INTEREST in Scotland's luxury hotels has exploded since Covid restrictions were lifted, new research has revealed.

Searches for five-star stays in Scotland soared by a massive 438% since April, with the Scottish Highlands seeing the biggest rise in interest of any Scots region.

The area saw a 60% surge in interest, while Glasgow and the Clyde Valley followed with a 37% rise.

The National:

Fife came third with a 20% increase and Loch Lomond, The Trossachs and Stirlingshire came fourth with a 19.5% boom in traffic.

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Despite the Highlands having the overall highest rise in interest of any region, the Hotel du Vin in Glasgow saw the largest increase of any hotel, with a growth of 250%.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel in the Highlands came second with a growth of 220% in searches.

Other hotels to make the list include the Trump Turnberry Hotel in Ayrshire, the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow and The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.

While rural hotels saw the biggest growth after restrictions eased, the researchers noted that as winter approaches urban areas are now enjoying the largest increase in traffic, with 16% more searches compared to September last year.

Johnstons of Elgin, a sustainable luxury cashmere and fine woolens brand, conducted the research by reviewing more than five million Google searches made within the UK.

George McNeil, managing director of retail at the company said “It’s great to see the Scottish hospitality industry booming.

"Scotland can rival anywhere in the world for incredible experiences, whether that is a retreat to a historic highland castle or a chic hotel in one of our fine cities.

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“Of course, the luxury on offer in Scotland goes beyond the incredible accommodation, with majestic countryside vistas, the cultural offerings of our cities and some of the best golf courses on the planet.

“As a nation we also provide some of the finest food and drink as well as impeccably crafted artisanal products and as that all comes from right here in Scotland it reduces the carbon footprint required to provide luxurious experiences.”

The analysis looked at searches made for every hotel that has a five-star rating by either VisitScotland or The AA.