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Daily Record
Daily Record
Stuart Gillespie

Gatehouse hotel enjoys double success at the Scottish Thistle Awards

A Gatehouse hotel has scooped a double success at the Scottish Thistle Awards.

The Ship Inn landed the accolade for best hotel experience under 20 rooms at the west regional finals of the competition on Thursday night.

And its restaurant – No1 Fleet Street at The Ship Inn – received the best eatery experience award.

Judges praised the restaurant for its emphasis on sourcing local produce, whilst the hotel overall was commended for having a responsible focus.

The electricity to the business is powered through 100 per cent renewable energy sources and one per cent of profits go to supporting community projects.

Ship Inn owner Jonathan Henderson said: “A fantastic collaborative effort by all especially given that my long-term health battle has meant that our incredibly loyal team has had to step up to maintain consistently high standards throughout these challenging times for hospitality.”

Sponsor Rebecca Brooks, Richard Hermon and Michelle Shorthouse from Loch Ken Eco Bothies with Jean Johansson (Chris Watt Photography)

Other winners at the awards, organised by VisitScotland, included Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.

It won the working together for tourism category, judges impressed by its community-led collaborative approach and the way it shares sustainable and responsible activities with the wider industry.

Biosphere deputy manager and business development lead officer, Marie McNulty, said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised in the 2022 Scottish Thistle Awards for working together for tourism in the west of Scotland.

“It’s especially meaningful for coming in the Biosphere’s 10th anniversary year, as we celebrate a decade of supporting people, planet, and our regional economy through a huge variety of collaborative projects.

“We will continue to work with our amazing range of local businesses and via community-led tourism initiatives to ensure authentic, immersive and sustainable biosphere experiences are available to visitors from near and far.”

Galloway & Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, from left: Historic Environment Scotland Head of Corporate Communications Christina Kelly, Esther Tacke, Melanie Allen, Tamara Fulcher and host Jean Johansson (Chris Watt Photography)

The award for best self-catering accommodation experience went to Loch Ken Eco Bothies, which offers four luxury off grid self-catering units on the banks of Loch Ken.

Judges praised their innovative approach to sustainable and responsible tourism, drawing on best practice from international examples and reducing their carbon footprint.

Director of Galloway Activity Centre and Loch Ken Eco Bothies, Richard Hermon, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the recipient of this highly prestigious and coveted award.

“The competition has been tight and we are so pleased as it reflects the hard work and energy put into making Loch Ken Eco Bothies such a wonderful place to say.

“We would like to thank our staff, VisitScotland and most of all our customers without whom this journey would never have been possible.”

There was also success for Kitchen Coos and Ewes near Glenluce, which won the prize for best outdoor or adventure experience.

They will go forward to the national finals in February.

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