Scotland's first floating hotel Fingal sails into the GQ Food & Drink Awards shortlist

Scotland's first floating hotel, a converted ship that's berthed in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith, has been shortlisted for a top national food and drink award only a year after first opening to the public.

Published 20th Feb 2020
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Fingal, which was originally built in Glasgow in the 60s and was the sister vessel to the Royal Yacht Britannia, has been shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Best Hotel’ category as part of the GQ Food & Drink Awards 2020.

Transfromed following a £5 million makeover, courtesy of the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, Fingal has already reached the heights of TripAdvisor’s No.1 hotel in Edinburgh within six months of opening.

Fingal’s Lighthouse Bar. Picture: Fingal

Open to non-residents for afternoon tea, dinner and cocktails, Fingal’s Lighthouse Bar features meticulously prepared dishes and drinks bursting with flavour, all using locally sourced or foraged ingredients.

READ MORE: First look at The Fingal, Leith’s new floating hotel

Fingal is shortlisted alongside prestigious names such as the Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London, and Coworth Park, Berkshire. It is the only Scottish nomination in the Best Hotel category, and one of only two Scottish establishments in the award categories.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 27th April 2020 and will be listed in GQ’s June edition. The winners will be decided by a panel of judges including Dylan Jones, GQ’s Editor-In-Chief, Edinburgh’s own Michelin-star chef, Tom Kitchin and revered restaurateur, Oliver Peyton.

Fingal's luxury food offering has been well received. Picture: Fingal

At the time of its opening, a spokesperson for the team at The Royal Yacht Britannia said: "Fingal offers a world-class foodie destination on Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront, with all the glamour and style of a superyacht but with an air of old-world Art Deco elegance."

A former Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) tender, Fingal features 23 luxury cabins, each named after Stevenson lighthouses, and are inspired by Fingal’s rich maritime heritage. Fingal is described as the "ultimate in luxury accommodation and dining with a nautical twist".

Head of Fingal, Andrew Thomson, said: “Featuring in such a high calibre UK shortlist for the Best Hotel is a wonderful way to celebrate the success of our first 12 months, and is a real testament to the outstanding service that the Fingal crew provide in ensuring that our guests have a truly world-class experience.”

READ MORE: Do Not Disturb: Fingal, Port of Leith, Edinburgh

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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