Inverness Guest Houses and B&B's: Top 5 for 2017

Published on 27 March 2017

With the summer season fast approaching in the first of this series we do our own chart rundown of the best places to stay around Scotland over a number of categories and locations. Today it's the Highland capital, Inverness, and we're focusing on its myriad B&B's and Guest Houses. Small, independently run, and always guaranteeing you a warm welcome, these establishments are well worth a look if you fancy an alternative to the big commercial hotel chains. Note that these have a variety of star ratings and and price ranges - as always we believe the most important rating is that of the guests, based on a sufficient number of reviews.

5. Bannerman Bed & Breakfast

Stars: ***, Price Range: ££

Established in 2006, this B&B is a multiple Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence winner and is located on the west side of the River Ness, not far from the town centre. The Bannerman prides itself on the quality of its breakfast which includes a variety of locally sourced produce. 

The B&B boasts four stylishly designed guest rooms; two large double rooms (named the Fraser and Macintosh), one twin room (Eden), and one single (The Snug). All rooms are ensuite, with free WiFi and flatscreen TV with freeview channels. The two double and one twin rooms also include a silent mini fridge.

Guests have in particular praised its comfortable beds, clean rooms and good location.

4. Dionard Guest House

Stars: N/A, Price Range: ££ to £££

This recently extended guest house features six rooms (including one mini suite), each individually decorated, and is within easy walking distance of Inverness city centre. Each room has a flat screen TV with Freeview, a silent mini-fridge, hospitality try, bottled water and fresh milk. It also boasts its own immaculate gardens for guests to enjoy.

Guests have in particular praised the large bathrooms, great quality of the breakfast, and the cleanliness of the rooms. Dionard also remains open all year round. 

3. An Grianan

Stars: ****, Price Range: ££

An Edwardian villa within easy walking distance of the city centre, rail and bus stations. An Grianan features three rooms; a double, king size double, and twin. Free Wi-Fi is available in all three rooms and all are en-suite, with flat-screen Freeview TV. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided, as well the lovely hospitable touch of fresh home baking each day.

Guests have in particular praised the great quality breakfast, comfortable beds, and large bathrooms.

2. Moyness House

Stars: ***, Price Range: ££ to £££

A beautiful and immaculately restored Victorian property, Moyness House is a Tripadvisor and AA Breakfast award winner, as well as featuring in the Michelin and UK & Ireland Good Hotel guides. The city centre is a 10 minute walk away, whilst there is ample parking on site for residents. 

There are six comfortable and stylish rooms; four double (including one family) and two twin, all with en-suite bath or shower rooms. Free wi-fi is available throughout the building.

Guests have in particular praised its large bathrooms, tasty breakfast, and ideal location for shopping.

1. Avalon Guest House

Stars: ****, Price Range: £ to ££

Top of the pile this year, the Avalon is another Tripadvisor winner, as well as holding a Highly Commended certificate by the AA. The great appeal of this guest house lies in it being simple, yet modern and spacious, as well as maintaining more affordable tarriffs than many of its city rivals. 

There is a large private car park for residents, as well as free wi-fi throughout. Rooms include mini-fridges as well as all the usual facilities. It is just a short walk from Eden Court Theatre. 

Guests in particular have praised the delicious breakfast, clean rooms, and spacious bathrooms.

Scotland Experienced Tourism Spending Boost in 2015

Published on 26 May 2016

Figures for 2015 released by Visit Scotland recently suggest Scotland experienced a tourism spending boom in 2015. Despite the overall number of visitors being down on 2015 by 4%, those that did visit spent more, to the tune of an additional £400 million, an increase of 14%, bringing total tourist receipts to £3,279 million.

The slump in actual visitor numbers has been attributed to a natural decrease after the bumper attractions hosted in the country in 2014, notably the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Ryder Cup, which was hosted at the famous Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire.

Another factor that perhaps didn't help in 2015 was the especially poor weather (even by the admittedly low Scottish standards!), when very few good days with sunshine were experienced. With it still being early in the 2016 season it's difficult to tell at this stage what kind of season we will experience. However the early anecdotal evidence is positive, with many hotels and guest houses, particularly in the Highlands & Islands, experiencing an early season boom, no doubt aided by the especially good weather the country has been experiencing over the past 2 to 3 weeks.

Long may it continue!

