TWO of the top honours at a leading awards ceremony for hospitality, tourism and catering operators have gone to the Isle of Skye.

The Three Chimneys on the edge of Loch Dunvegan was named Best Restaurant in the Catering Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards while Skeabost House picked up the Group Hotel category.

In further evidence of the growing attractions of Scotland’s west coast islands, the Douglas Hotel on Arran was named Best Independent Hotel at the high-profile event in Glasgow last night, attended by over 500 of the country’s leading hoteliers, caterers, chefs and suppliers.

Judges said The Three Chimneys, at Colbost in the north-west of the island, “has consistently delivered world-class standards over many years and its chefs have wowed guests with a delicate and skilful touch that has showcased the highest standards to a global clientele”.

The kitchen at The Three Chimneys, founded by Shirley Spear and her husband Eddie in 1984, is headed up by Scott Davies, runner-up in MasterChef: The Professionals in 2013. Spear, a champion of Scottish food and drink, was awarded an OBE for services to the industry in Scotland in 2016.

Skeabost, one of three boutique hotels on Skye owned by the Sonas group, was described by the judges as “a real Cinderella rags-to-riches story”. Its owner Anne Gracie Gunn, who acquired Skeabost with her late husband Ken in 2015, “took a tired, unloved hotel and transformed and extended it into one of the island’s star attractions”.

Arran’s Douglas Hotel, located next to a new £30 million ferry pier, won the competitive Independent Hotel category ahead of Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh and the Lovat Loch Ness at Fort Augustus.

The Chef of the Year Award went to Geoffrey Smeddle of the Michelin-starred Peat Inn, near St Andrews, described by the judges as “without doubt one of Scotland’s finest chefs”.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ayrshire hoteliers Bill and Cath Costley, said by the judges to have created “one of the greatest business success stories in Scotland”. Their establishments include Highgrove House and Lochgreen House in Troon, the Brig o’ Doon Hotel in Alloway, and Ellisland Hotel in Ayr.