Seeing stars in Stranraer

Anne Wilson from Spoutwells with VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward
Anne Wilson from Spoutwells with VisitScotland Regional Director Paula Ward

THE quality of accommodation on offer to visitors to the Stranraer area received a major boost recently when two local providers each received 4-star awards from the national tourism organisation.

Spoutwells Farm Self-Catering Holiday Cottages recently received a 4-Star Quality Assurance (QA) from VisitScotland. Its newly renovated cottages – The Bullpen and The Byre – achieved this at their first grading.

The modern cottages – set on a small farm on the outskirts of Stranraer with its own flock of pedigree Suffolk Sheep - sleep two and six respectively and come with private hot tubs. They are the latest addition to the farm where two other cottages, The Hayloft and The Stables – which hold 3-star QA awards from VisitScotland – have been on offer for almost 20 years.

Cairnryan B&B, which offers its guests stunning views of Loch Ryan, a few miles north of Stranraer, was also awarded a 4-star QA award from VisitScotland at its first grading.

The B&B, which is ideally situated for links to the ferry ports in the area, has also been awarded Taste Our Best – a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government to recognise businesses including and promoting local Scottish Produce on their menus.

Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow businesses not just to meet visitor expectations, but to exceed them.

Paula Ward, VisitScotland Regional Director said: “Congratulations to both Spoutwells Farm Holiday Cottages and Cairnryan B&B on their fantastic achievements. They are providing high standards of accommodation, which is reflected in their four-star awards. Having spent time with both owners, it was obvious that across every area of the business, they are seeking to surprise and delight their guests. Tiny little touches are found in almost everything they do, from the beautiful crystal glasses to enjoy a complimentary glass of sherry to freshly picked strawberries from the garden in a welcome basket.

“I hope the success of both businesses at achieving this level at only their first grading visit will encourage others in the region to join the scheme, which benefits tourism businesses and visitors alike.

“Our Quality Assurance scheme helps businesses to reach their full potential and truly shine. The scheme is about more than just the ‘stars’ on the door - it’s about the entire visitor experience, about investing in your business and making it as economically sustainable as it can possibly be.”

Owner of Spoutwells Farm Holiday Cottages, Anne Wilson, said: “I am delighted to receive this award and to have the recent investment in our business recognised in this way. We are committed at Spoutwells to offering our guests the highest standards to ensure their experience of our accommodation and Dumfries & Galloway as a whole is the very best.”

Cairnryan B&B owners Pat and Bill Parker have significant experience in the tourism industry, having owned a B&B in the region for 35 years previously. Pat said: “We are overjoyed to have achieved this 4-Star Award for our new business. We have always been very proud of our high standards and, with more than 35 years in the industry, always want to ensure that an exceptionally warm welcome is on hand for our guests.”

For more information, visit: http://www.cairnryan-bb.co.uk or

http://www.spoutwellsholidaycottages.co.uk/welcome/

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes can open the door to new customers. It is a powerful marketing tool and works well with online review sites in using an independent perspective to measure visitor experience against tried and tested criteria, so visitors know exactly what to expect.

For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit www.visitscotland.org/quality_assurance.aspx