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
Notes to Editors
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- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
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- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
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- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
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- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh) 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017