News, awards and what's on

With all the dark mornings, frosty weather and Christmas music, it might feel like the year is winding down, but in the world of Scottish hospitality, it’s all systems go.

Many Luxury Scotland members have enjoyed recognition at some top industry awards this month, including the Hotel of the Year and Thistle awards.

And already, there’s talk of what the new year has in store, from a woodland spa at Cromlix to a new flight from NYC to Edinburgh.

So without further ado, read on for the rundown…

The islands have it

US travel guide Frommer’s has named the Scottish islands in their ‘Best Places to Go in 2024’ shortlist.

The publication highlights that ‘the wildly scenic islands deliver a breath of fresh air’.

It also cites the white sandy beaches of Barra and Harris, the fine whiskies from Islay's distilleries, the dramatic sea stacks in Orkney and the wildlife in Shetland.

Their overview of this beautiful corner of Scotland is just a glimpse into the many reasons why visitors should make the region part of their must-visit list – and we couldn’t agree more!

You can check out the other destinations and read the full list here.

New flights from New York

JetBlue have recently announced a new direct flight from New York to Edinburgh.

The flights are scheduled to begin on 23rd May, with an Airbus service that includes 16 redesigned premium Mint Suites on board – if you’re feeling fancy.

Flights are available to book now – we’re sure they’ll take off!

Douneside welcomes a festive VIP

Douneside House in Royal Deeside will be hosting a magical Christmas walk and Santa’s grotto this December – the perfect place to take little ones for a family day out.

The walled garden surrounding the house will be lit up with colours and light, and tucked away in the festive grotto, there’ll be an opportunity to meet Father Christmas and his head elf.

After meeting with Santa, you can get cosy by a crackling fire and enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate and Christmas treats in the bar. All proceeds from the event will go towards two local charities.

Congratulations are in order…

We’re extending our warmest congratulations to a cavalcade of worthy winners and finalists this winter.

Murrayshall Country Estate have been confirmed as finalists in the Excellence in Tourism & Leisure awards.

Dunnet Bay Distillers have been crowned Best Food and Drink Tourism Experience at the Highland Food & Drink Awards.

Knockinaam Lodge were announced as the Good Hotel Guide’s Cesar Award winner and crowned Scotland’s Best Hotel in 2024.

The Machrie were voted Golf Hotel of the Year and Jordan David Webb from Kinloch Lodge was Awarded Chef of the Year at the Hotels of the Year Awards.

Luxury Scotland Members Inverlochy Castle, Cromlix and Kinloch Lodge have all been included in the list of 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Scotland, as compiled by The Handbook.

… and finally good luck to Cringletie near Peebles, who are through to the national finals in December of the VisitScotland Thistle Awards for ‘Best Hotel Experience’. Phew!

Wellness in the woods for Cromlix

Luxury Scotland members Cromlix have been granted planning approval to convert an existing building on the estate into a wellness cottage.

Tucked away in 34 acres of beautiful woodland, the building will be repurposed into a state-of-the-art wellness facility for guests to enjoy a range of spa treatments surrounded by the tranquillity of the forest.

Wellness treatments will be delivered in collaboration with award-winning natural skincare brand MODM, who currently supply the vanity products throughout the hotel, as well as a range of other luxury partners.

Guests can look forward to individual and couple’s massages, facials, manicures and massages, all set to arrive at Cromlix in late summer or early autumn 2024.