Edinburgh hotelier shortlisted for UK industry award

One of the capital’s leading hospitality industry figures has reached the shortlist for a major award.

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James Thomson OBE, owner of Edinburgh’s Prestonfield and The Witchery by the Castle, is a finalist for Independent Hotelier of the Year at the Independent Hotel Show which recognises excellence in the luxury and boutique hotel sector across the country.

Of the six final hoteliers, James is the only Scottish operator shortlisted, and will find out the result at a ceremony in London on 4th October following a public vote.

The Witchery is renowned for luxury accommodation and fine dining. Photograph David Cheskin..

According to the Independent Hotel Show, the winner is considered to be an individual who has made a significant contribution to the industry and someone who is committed to the development and success of their team and establishment.

James, originally from Edinburgh, is one of Scotland’s best known independent hoteliers and restaurateurs. He was only 20 years old when he opened The Witchery by the Castle in 1979, making him the youngest licensee in Scotland at the time, leading to a career at the top of his profession.

The Witchery, situated on Castlehill at the top of the Royal Mile, began with just one restaurant but now also boasts nine magnificent suites and the additional Secret Garden dining area, which James has carefully restored over time.

In 2003, James took over Prestonfield House at the foot of Arthur’s Seat and has turned it into Prestonfield; an award-winning, five-star establishment which is a favourite with both locals and visitors alike for its lush grounds, exceptional Scottish dishes, extensive wine list and luxury escapism.

Prestonfield offers a luxury stay in a stunning setting

He said: “It is a huge honour to be a finalist for this award, especially following a particularly challenging time for our business and for many other operators in the industry.

“I am extremely grateful to the teams at both venues for their continued hard work and commitment to excellence. I am also very thankful to our customers and guests for their ongoing support throughout this difficult period. It is so appreciated and spurs us all on to keep doing what we do.”

Voting is open to the public and can be made here: https://www.independenthotelshow.co.uk/awards/cast-your-vote.

A message from the Editor:

Honoured to be the only Scottish name on the shortlist: James Thomson

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