Aberdeenshire business wins AA Inn of the Year Scotland 2024

09/07/2024
The Kildrummy Inn

THE Kildrummy Inn, a family-run business in the heart of Aberdeenshire, has been named the AA Inn of the Year Scotland 2024, beating hundreds of other establishments across the country. The award recognises the quality of accommodation, food, service and hospitality at the inn, which has been operating as an inn since 1828.

Owners, David and Sophie Littlewood fulfilled a lifetime ambition to own a small hotel and restaurant when they bought the lease at Kildrummy Inn in 2013. Award winning chef David oversees the kitchen alongside Head Chef Alexandria Hay, with Sophie in charge as front of house host. In 2023, in a collaboration with, and with the support of landlords Kildrummy Estate, the couple completed the refurbishment of the inn including the new restaurant in what had previously been the Volunteer’s Drill Hall, the creation of a private dining room, the lounge, a whisky snug, and outdoor terrace.

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The bedrooms also underwent luxury refurbishment giving four imaginatively restored, lavish rooms and en suites all crammed with period fittings.

The couple have plans to continue to develop Kildrummy Inn with the conversion of an adjoining steading into five new suites and the creation of two new retail outlets on site.

David Littlewood commented:

“We are thrilled and honoured and humbled to receive the prestigious award from the AA. Our whole team is committed to providing our guests with a warm welcome, high quality rooms and delicious food using local produce.

Sophie and I are very proud of our whole team, who work so hard to make every stay special. ​ It’s not the ‘bricks and mortar’ that make a great hotel, it’s the people in it! ​ Our young team are the heart of Kildrummy Inn, and this award really does belong to each and every one of them.

We would like to thank the AA, our friends and family, and our loyal customers for their unwavering support and encouragement during what has been a particularly tumultuous past few years for the hospitality industry .”

The AA Inspector’s report on Kildrummy Inn states that:

“Kildrummy Inn is the perfect base for touring the Grampian Mountains and beyond. This family run, traditional inn combines a harmonious blend of luxury heritage, tradition and nature to form the quintessential Scottish getaway. The inn provides four charming bedrooms – all are en suite and feature TVs, DVD players and free WiFi.

The lounge bar, with a roaring fire and a good selection of beers and whiskies, is a great place in which to while away the time. No visit would be complete without sampling the food on offer, with indulgent, award-winning cuisine capturing the essence of the dramatic Cairngorms landscape.”

Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, commented:

“Kildrummy Inn is a jewel in the heart of Donside, so it should be no surprise that the AA have recognised David and Sophie for the excellent guest experience that they offer visitors from near and far. We look forward to seeing further success for them when they fly the flag for Scotland at the UK finals in the autumn.”

The Inn already holds the top five gold star Inn rating from the AA, with two AA red rosettes for culinary excellence. Kildrummy Inn also features in the Michelin Guide, and consistently appears in the top five ranked Aberdeenshire restaurants on TripAdvisor for the last decade. Kildrummy Inn has a five star TripAdvisor rating and a 9.4 score on Booking.com.

The Kildrummy Inn will now represent Scotland at the national finals of the AA Hospitality Awards, which will take place at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London on Monday 23 September. The inn will compete against the regional winners from England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the coveted title of AA Inn of the Year UK 2024.

The AA Hospitality Awards are considered the Oscars of the hospitality industry, celebrating the best hotels, restaurants, pubs and chefs in the country. The awards are based on the ratings and reviews of the AA’s professional inspectors, who visit more than 2,000 establishments every year.

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