Logo

Find your hotel

Research & Judging Team 2020

 

Gary McLean Quin

Chairman & Specialist Judge

Educated at Glasgow and St Andrews universities, Gary later qualified as a Chartered Designer. Founder of the awards, he was chairman from 2003 to 2015 and returns this year in that capacity. Well-known in the industry, he has written widely on hotels for decades, edits an online magazine with a million-plus monthly readers, and has a particular passion to see the awards encourage ‘People of Excellence’ in all (but especially overlooked) departments.

...

 

Vivien Devlin

Deputy Chairman & Specialist Judge

An elected Member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, Viv has written extensively on travel, hotels and the arts in many publications over the years. Her involvement with the Scottish Hotel Awards dates back to the very first event in 2004. For two years Vivien chaired the judges and has researched Scots hotels for more than two decades, bringing the awards an enormous continuity of knowledge.

...

 

Specalist Judges

 

Daniel Ashmore

Specialist Industry Judge

Daniel, who won the Scottish Fine Dining Chef of the Year 2018 title, has until recently been head chef of the Pompadour Room of the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh. In March 2020 he takes up a new role as head chef at world-famous Gleneagles. For the awards this year Dan will be assessing restaurants and chefs.

...

 

Bill Burnett

Specialist Industry Judge

Bill was for many years the General Manager of Holiday Inn Aberdeen West, well known for his dynamic encouragement of his team and their careers – indeed, many went on to win significant awards and career development. Now with a growing hotel management company, Bill again supports the judging team, with an emphasis on human resources.

...

 

Peter Ferguson

Researcher & Specialist Judge

One of the country’s leading event organisers, Peter first trained in hospitality under the Duke of Roxburghe before going on to manage several country house hotels. Today, his company – Beautiful Events & Productions – hosts many acclaimed and award-winning events, festivals and ceremonies. Peter has been a key judge for many years and, while our events judge, his remit as a core team member embraces many aspects of hospitality.

...

 

Renata Parolari Fernandes

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Editor of ‘Five Star Magazine’ and the newer ‘Five Star Trilogy’, Renata – originally from Brazil but resident in her “much loved” Scotland for many years – is an industry champion for luxury and brings an international perspective to the awards. For many years a researcher and judge, Renata has a passion for quality and world-class standards, design and good service and today edits the high-profile industry resource ‘Hotel News Scotland’.

...

 

Lea Harris

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Food is in Lea’s blood; a butcher’s daughter, her dad taught her to bake when she was just four. She has written restaurant reviews for various magazines, is a columnist for high circulation ‘Bite Magazine’, collaborated on a foodie guide to the UK focusing on Scotland, and was on TV’s ‘Great British Bake Off’. Lea was principal food judge for the awards for many years and makes a return this season in this specialism and all related areas.

...

 

Jason Henderson

Specialist Industry Judge

A chef patron from Perthshire, Jason – who has recently completed a cooking TV series – is a well-known advocate for Scottish cuisine. He has cooked internationally, including at prestigious Grand Prix events, and has won many awards for his family business Knock Castle. This season Jason again helps the awards consider rural properties, food and drink.

...

 

Jan Leatham

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Jan’s background is in marketing, customer service and hospitality with a focus on events. For the last 8 years she has been a freelance events organiser and copywriter, specialising in magazine and travel journalism. Since 2005 Jan has co-ordinated almost 200 weddings and events, in marquees and stately homes, as well in hotels and restaurants – and, with a trademark thoroughness, has been a judge for the Scottish Hotel Awards since 2013

...

 

Barry Makin

Specialist Industry Judge

Barry is the General Manager of a renowned Edinburgh Hotel and assists the team this year in research and judging for family hotels.

...

 

Denis MacCann

Specialist Industry Judge

Denis is General Manager of an extremely busy Scottish hotel and has been a researcher and judge with the awards for several years, frequently tasked with mystery judging missions.

...

 

Joan McFadden

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Known for her thorough and professional approach, Joan has over 25 years’ experience in international and national journalism, writing regularly for a wide range of top flight newspapers, magazines and corporate clients. Travel and food have played a large part in both Joan’s life and journalism since her four children were very small. She enjoys showcasing Scotland’s tourism and hospitality to as wide an audience as possible.

...

 

Donnie Montgomery & Raymond Barnett

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Donnie and Raymond are renowned in the Scots hospitality media, having frequently been on TV and radio. They long had a deli in Edinburgh and today live on the Isle of Skye from where they publish – as ‘Bloggers of the Year 2018’ – the hit ‘Boys Eat Scotland’ (www.theboyseatscotland.scot) guide. Joining us, they will help advise and research not only on food-led properties, but also, as pet lovers, judge our Pet Friendly category.

...

 

Ken Scott

Researcher & Specialist Judge

With extensive knowledge of, and a passion for, design and architecture, Ken has an astute and precise eye for quality and inherent performance in hotels. Widely travelled, he brings to the awards an ability to compare Scotland’s best with the best in the world. Ken has been a researcher and judge for the awards since the very start in April 2004 and has provided the scheme with seventeen unbroken years of knowledge.

...

 

George Theodosiou

Specialist Industry Judge

Originally from Cyprus, and today working as an industry ombudsman, George holds a degree in Event Management. A top-class photographer, he has for several years supported research in Scottish hospitality with his work. This year he joins us as a judge in the areas of boutique and design-led hotels, events and People of Excellence.

...

 

Deborah Welsh

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Deborah is an enthusiastic lover of travel who has been a regular researcher and judge with the awards for many years. Her love of hospitality led her to become a regular contributor to online travel platform ‘Tripsology’, having covered many cities around the world, writing in a unique and personal style. Deborah is known for her honest, insightful opinions.

...

 

Sharon Wilson

Researcher & Specialist Judge

Recently elected (with a large majority) to Fife Council, Sharon is not only a dynamic Councillor, she has a passion for the hospitality and food industry in Scotland. This is exemplified by her successful and long-running ‘Bite Magazine’.

...

 

Alexander Zimmermann

Specialist Industry Judge

With a Michelin-starred property background, many years ago Alexander was recognised by the Scottish Hotel Awards; in the intervening years he has provided his ‘take’ on many Scots hotels. Today, he manages the prestigious Belmond Royal Scotsman train and brings a luxury and quality overview to the research and judging team.

...

...

...