Fionn Lodge in the Highlands receives VisitScotland’s Five Star B&B Quality Assurance award

Fionn Lodge in the Highlands receives VisitScotland’s Five Star B&B Quality Assurance award

Gordon and Hilary Sutherland are pictured at Fionn Lodge with VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, Scott Armstrong

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, 2016-Oct-18 — /Travel PR News/ — A boutique bed & breakfast overlooking the first green on the Royal Dornoch Championship golf course has achieved VisitScotland’s highest Quality Assurance (QA) grading.

Fionn Lodge in the Highlands was awarded the national tourism organisation’s Five Star B&B QA award at its first ever grading. Situated in a quiet cul-de-sac, the contemporary B&B is just a few minutes’ walk from Dornoch town centre.

Hosts Gordon and Hilary Sutherland have created high quality B&B accommodation, which comprises three ensuite guest bedrooms (Carnegie, Sutherland and Ross), a roof terrace with unique views, a fully weatherproof sun lounge with views over Royal Dornoch’s Championship Golf Course; and access to a large, secluded garden. There is also free Wi-Fi and a selection of delicious breakfast choices, featuring locally-sourced ingredients.

The rooms are decorated to high standards and have been designed to offer maximum comfort and relaxation, featuring luxurious beds, bed linen and furnishings, tea and coffee making facilities, bath robe and slippers and extra luxury touches, including designer toiletries.

Originally constructed in 1903, Fionn Lodge has an interesting history. Much of the new architect-designed guest accommodation sits within the former studio of the artist AJ Ryle (1857-1915) who used to welcome many of the top golfers of the day to stay with him.

With its buildings made of local sandstone, and local attractions including a 13th century cathedral, historic castle, court house and jail, Dornoch is one of Scotland’s most charming and interesting little towns. The town is globally famed for its championship golf course which has recently been ranked as high as #1 in Scotland and #5 in the world. The first record of golf being played on Dornoch’s challenging but beautiful links was in 1616.

Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (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.

Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Gordon and Hilary, on achieving the top grading at Fionn Lodge. To attain the highest ‘star’ rating on their first grading visit is a real achievement, involving much hard work on their part.

“There is a high awareness and trust amongst visitors of the VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme and it plays a key role in holiday decision-making both before and during a trip, providing a credible benchmark and filter mechanism.

“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.

“It is imperative that everyone involved in tourism steps up to the mark like this, to ensure that visitors want to return to the Highlands time and time again.”

Gordon and Hilary Sutherland, owners of Fionn Lodge, said: “When we opened as a boutique B&B in June this year, our aim was to provide our guests with a high quality hospitality experience. We are delighted that this approach has resulted in us being the first B&B in Dornoch to be awarded a 5 Star rating from the national tourism organisation, particularly due to the objective nature of the award.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our first season and we look forward to welcoming back ‘old friends’ – and making many new ones – in 2017 and beyond.”

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For further information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit

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Barbara Clark
Head of Corporate Communications
Corporate Media, Partnership Communications, Internal Communications
0131 472 2212

Out of hours – 0131 472 2324

Source: VisitScotland