Located within a Grade A Georgian property, the hotel opened as a luxury country house hotel in 1989. Three years later Alan and Elizabeth Russell bought out three partners to become sole owners of the property, which is set within a 400-acre estate.
Today Balbirne is owned by the Russells' son and daughter Nicholas Russell and Rosemary Spenke and Nicholas' wife Gaynor.
The award was presented at a celebratory dinner for more than 400 guests last night at the Sheraton Grand hotel in Edinburgh.
Other key winners include Albert Roux who was awarded the Fellowship for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry. He accepted the award via a video message.
Marc Jones of the Holiday Inn Aberdeen West was named Hotel Manager of the Year, while the Independent Hoteliers of the Year award was shared between Nick and Nikki Horm of the Pierhouse hotel in Port Appin, and Peter and Caroline Mckenzie of the Scalloway hotel, Shetland.
Scott Scorer of Ballathie House, Perth, won the Executive Chef of the year award, and Mark Saddler of Greywalls, Gullane, was named chef of the year.
A total of 65 awards were made during the evening.
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