Iain Hopkins and his partner Alice Gill – who own the Lodge on Loch Goil – won an award for the most stylish hotel in Scotland in this year’s awards, fighting off competition from some of the country’s biggest hotels.
The star-studded ceremony at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery last Saturday saw the pair rub shoulders with some of Scotland’s most famous faces including singer songwriter Paolo Nutini, who was up for Scotland’s most stylish man.
A ‘gobsmacked’ Iain told the Advertiser the award came as a complete shock for the family run business, adding: “We really had no idea and I didn’t think we would ever be up for this because when you have a small business like this you just want to deliver the best service you can.
“We were up against massive hotels like the brand-new Hotel Du Vin in St Andrews and the Malmaison in Dundee, and when you run a smaller business you are much more hands on and can end up doing everything from running the business to changing a light bulb.
“For us it was just about being nominated and even to be told we were in the top five hotels in Scotland was a massive thing for us.
“Everything else was a bonus and when we found out we had won we were astounded.” The Lodge on Loch Goil was the only hotel in the West Of Scotland nominated in the category, with the other contenders coming from St Andrews, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.
The five-star ‘exclusive use venue’ is also the only one of its kind in the West of Scotland and was originally used for fashion shoots as Iain was a fashion producer.
It became a world-renowned venue with major firms using the facilities for shoots including Marks and Spencer and US companies Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
Even Vogue magazine has shot at the lodge.
Alice is also a wedding planner and has over 750 successful weddings to her name.
The Lodge on Loch Goil is a William Leiper designed house and was originally built in 1864.
It has been a family run business for the past 18 years and has an office in Helensburgh.
There are plans for the business to open a restaurant – with more details to be confirmed.
Iain told the Advertiser one of his biggest inspirations in his career was his dad Bobby, who passed away a month ago.
He told the Advertiser: “For me and my mother my dad was my best friend and I felt he had a lot to do with my success so I felt he was watching over us when we won the award.”