Catching up with Craig Villa, HTOTY 2020 Winner

Imagine this. Your business-come-livelihood closed it’s doors during the pandemic and hosting groups of families and friends from across the land, is a distant memory.

Yet as society resumed, and we began to fall back into our routines, B&B’s everywhere welcomed back the public with open (albeit socially distanced!) arms.


One fireman and sports redial massage therapist, couldn’t wait to fall back into their beloved busy schedules again. It seemed that their gorgeous guest house had been acknowledged far and wide too.

Taryn and Ewan reached a breakthrough during the bleak times when they realised their modest, yet magnificent hot tub set-up was the UK’s favourite.

When the email stating, “You’ve been crowned the winner of Hot Tub of The Year!” dropped into their inbox, it was a query they’d never expected to get at Craig Villa.

Perched on the top of a rolling hill in Dalmally, Scotland, their Highland Haven secured 40% of the votes across 252 entries and business made a booming comeback post-pandemic.

As we near the end of this year’s competition, we caught up with Ewan to discover the delights of Craig Villa’s award-winning set-up.

Soaking up the victory

The doting B&B owners missed the Craig Villa community whilst they were closed, yet they managed to give themselves the rest they deserved. “The main benefit of using the hot tub is how relaxed and recharged you feel after a soak – it completely resets you!”

“When we received the news we won, we celebrated like any hot tub owner would, with a bottle of bubbly in the hot tub!”, Ewan remarked.

“The hot tub gave us sanity”

These busy business owners are specialists in making time for others, but when they carve out some space in the diary for themselves, the benefits are abundant.

Ewan added “the feeling of refreshment after just 20 minutes makes it worthwhile when we do get the time to enjoy the tub.

Having the opportunity to use it more frequently during lockdown gave us sanity!”

From hills to headlines

The beautiful bed and breakfast gained a spot in the Daily Record and HTR News, which attracted some much wanted attention.

“We had lots of interest because of the competition, both from our neighbouring community and from the press. People would stop us in the village and say, “I’ve seen you in the local paper!”. That never got old.

Business-wise it made a massive impact. We had customers messaging us saying they’d seen us from the competition or through the coverage we received. The lift of lockdown and the Hot Tub of The Year competition made us even busier as you can imagine.”

Though the restrictions still limit how the hot tub can be used, Ewan and Taryn haven’t seen a decline in its popularity. Guests are eager than ever to silence themselves from the whirring world around them and soak up the panoramic views of Dalmally.

Less is more for the Craig Villa couple

Amplified by the undisturbed scenery, this hot tub’s wooden base compliments its natural surroundings. It is the reposed set up that people crave in a stringent society. That’s why Ewan and Taryn have not altered their set up in any way, making nature the centre of attention.

Ewan told us, “Since the competition, we’ve not changed a thing. Well, we got a parasol, in case guests wish to use it, but we never do. Even if it’s raining, we still use the hot tub without any cover. Ourselves and others love the way it is open and as untouched as possible, and we cherish that.”

We ended our talk with the all-important question. We asked the couple at Craig Villa, what would be your picture-perfect set up?

“It’s hard to describe exactly because we regard our own so much. A hot tub with an impeccable view is always going to win our vote, so the more elevated the better. If you are lucky enough to have one, I don’t think you need to overthink the presentation.Less is definitely more.”

Ewan noted that the hot tub itself is often enough. Separating yourself from distractions, whether that be technology, home, or work life, plays a major role in our wellbeing.

Hot tubs provide a blessing to many, with their benefits covering both physical and mental aid. It provides a habitat for the intimate time that we don’t seem to have enough of.

Check out our Top Ten Hot Tub of The Year entries 2021 and keep your eyes peeled to see who will be the next HTOTY winner of 2021!
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