Edinburgh Festival sees swell in visitor numbers

Published on 20 August 2015

The Scottish summer has not been all it could've been so far - even by our own modest standards - but seemingly that has done nothing to deter visitors flocking to Edinburgh's annual Festival (although we should strictly say 'festivals' - it hosts six of them in the space of just a few weeks), where numbers have increased dramatically to some 290,000; an increase of over 100,000 on last year.

This massive boost, combined with additional overseas visitors numbering some 175,000, is expected to add to the local economy to the tune of £136 million.

The festival has grown dramatically over the years from its initial roots and, as mentioned, is now a heady mix of six individual festivals all combining in the Scottish capital for a few weeks, namely the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh Mela, Edinburgh Art Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

It goes without saying that accommodation prices in Edinburgh go through the roof during festival time, with tarriffs for even budget hotels and hostels reaching premium prices. Nevertheless it's still worthwhile keeping an eye out for the odd vacancy becoming available. Alternatively, if you don't mind travelling a little, more competitive prices are likely to be found, for example in Glasgow, or across the Forth Bridge in Fife.

ScotlandBooking Deals Blog: Searching for Bank Holiday Offers

Published on 21 May 2015

The spring bank holiday is nearly upon us, so those of you looking to book a last minute getaway may be struggling to find much at a decent price, or indeed anything at all! We thought we'd pull out a few prices and offers that caught our eye, however this time we're focusing on our own part of the world - the Scottish Highlands.

The Columba is a long established 4-star hotel in Inverness situated on the banks of the River Ness. Facilities include conference rooms, a laundry service, and 24-hour room service. We're currently seeing prices per person per night for as low as £45.00.

Down the A9 from Inverness now, to the resort town of Aviemore, where we see the 4-star High Range Hotel is currently offering per person per night stays for around the £40.00 mark. This is a family-friendly hotel and offers express check-in and check-out, and if the weather plays ball (or perhaps even if it doesn't) there are a range of outdoor activities to experience in the surrounding area, including fishing, hiking, and nature walks.

Situated in a picturesque setting on the banks of Loch Ness, the 4-star Foyers House features it's own restaurant and bar, express check-in and check-out, a library, and a wake-up service. It's rural setting means there are once again a range of nearby outdoor activities to enjoy, including horse riding, hill walking and fishing. Prices look very competitive at the moment, especially considering it's rural location, starting from around £45.00 per person per night.

Finally for now, another one bucking the trend price-wise is the 4-star Mansefield Guest House in Fort William. The house features its own gardens, and is within easy each of attractions such as the Nevis Range ski area (which remains open outside of the winter season) and the West Highland Museum. Guests have praised the comfort and cleanliness of the rooms, as well as the tasty breakfast on offer. Rooms per person per night are currently on offer from just £38.00.

Island Ferry Network worth £270m to Scottish Economy: Study

Published on 28 April 2015

Calmac, Scotland's major ferry operator, which provides links to areas such as the Western Isles, Skye, Mull, and Islay, is worth some £270 million to the economy of the country. That's according to a new study released this week by the Fraser of Allander Institute.

The figure has been calculated as a combined figure of both the employment CalMac provides directly, but also indirectly as a knock-on effect of the ferry services it provides to communities, enabling commercial enterprises to flourish in sectors such as the whisky and fishing industries. The regularity of CalMac's scheduled services increases substantially during the summer season in order to accommodate the huge volume of tourist traffic. The study suggests this affords a substantial boost to small businesses based locally on the islands, such as those involved in retail - and of course for the many hotels, B&B's and guest houses.

The report is a timely reminder of the huge swell in visitor numbers the Scottish Highlands and Islands receive during the summer months. Typically accommodation prices in the region will be considerably higher from around Easter onwards, and will always be much higher in any case than the average town and city tariffs. If you're planning a short trip or holiday to these parts of Scotland you may therefore be tempted to wait until the last minute to book your accommodation in the hope of a price drop.

Unless it's very much a spur-of-the-moment decision, this is something we'd very much recommend against. Book your accommodation well in advance - we'd say about now at the latest - because once your average Highlands and Islands hotel or guest house gets booked up for the season it tends to stay that way, and in the unlikely event a few rooms do become available a rate drop will still be very rare.

So, if you've still not booked, why not get cracking now with our comprehensive search and compare engine.

You can also book your ferry journeys in advance via Calmac's website.

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