Luxury News

Sailing to Excellence: Edinburgh’s Fingal Named ‘AA Hotel of the Year Scotland’

In the world of indulgent accommodations, there are hotels, and then there is Fingal – Scotland’s only luxury floating hotel. Permanently moored on Edinburgh’s bustling waterfront, this maritime marvel has been crowned the ‘AA Hotel of the Year Scotland 2023-24’ by the esteemed Automobile Association (AA).

The AA Hospitality Awards, an event that carries great prestige, encompasses 15 distinguished categories, with each meticulously curated and judged by AA inspectors to identify the crème de la crème of hotels and restaurants across the United Kingdom. This year, the spotlight gracefully fell upon Fingal, a remarkable vessel whose interiors ooze sophistication and beautifully highlights its unique maritime heritage. This combined with great attention to detail, world-class customer service, and a fine dining experience that transcends expectations – it’s clear to see why it is a deserving winner.

The floating masterpiece, which opened its doors to guests in 2019, was originally a support vessel for the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) before being transformed into the epitome of luxury by the award-winning team behind The Royal Yacht Britannia.

An AA Inspector shared their thoughts on Fingal, stating, “Fingal was built on the Clyde and has a rich history of service as a support vessel for the Northern Lighthouse Board. Now permanently moored in Leith and owned by The Royal Britannia Trust, the ship was lovingly restored and converted into the luxury hotel it is today, with this process being respectful to the history and service of this ship. 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.” 

Mari-Nel Scorer, hotel manager of Fingal, commented on the vessel’s continued streak of accolades, “It’s with great pride that Fingal has been recognized 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 earned a coveted five-star rating from the AA and was awarded two AA Rosettes for its Lighthouse Restaurant, placing it in an exclusive league of only 43 five-star hotels with two AA Rosettes across the entire UK and Northern Ireland. Furthermore, it is among a select group of just 25 hotels nationwide boasting an overall quality assurance score of 87% or higher.

For those eager to experience Fingal’s splendour, the Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar is open to non-residents for afternoon tea, dinner, and cocktails. The restaurant offers private dining booths for small pre-booked groups, ensuring an intimate and unforgettable dining experience. Fingal’s 22 luxurious cabins, each bearing the name of Stevenson lighthouses, pay homage to the ship’s rich maritime legacy. The vessel is the ultimate destination for those seeking luxury accommodation and dining with a nautical twist.

Moreover, Fingal boasts a double-height ballroom providing dedicated dining spaces for private events, corporate celebrations, and weddings. The venue’s versatility knows no bounds, setting the stage for unforgettable moments against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s stunning waterfront.

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For a complete rundown of the AA Hospitality Awards 2023-24 and to explore the winners across various categories, visit