Published on : Monday, January 16, 2017
Renovated from a traditional stone built croft house, Harray’s Little Bothy, was awarded the Four Star Quality Assurance (QA) Award in recognition of its high standards.
The cottage, which is owned and run by Heather MacInnes, received the grading at its first visit by the national tourism organisation.
VisitScotland’s Four Star Quality Assurance Award recognises self-catering accommodation businesses which excel in areas of customer care and hospitality.
Central to the west mainland, Harray’s Little Bothy provides a perfect base to explore some of the icons of the Year of History, Heritage and Archelogy, such as the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae.
The bothy has also recently become a VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP).
The VIP programme, launched earlier this year, recognises the work businesses are already doing in enhancing the visitor experience and bringing the Spirit of Scotland to life, including the provision of visitor information.
Launched in February 2016, ‘the spirit of Scotland’ campaign is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has a unique spirit– whether it’s the magic of the landscapes or the warmth of the people.
Heather MacInnes, owner of Harray’s Little Bothy, said:
“I’m just delighted to achieve four stars for my cottages from Visit Scotland. I love my business and have enjoyed the whole project of upgrading the cottages, the Bothy in particular, which has been done from scratch, from a derelict building to comfortable, cosy retreat. It’s so very rewarding to have all the hard work done by everyone concerned, recognised in this way.
“My guests are overwhelmed with the location, the views over the loch are outstanding, and the wildlife always impresses, many are here to fish and it is only a short walk to the water’s edge.
“The cottages are a mile down a track from the main road, so many guests are attracted by the rural secluded location, but still appreciate being so close to any amenities they might need. All the West Mainland archaeology sites and Stromness are under 15 minutes away with the toon only 30 minutes and the airport just beyond that.”
Barbara Foulkes, Island Manager, VisitScotland, said:
“I would like to congratulate Heather on Harray’s Little Bothy achieving its Four Star Quality Assurance Award. This beautiful holiday home not only offers uniquely picturesque views of Harry Loch but also boasts a very high standard of accommodation for guests. We look forward to welcoming more businesses in the area into our Quality Assurance Scheme in the future.
“Our QA 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.”
Developed and improved over the past 25 years, VisitScotland’s QA 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 exceed them.
QA 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.