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Graduating with Honours

Press Release   •   Jun 14, 2017 09:29 BST

Owner Jenny Yeo and her daughter Grace Yeo in front of Balfour House

A former University of Edinburgh building has graduated from a student hostel to luxury four-star accommodation.

Balfour House Apartment, a self-catering property in Newington, was given the accolade in VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme. The QA scheme is a benchmark for quality across the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

Falling in love with the city on a family holiday, owner Jenny Yeo quickly realised Scotland’s Capital was the perfect location for holiday accommodation. Coming across the apartment in a brochure, she knew the place needed a lot of work but was mesmerised by the combination of stunning scenery and fascinating history that Balfour offered.

Built in 1913, Balfour House had been home to students from 1917 until 1997, when it became private flats. Located within East Suffolk Park, the Category B listed building boasts 11 acres of grounds which include tennis courts and garden.

Buying the property in December last year, Jenny took on the university challenge of turning a shoddy flat into luxury living quarters. As a starter for ten, she upgraded the heating system, replaced the flooring and furniture, and carried out a number of repairs. By the end of April, the renovation was complete and Balfour House Apartment was ready to welcome visitors.

Jenny Yeo said: “It’s great to receive this award from VisitScotland. A huge amount of time and effort was put into the renovation to make it a high standard of self-catering accommodation. It’s fantastic to see our efforts recognised.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “I would like to congratulate Jenny on this award. To achieve a four-star grading, particularly on the first attempt, is very impressive.

“Our Quality Assurance 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 possible.”

VisitScotland star awards are indicators of quality and provide reassurance to visitors. The national tourism organisation offers support to businesses to ensure they meet and exceed the high standards expected by visitors.

For more information on Balfour House Apartments, go to www.visitscotland.com/info/accommodation/balfour-house-apartment-east-suffolk-park-p1548321

For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, go to www.visitscotland.org

ENDS

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