The Scalloway Hotel has been named as top islands eatery in what has been dubbed the “Oscars” of hotel awards in Scotland.
Husband and wife team Peter McKenzie and Caroline Moyes have picked up a regional award for the hotel’s restaurant in the Scottish Hotel Awards, after being compared favourably with other attractions.
They are now preparing for a ceremony which is due to be held in Glasgow later this month, where national winners will be selected and, finally, the coveted top title – the Scottish Hotel of the Year 2015 – will be awarded.
The recognition has come on the back of recent success when the hotel was awarded its second AA rosette, and almost seven years to the day since the couple took over the hotel.
Caroline said she was delighted with the news. Tomorrow marks the seventh anniversary since the couple took over the business.
“It’s an organisation called the Scottish Hotel Awards. They cover the whole of Scotland – they describe themselves as the Scottish hotel Oscars.”
The hotel was named after an anonymous visit to assess the business.
“We entered for restaurant of the year and we’ve been named in the regional winners. It’s split up into different regions, so we’re the winners for the islands region, which is all the islands of Scotland.
“We’re really delighted – it’s coming quite quickly after we were awarded our second AA rosette.
“We’re in quite illustrious company in the categories we’re in. The other restaurants are quite big hitters in the industry, so it’s fantastic just to be considered in the same category.”
“The award ceremony is in Glasgow on the 19th, and then they announce the overall winners. They choose the overall winners in each category and they pick an overall winner from them. They have other awards that they hand out which are just named on the night.”
Before being bought by the couple the 22 bedroom hotel was owned by Sam and Dot Davis, who had run it since 2001 along with the North Isles Motel in Yell.
The Scalloway Hotel was built in 1886, back when the village had a weekly steamer service from Leith, Aberdeen and Stromness. That stopped in 1940, but after the war the hotel enjoyed a boom under the ownership of George Spence. He catered for package holidays with Wallace Arnold and other holiday firms.
Norman Gilbertson would later build up its reputation. It changed hands several times during the 1970s and 1980s, with proprietors including John Bowie, Colin Spence and Charlie Fordyce.