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In this most competitive category of all by entrant numbers, hotels must have fewer than 30 rooms and be firmly in the countryside with a strong sense of place. First impressions are important: location, presentation and exterior charm all being noted by judges. Hotels need not necessarily be traditional in style / décor but must have be genuinely ‘country’ in feel: we mark up welcoming smiles, open fires / stoves, a mix of restful and cosy places, warm and characterful bedrooms. Local information must be excellent. F&B should have as much the sense of place as any other aspect: local provenance is a must and breakfast is considered very important. Hotels will be credited for originality, e.g. design / colour, and will need to back up their rural credentials with good internet access especially if local mobile phone signals are weak. Judges will look for effective links with local attractions or facilities – and service to match (i.e. skiing, bird-watching, cycling).
The Lake of Menteith Hotel & Waterfront restaurant is a real gem. Situated on the banks of the only lake In Scotland, well into the Trossachs National Park. Yet you are only an hour from ... read more