This category opens Monday 18th March at 10:00am and closes Sunday 28th April at 23:59pm

Accommodation is a vital part of the visitor journey. The hotel experience is key to creating visitors' lasting impressions of Scotland. This award celebrates hotels of all sizes which provide customers with a memorable and authentic experience.

Businesses should provide a warm welcome to all visitors and have sustainability at their heart.

Who Should Enter:
Hotels of all sizes demonstrating exemplary levels of customer service and satisfaction.

Entry Questions

Executive Summary
The purpose of the Executive Summary is to give judges a general overview and better understanding of your business. Although not an exhaustive list, some examples of the type of information judges will be looking for are listed below. This question is not scored and is for background information only. 

  • Types of services on offer
  • Size and purpose of your business
  • How long you have been operating 
  • Any other information you feel is relevant


1. Please demonstrate your approach to delivering exceptional guest experiences. Please provide examples of what sets you apart from the competition.

You should provide clear evidence of activity and outcomes within the time period 1st May 2023 – 31st March 2024.

  • The attention to detail paid to all aspects of the guest experience – from pre-arrival (digital presence) through to post-visit – to ensure all needs are proactively met and the experience is personalised for every guest
  • The unique aspects of the hotel on which your guests comment most positively
  • The ways in which you intentionally bring a sense of place to your accommodation – eg. serving local food and drink, incorporating aspects of local/Gaelic language throughout the offering, proactively encouraging guests to enjoy the local area, highlighting cultural and historical points of interest.
  • Any training or development your team has undergone to provide consistent standards across the hotel experience
  • How do you listen and make improvements based on feedback – provided directly or through third party sites? Do you consult and involve staff in the process? 
  • Any examples of collaboration and partnership you may have with other high-quality tourism providers to create an enhanced experience for your guests


2. What actions are you currently undertaking to develop your business? What do you hope to achieve and how are you measuring success?  

You should provide clear evidence of current developments and how benefits will be monitored / measured, eg. through guest feedback, increased revenue, target market statistics. Please cover any areas you think are relevant although you may wish to include aspects such as:

  • Intentionally targeting new markets or increasing occupancy rates
  • Obtaining an external assessment of quality and experience (eg awards schemes, customer ratings)
  • Plans for new and innovative packages
  • New collaboration and/or partnership working


3. Please demonstrate your business’ commitment to Responsible Tourism.

In line with the Outlook 2030 strategy’s ambition for sustainable and responsible growth, it is important that the tourism and events industry in Scotland continues to develop in a responsible way.  Please cover any of the four priority areas of Responsible Tourism where relevant, but you may wish to highlight:

  1. Supporting Scotland’s transition to a low carbon economy
    I.e. Promote sustainable practices undertaken in your attraction, e.g. increasing energy efficiency; provision of electrical vehicle changing points; reducing food waste; reducing waste from packaging

  2. Ensuring tourism and events in Scotland are inclusive
    E.g. full access guide available online; catering to visitors with various dietary preferences; relevant staff training 

  3. Ensuring tourism and events contribute to thriving communities
    E.g. hiring local staff; working with local businesses, partnerships with local community groups, incentives for local residents

  4. Supporting the protection and considerate enjoyment of Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage
    E.g. promoting the local area, including nearby businesses and visitor attractions; delivery of any relevant events that promote Scottish culture and nature



Scottish Thistle Awards
c/o VisitScotland
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