The Scottish Tourist board is known as Visit Scotland, and we joined last June. One of their requirements is to have a visit by an incognito assessor for quality assurance purposes. They provide a book of guidelines showing you how their rating standards are achieved, so it’s actually quite easy to know what you’re aiming for.
I aspired to four stars -the rating of Excellent. My criteria was very simple. Would I be happy to stay here and enjoy my visit, and even more important, would I want to return? My stays in some B&B’s in California recently, heightened my awareness of what is and isn’t acceptable to me. I think future busman’s holidays will keep that awareness pretty fine tuned.
It’s also useful to ask for feedback from your guests. They write lovely things in the Guest Book, but verbal feedback is also crucial, and of course it has to be remembered that this is B&B accommodation, not a guest house, not a hotel.
Well, the assessment visitor arrived, and we played our parts well. Of course we suspected she was the ‘incognito’ person, and sure enough, as she was about to depart the following morning, the truth was revealed.
So, four stars it was, as hoped. The bonus bit was getting a whole lot of help and advice on how I could improve little bits and pieces both for myself and my guests. It was worth every penny I pay to Visit Scotland for the quality assurance scheme.
Then she actioned a confirmation letter which arrived the very next day, which enabled us to approach the local council for official signs to be placed on the main road, the A915 , which will direct people a mile up the B927 towards our accommodation. A brown sign with Bankhead House B&B. Another step forward.
Watch this space to see how long it takes for the signs to be erected.