Airbnb’s Scottish medieval castle named ‘hottest property’ in UK and Ireland

A 16th-century Scottish castle has been named the ‘hottest property’ in the self-catering accommodation industry in the UK and Ireland.

Kilmartin Castle, in Scotland’s Argyll countryside, received the accolade last night in a virtual ceremony for the 2022 Eviivo Awards, dubbed the ‘Oscars of Independent Accommodation’.

Each winner was announced by surprise guest David Hasselhoff, who named Jules Murray at KVM Serviced Apartments in Cambridgeshire as the ‘unsung hero’ of 2022 and Catherine Cummings as Kiltariff Hall country house in Northern Ireland as an “exceptional host”.

Kilmartin Castle in the Scottish countryside of Argyll has been named the ‘hottest property’ in the self-catering accommodation industry in the UK and Ireland. MailOnline Travel’s review of Kilmartin Castle said: ‘It’s Game of Thrones hipster chic. A towering, dramatic, thick-walled fortress – but with modern amenities, delightful touches of boutique luxury, and a fresh twist (it’s a castle where guests can spin the vinyl)’

Kilmartin Castle has been named the hottest property in a virtual ceremony for the 2022 Eviivo Awards, dubbed the

Kilmartin Castle has been named the hottest property in a virtual ceremony for the 2022 Eviivo Awards, dubbed the ‘Oscars of Independent Accommodation’

Great water feature: Pictured is Kilmartin Castle Wild Pool

Great water feature: Pictured is Kilmartin Castle Wild Pool

Kilmartin Castle was built in 1550 during the legendary reign of Mary Queen of Scots.

The property was a semi-ruin, abandoned from 1790 to 1990 when a couple beautified it for 10 years and used it as a vacation home.

Stef Burgon and Simon Hunt bought the property for £330,000 in 2014 when they lived and worked in Dubai (Stef as a radio presenter and Simon as a creative director for an advertising agency) and rented it out remotely to vacationers.

Stef Burgon and Simon Hunt bought Kilmartin Castle for £330,000 in 2014 and then transformed it

Stef and Simon have renovated Kilmartin Castle with the help of skilled architects, restorers and builders, and a healthy dose of determination

Stef and Simon have renovated Kilmartin Castle with the help of skilled architects, restorers and builders, and a healthy dose of determination

Pictured is one of Kilmartin Castle's turret en-suite bathrooms, with a rain shower and heated floor

Pictured is one of Kilmartin Castle’s turret en-suite bathrooms, with a rain shower and heated floor

At the end of 2018, they moved in and spent seven months renovating it with the help of skilled architects, restorers and builders, and a healthy dose of determination.

They told MailOnline Travel: ‘We were delighted to be among Eviivo’s list of the hottest property finalists for 2022!’ There were some great nominees, embodying the same experience-driven travel we stand for. We are already talking about going to stay with a few of them. Winning is fantastic recognition for us. It inspires us to work even harder to create those special experiences for fellow travellers.

MailOnline Travel’s review of Kilmartin Castle, which can be booked via Airbnb, Sawday’s and directly through the property’s website, said: ‘It’s hipster chic from Game of Thrones. A towering, dramatic, thick-walled fortress – but with modern comforts, delightful touches of boutique luxury, and a fresh twist (it’s a castle where guests can spin the vinyl).

“Plus, it has laid-back, welcoming, and good-natured owners who you’ll be chatting with like old friends within minutes.”

Ben Shea Smart Home in Morayshire, Scotland (pictured), has been shortlisted in the Hottest Property category

Ben Shea Smart Home in Morayshire, Scotland (pictured), has been shortlisted in the Hottest Property category

Merry Harriers, Surrey, was in the running for a hottest property gong of 2022

Merry Harriers, Surrey, was in the running for a hottest property gong of 2022

Catherine Cummings, winner of Outstanding Host, from Kiltariff Hall Country House in Northern Ireland

Catherine Cummings, winner of Outstanding Host, from Kiltariff Hall Country House in Northern Ireland

Other properties in the running for the ‘Hottest Property’ gold medal were Laythams Holiday Lets Retreat (The Lakehouse), Lancashire; Chambers of Distinction County Antrim, Northern Ireland; Ben Shea Smart Home, Morayshire, Scotland, and Merry Harriers, Surrey.

Other hosts in the mix for the Outstanding Host Gong were Tina Lovatt at Parkets House B&B, Powys, Wales; David Looney at Tatler Jack, County Kerry, Ireland; Lauren and Keith Elstob at Blue Bell Inn, Northumberland, and Karen Twist at Kinlochewe Hotel in Scotland.

The shortlist of unsung heroes included Delphine Delaveau of Robin Hill House, County Cork, Ireland; Sheila at Bay Horse Inn, North Yorkshire; Tamsin at The Bridge House, Dorset, and Tracey Toulmin at Bryn Woodlands House in Conwy, Wales.

The winners were selected by a panel of industry experts, who judged each finalist on a number of different criteria, with each winner receiving a grand prize of £1,000 to put into their property.

Michele Fitzpatrick, CEO of hospitality software company Eviivo, added: “We were delighted with the high level and volume of entries we received for this year’s awards. It was great to see so many hosts and hoteliers at all levels – from independent bed and breakfasts and hotels to independent rentals, apartments and alternative accommodation providers – all doing such a brilliant job.

“Congratulations to all the winners for their well-deserved victories.”

For more visit eviivo.com/week-of-the-host/winners2022.

2022 INDEPENDENT ACCOMMODATION OSCARS WINNERS AND SHORTLISTS

HOTEST PROPERTY

Winner

Kilmartin Castle – Argyll, Scotland

Finalists

Laythams Holiday Lets Retreat (The Lakehouse) – Lancashire, England

Chambers of Distinction – County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Ben Shea Smart Home – Morayshire, Scotland

Merry Harriers – Surrey, England

EXCEPTIONAL HOST

Winner

Catherine Cummings at Kiltariff Hall Country House – County Down, Northern Ireland

Finalists

Tina Lovatt at Parkets House B&B – Powys, Wales

David Looney at Tatler Jack – County Kerry, Ireland

Lauren & Keith Elstob at the Blue Bell Inn – Northumberland, England

Karen Twist at Kinlochewe Hotel – Highland, Scotland

UNKNOWN HERO

Winner

Jules at KVM Serviced Accommodation – Cambridgeshire, England

Finalists

Delphine Delaveau at Robin Hill House – County Cork, Ireland

Sheila at the Bay Horse Inn – North Yorkshire, England

Tamsin at The Bridge House – Dorset, England

Tracey Toulmin at Bryn Woodlands House – Conwy, Wales

Eviivo Prize 2022

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