Borders B&B wins award for offering warmest welcome in Scotland

From left, Sanjeev Kohli, Kingsmuir House owners Malcolm and Karen Mullarkey, Derek Nicol of Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers and Jennifer Reoch.
From left, Sanjeev Kohli, Kingsmuir House owners Malcolm and Karen Mullarkey, Derek Nicol of Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers and Jennifer Reoch.

Kingsmuir House in Peebles has been named as the best bed-and-breakfast or guesthouse in in the country at the 25th Scottish Thistle Awards’ national final.

The Springhill Road B&B was the Borders’ only winner at last Thursday’s ceremony, held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

It took home the prize for most hospitable B&B or guesthouse, sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, a firm based in the capital but with other offices in Galashiels and Glasgow.

The awards’ judges commended Kingsmuir House on its collaborations with other local businesses and use of seasonal and local produce.

They were particularly impressed by the B&B’s digital presence “aimed at improving the customer journey and delivering the best possible experience to all guests”, they said.

Welcoming that announcement, Kingsmuir House co-proprietor Malcolm Mullarkey said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award.

“This is what makes my passion and momentum to strive for perfection each time a guests makes a booking and subsequent visit.

“It’s a great honour to be a part of these celebrations alongside the other inspiring ambassadors for the tourism industry endorsing our passion and motivation to ensure our guest’s journey is one to remember and cherish for all the right reasons.”

Paula Ward, regional leadership director at VisitScotland, one of the event’s organisers, added: “I would like to say a massive congratulations to Kingsmuir House on being crowned the best in Scottish tourism.

“These awards recognise the drive and passion the industry has for creating an unforgettable experience for visitors, and I’m delighted that Malcolm and Karen’s passion and commitment to ensuring their guests enjoy the warmest of welcomes has been recognised.

“Their attention to detail at every stage of their guests’ stay is truly deserving of this accolade.”

Still Game and River City star Sanjeev Kohli co-hosted the evening with STV presenter and former Miss Scotland Jennifer Reoch.

This year marked the awards’ silver anniversary and saw a record-breaking 750 entries to the competition.

Rebecca Brooks, chairperson of the awards’ industry panel and VisitScotland Board member, said: “The Scottish Thistle Awards are Scotland’s premier awards for the tourism industry, and for 25 wonderful years they have been shining a spotlight on success, innovation and excellence.

“Congratulations go to all of our national winners.

“We are delighted to celebrate with them during this milestone year.

“They represent the best of Scottish tourism and epitomise the strength and depth of the sector which continues to innovate and excel in giving visitors a high-quality experience.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It creates jobs and sustains communities.

“The Scottish Thistle Awards lets us recognise the unsung heroes of our industry who show real dedication and enthusiasm for Scotland’s tourism industry.”