Thursday, 26 November 2015

Welcome to the new Scotland's Best B&Bs Website for 2016

Today sees the launch of our great new website, just in time for our 20th Birthday next year! The team at Scotland’s Best B&Bs have spent the whole of this year working with Plan B Online to  develop a site fit for the modern traveller, with a wealth of information, integrated online booking and optimised for Mobile and Tablet devices.

It hardly seems possible that 20 years ago, Scotland’s Best B&Bs started with just a humble brochure, when the internet had only just begun and Google hadn’t even been heard of!  Scotland’s Best B&Bs was started in the Spring of 1996 by Jacqi Elmslie, a B&B proprietor in Inverness who wanted to be able to confidently recommend B&Bs of the the same high standard, to her guests.  As this was a time before the internet and online reviews, it wasn’t so easy for B&B owners to locate other highly commended B&Bs or to recommend ones further across Scotland that they’d never visited.

With a small grant and cooperation of The Scottish Tourist Board, the very first Scotland’s Best B&Bs brochure was published in 1996 and included 60 members. 

These B&Bs had all been selected for their high grading scores from the Scottish Tourist Board, but more importantly, had been personally visited by the new groups committee.  This selection process continues to this day and ensures that standards are kept high.

Over the years our members have received many awards for their hard work within the B&B sector and in 2007 Joan Campbell, an ex-Chairman of SBB&B’s was awarded the coveted Silver Thistle award for over 40 years of work within the industry.  The previous Scotland's Best B&Bs website has also won a Thistle award in the Innovation category and many of our members have either won or been runners up in their areas over the years.  The Thistle awards are the B&B version of the Oscars!

Over 60% of our members have a GOLD award from Visit Scotland.
Over 70% of our members have the Visit Scotland Taste our Best Award

A Brochure from 1998 and nest years 2016 Brochure 
The group has continued to evolve, increasing in numbers and embracing new ways of reaching out to its guests from the advent of email to the many forms of Social Media.  The group has also become so well respected  in the industry that we are frequently being asked to participate in many steering groups and committees, working toward improving tourism in Scotland.  Our latest website shows our commitment to using technology to connect with everyone who loves Scotland and wants to have the best experience possible when visiting.  

But even though the world might have become digital, we haven’t forgotten our roots and our B&Bs still have the human touch.  There are some things you just can’t computerise and that is the warm welcome you will get at our B&Bs, the high standards only a dedicated owner can maintain and the delicious food they lovingly prepare. 

Visit our new website at

Thanks to our wonderful web developers at Plan B Online and our Online Booking providers at Freetobook for helping us build such a terrific new site.  We hope you find it informative and easy to use.

You can also follow us on Twitter Facebook and Google+

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Meet our Chairwoman, Rosemary Young

The wonderful thing about Scotland's Best B&Bs is that we have some fascinating people in our group.  At our recent AGM, Rosemary Young OBE, was elected as our new Chairwoman.
Rosemary has been in the hospitality business for decades having previously owned hotels in Nairn, worked with the Government on hospitality and employment issues in the Highlands and is the current Chair of the Nairn Tourism Association.

Rosemary now runs the successful Inveran Lodge Bed and Breakfast in the coastal town of Nairn just 16 miles from Inverness.   The area is popular with visitors who want to experience the splendour of a Victorian seaside town as well as the many Golfers who come to play the world famous Golf courses like Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch.
Our new Chair also has a keen interest in Golf having previously played for Hertfordshire, which is very helpful to the guests who stay at her B&B.  Rosemary provided a lot of valuable knowledge and text for the golf pages on our new website which we will be launching shortly.
Before hospitality, Rosemary enjoyed life as a sheep farmer and pony breeder and she has been on the BSPS panel of home and international judges since 1986, judging throughout the UK and Australia.  In her 'spare' time, Rosemary loves to spend time with her grandchildren and skiing in and around Nairn when the whether allows

On her election to the Chair of Scotland's Best B&Bs, Rosemary said...
"I am so honoured to have been chosen for this role.  From the moment that I became a member of SBB&Bs, I was not only thrilled to be asked to join, but I continued to be impressed by the network and the advantages of being included in such a prestigious group.  During the past year, as I attended committee meetings, I found the work not only interesting, but so focused on maintaining the highest standards of accommodation for visitors to Scotland.

"I am looking forward to an exciting year ahead, with the launch of our new website, our 20th Anniversary and discovering next generation of B&Bs who might be one of Scotland's Best B&Bs  "

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Scotland's Best B&Bs Annual AGM 2015

Once a year an Annual General Meeting is held where all the B&B owners that belong to Scotland's Best B&Bs can get together and meet their fellow B&Bers and discuss the issues of the day.  This years AGM was held in Perth this weekend and was enjoyed by all that came

 The weekend started with a meal on the Saturday evening where members from all over the country were able to meet, swap ideas and learn more about the other B&Bs in the group.  When  collegues are spread so far apart, it is always nice to meet people you may only previously spoken to on the phone
Sunday saw more members arrive to join in the AGM, where the plans for the coming year were discussed.  The longevity of Scotland's Best B&Bs is due in no small part to the active part the members play in running the organisation and the AGM is a great way for us to ensure we move with the times.

Speaking of which, the group got to see a preview of the new Scotland's Best B&Bs website which is due to launch in just a few weeks time. Having started 20 years ago with just a humble brochure, we are now looking at our 3rd website which is optimised for Mobile and tablet and includes on line booking...things that hadn't even been thought of when we first started
The day ended with an inspiring speech from our new Chair, Rosemary Young OBE, looking forward to an exciting future for Scotland's Best B&Bs.  Rosemary has a long career in the hospitality industry and runs a successful B&B, Inveran Lodge, in Nairn.  

In the coming year, the new Chair and Committee will be working hard on the groups behalf as well as discovering new B&Bs that might qualify to become one of Scotland's Best B&Bs!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

New Flights Announced between London Heathrow and Inverness

International travelers have welcomed the news today that British Airways are to introduce flights from London Heathrow direct to Inverness, starting May 2016.  The Highland capital has long been a key destination for overseas visitors and this new route will make reaching popular areas such as the Cairngorms and Loch Ness that much easier.  Flights are due to start on the 3rd of May and run all year round.
Highfield House B&B in Inverness

We have a number of recommended B&Bs near to Inverness airport, many of which will make a great base for a Highland holiday.  Choose from our members in the centre of the historic city of Inverness, in the beautiful coastal town of Nairn or out in the iconic countryside Website

Take the chill off this winter and warm yourself at a Scottish B&B

After an exceptionally busy summer, many of our hosts are preparing their homes now to welcome winter visitors to Scotland.  This is a most magical time with spectacular autumn colours across the forests and hills, the first sprinkling of snow on the mountain tops and the sound of a good crunchy frost underfoot.  Many people prefer to visit at this time of year as the landscape is transformed.  It is an especially popular time for photographers and wildlife watchers as well as skiers waiting for the first snow at Aviemore and Glencoe. Closer to the cities and towns like Edinburgh and Glasgow, Christmas Markets and Fairs pop up giving you the opportunity to purchase Scottish gifts and produce for that unique Christmas present.
Many of our recommended B&Bs are open all year and are ready to welcome you with roaring fires, home baking and of course, drying rooms!  Some are open over the Christmas and New Year holidays and ALL will be happy to welcome you to their homes!

Check our website to see where you could be staying this winter and visit our Events pages to see what’s on.

Home Baking at Glenegdale House on the Isle of Islay
Autumn Colours in Aviemore
First snow in the Highland - Photo by Home Farm B&B, Muir of Ord