The Scottish Thistle Awards celebrate the very best of tourism in Scotland and the excellence that is helping to rebuild this vital part of the Scottish economy.
Lys-Na-Greyne in Aboyne received the award for Best B&B or Guest House Experience, sponsored by Abbey UK. The luxury B&B which uses locally sourced quality produce and situated on the banks of the River Dee was praised by judges for its ‘guest-centric’ approach in the category that celebrates going the extra mile to demonstrate heart-warming levels of customer service to every guest who steps through the door.
Joint owners Garry and Joyce Welsh, said: “We are thrilled beyond belief to have received this Thistle Award from VisitScotland. To be announced at the Best B&B or Guest House Experience in Scotland is such a huge accolade, not only for us, but also for the North East of Scotland.”
Douneside House in Tarland received the Best Hotel Experience (Under 20 Rooms) award. The country house hotel is owned and run by charity The MacRobert Trust with all profits donated directly to charities throughout the UK or re-invested in the property and grounds. Judges commended the hotel for introducing new developments, investments and innovations that have “guest experience at their heart.”
Jamie Aitken, Operations Manager of Douneside House, said: “We are delighted and humbled to win this prestigious Scottish Thistle Award. Our loyal and dedicated team are at the very heart of Douneside House, and this award is testament to their passion, talent, and hard work to ensure all our guests who visit, stay, or dine at Douneside experience Highland hospitality at its finest.”
Crathie-based Wild Discovery was named Best Outdoor Adventure Experience. Wild Discovery offers diverse wildlife watching experiences in and around Aberdeenshire, the Cairngorms and further afield, with a focus on connecting people with nature in a fun, engaging and sustainable manner. The business, which offers the world’s first ebike safar in collaboration with a local company, was praised by judges for its strong local partnerships and innovative approach to product development.
Owners Dan and Rachael Brown said: “We are thrilled to receive this award in recognition of providing unique, exciting and high-quality wildlife watching experiences in Scotland. It is always a pleasure to engage and enthuse guests and show them some of the many fascinating species that make Scotland their home. Thank you.”
VisitScotland Regional Director David Jackson said: “I would like to congratulate these Aberdeenshire businesses on their success. It is a fantastic achievement for the region, earning recognition for those businesses and individuals as one of the best in the country and helping to support the ongoing recovery of our valuable tourism industry."