Permanently berthed on Edinburgh’s vibrant Leith waterfront, Scotland’s only luxury floating hotel, Fingal, was already recognised as a world-class foodie destination with the glamour and style of a superyacht, and an air of old-world Art Deco luxury ocean liner elegance – but now it has officially topped the sector, having been crowned as the AA’s Hotel of the Year Scotland 2023-24.
At an awards ceremony in London last night (Monday 25th September), the Automobile Association made presentations across 15 categories, each curated and judged by AA inspectors to recognise the best hotels and restaurants across the UK.
Those inspectors singled out Fingal for their top Scottish accolade, praising its ‘exceptional quality’ of design, and ‘outstanding’ customer service.
First opened in 2019, the former Northern Lighthouse Board tender was developed – and is now managed – by the award-winning team in charge of the berthed-nearby Royal Yacht Britannia.
With 22 luxury cabins, each named after Stevenson lighthouses; a double-height ballroom and bridge that provides dedicated dining spaces for private events, corporate celebrations and weddings; and the acclaimed Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar, open to non-residents for afternoon tea, dinner and cocktails, the hotel is described as the ‘ultimate in luxury accommodation and dining with a nautical twist’.
An AA Inspector said of Fingal: “Unique luxury bedrooms cater well for the needs of the modern guest. Award-winning food with fantastic surroundings from a professional and skilful team. Great hospitality is shown as well as warm and genuine customer care. This is a hotel experience unlike any other that Edinburgh can offer.”
Commenting on Fingal’s win, hotel manager Mari-Nel Scorer, said: “It’s with great pride that Fingal has been recognised by the AA as Scotland’s Hotel of the Year for our commitment to offering a world-class visitor experience to all our guests.
“This prestigious title is a real testament to the dedication and professionalism of our entire crew, who work tirelessly to ensure everything is shipshape.
“The inspectors paid particular attention to the exceptional quality of Fingal’s stylish interior design, our meticulous attention to detail, unique maritime heritage, outstanding customer service and fine dining experience in the ship’s Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar.”
In 2022, Fingal was awarded the top five-star rating from the AA for the hotel and two AA Rosettes for its Lighthouse Restaurant, joining an exclusive list of only 43 five-star hotels with two AA Rosettes across the whole of the UK and Northern Ireland. It remains one of only 25 hotels around the country with an overall quality assurance score of 87% or above.
An added selling point this year has been the improved transport link with Edinburgh city centre, as Fingal sits right opposite the new Port of Leith tram stop.