Top Hotel of the Year at AA Awards

Rufflets Hotel in St Andrews is the winner of a prestigious AA Hospitality Award, scooping up the top accolade of Scottish Hotel of the Year 2015.

At a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel in London (5 October), hosted by television presenter Fiona Bruce, 23 of the very best establishments throughout the UK were recognised and rewarded.

The Hotel of the Year award is given to hotels that are recognised as being outstanding examples in their particular market, from small family-run hotels to the most ambitious commercial ventures.  Hotels of every size and style are potential winners so the competition to be recognised as the best in Scotland was fierce.

General Manager, Stephen Owen, commented: “Winning the AA’s Scottish Hotel of the Year award is an immense honour and a tremendous accolade for everyone who has been involved with Rufflets over the decades.  We know that visitors have ever more choices of wonderful hotels around the UK but by focusing the needs of our guests, we have a high level of return visits as well as attracting new guests to St Andrews.

“Everyone at Rufflets works very hard to maintain the highest standards, which are rightly expected of a top hotel in Scotland, so it is fantastic to be recognised in this way by the industry.”

Mr Owen said he believes that a number of factors contributed to the hotel winning this award.

“We continually seek guest feedback on all aspects of our product and service, and we take on board their suggestions where feasible, constantly aiming to exceed their expectations.

“We also hire and train local staff if possible who can provide an authentic experience and knowledge of the area to visitors.  Many of the team have been at Rufflets for more than 10 years and the six members of staff who attended the awards’ ceremony have 65 years of service between them!

“Rufflets has been a hotel for over 60 years. Whilst we continuously reassess what we offer guests, underpinning that is a level of service and quality of product that has remained largely unchanged for decades.

“Most importantly, we have the advantage of a close relationship between the owners and staff, a relationship that allows us to focus at every turn on the delivery of an excellent product and to provide a memorable experience for guests.”

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Records from 1642 indicate that the land on which Rufflets is situated was known as the “Ruch (pronounced “ruff”) Flets” which in old Scots tongue, means ‘rough, flat lands’.  So, although Rufflets has only been a hotel for 60 or so years, the name goes back for hundreds of years.

The turreted mansion house has been privately owned and managed by three generations of the Cook family since 1952, when the seven bedroom house was bought and converted into a hotel. Rufflets has been consistently upgraded and sympathetically extended over the years, in keeping with the original architecture. Over the last few years, it has continued its refurbishment of bedrooms and public rooms, built a 1000 sq m banqueting and conference suite, and developed three lodges in the grounds.

Today, Rufflets is one of the foremost hotels in Scotland and is the recipient of many awards and accolades for the quality of its facilities, hospitality, food and wine list, as well as its immaculate, landscaped gardens. The vegetable garden supplies much of the soft fruits, vegetables and herbs for the kitchen as well as cut flowers for the table.  The food and beverage offering aims to find a blend of the traditional with the contemporary – much in the same way that we have done with the development within the fabric of the building.