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VisitScotland welcomes triumph for Scottish hotel trio

Press Release   •   May 14, 2014 00:00 BST

Three Scottish hotels have today been named among the best rated in Europe and the UK for customer service in the Travellers’ Choice Hotels with Exceptional Service awards, announced by TripAdvisor.

Edinburgh’s The Chester Residence is crowned fourth best rated hotel for service in the UK and twelfth in Europe. Following close behind, Atholl Villa in Pitlochry takes fifth place in the UK and seventeenth in Europe, while Castlecroft in Stirling is ranked seventh in the UK and 24th in Europe.

Speaking following the announcement Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “Great customer service is an important part of the visitor experience and something that should be celebrated. Scotland is renowned for its great hospitality and our warm welcome is one of the many reasons that people come to this country.

"It is fantastic to see that three Scottish hotels are among the best in Europe in terms of offering exceptional service and I hope that their success will inspire others. What is particularly pleasing is that these accolades are the result of reviews and opinions from millions of visitors via the website TripAdvisor.

“A customer’s happiness is the benchmark of success so it is therefore fitting that they play a role in recognising excellent customer service. We have adopted the same process in our Scottish Thistle Awards, which this year will recognise and celebrate individuals and businesses within the Scottish tourism who have gone the extra mile to offer a great visiting experience.”

Now in its 22nd year, the Scottish Thistle Awards is organised and delivered by VisitScotland but, as announced earlier this year, will now be led by several organisations, including VisitScotland, the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.

To enter or for further information on the Scottish Thistle Awards visit

The deadline for nominations is 18 May 2014. 

Categories for the Scottish Thistle Awards include:

Regional Categories

1. Most Hospitable Hotel

2. Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House

3. Best Holiday Accommodation

4. Best Informal Eating Experience

5. Best Restaurant Experience

6. Friendliest Pub/Bar

7. Best Event or Festival

8. Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience

9. Our Warmest Welcome

10. Best Visitor Attraction

11. Discovering Scotland Award

12. Young Ambassador Award (30yrs and below – nominations only)

13. Ambassador Award (over 30s – nominations only) National Category

14. Creative Ambition Award (business tourism) Silver Thistle

15. Silver Thistle – will not be a nominated award and will be nominated by judging panel or industry panel.

For further information contact:

Louise Purves

Corporate Press Officer

Tel: 0131 472 2052

Out of hours media enquiries: 07699 766986

Notes to Editors:

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to 
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to