortlisted for two awards at the Women’s Enterprise Scotland Awards 2023. 

Heather has been recognised in the ‘Inspiring Leader’ and ‘Resilient Business’ categories. We’ll keep everything crossed for her in the run-up to the ceremony! 


A flurry of awards nods

Congratulations to our Luxury Scotland members who have made it through to the Shortlist for the Boutique Hotelier Awards. 

Cromlix have been nominated for Best Interior Hotel Renovation, while Glenapp Castle are in the running for Boutique Hotel of the Year. We wish them the very best of luck in the finals!

You can view the full Boutique Hotelier Awards shortlist here. 


Raise a glass to Dunnet Bay Distillers

Martin Murray, the owner of Dunnet Bay Distillers (they make the fabulous Rock Rose Gin) has received the Outstanding Contribution Award from The Gin Cooperative. 

The judges commented, ‘As the co-founder of one of the early Highland-based gin brands, Martin Murray, along with his wife Claire, acted as a great example of what a remote Scottish distillery could achieve.’ 

Congratulations, Martin!


Recognition at the Thistles

Congratulations to the entire team at Cromlix who recently picked up the regional award for Best Hotel Experience at the VisitScotland Scottish Thistle Awards. 

Next, they’ll go through to the regional finals – we wish them lots of luck at this next exciting stage of the event!


Something to savour at Johnnie Walker Princes Street

From 18th September 2023, Johnnie Walker Princes Street became the first place in the world to stock Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami.

This is a highly limited expression, created by Master Blender Emma Walker, in partnership with Kei Kobayashi of 3 Michelin Star Restaurant Kei. 

The result is a beautiful balance of sweet and savoury flavours, with notes of blood oranges and red berries with sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat and a hint of salt and pepper, leaving a long, sweet fruit finish.

To stay in the loop with the latest events and whisky tastings at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, why not subscribe to their newsletter?


50 years in the making

Kinloch Lodge were thrilled to win an award at The Annual Guild of Food Writers’ Awards recently in London, for their incredible 50th anniversary book 50 Years – Kinloch Lodge. 

The judges remarked on how the book left them longing for a visit to Skye to feel the warmth of Kinloch’s family hospitality.