A 19th Century house in the heart of Loch Lomond has been awarded a Four Star Gold award by VisitScotland.
Ashfield House B&B, situated in the Arrochar Alps on the shores of Loch Long in the village of Arrochar, was upgraded from Four Stars by the national tourism organisation’s Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme in recognition of its excellent standards and outstanding customer service. The Gold Star Award highlights establishments within the QA Scheme that strive to exceed customer expectations on an on-going basis, whilst taking an innovative and proactive approach to customer care.
Cristina Sanchez-Navarro, a renaissance woman who runs the accommodation by herself, moved to the UK from New Orleans 15 years ago and was always drawn to Scotland. In 2015, she and her husband decided to leave their jobs and home in London so she could begin her new adventure of operating a bed and breakfast in Argyll.
Blending the warm Scottish welcome with Southern American charm, Cristina prides herself in offering a truly unique service in a beautifully wild environment. Determined to ensure her guests have the best experience possible she has also joined the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme, committing to providing her local knowledge to visitors. This includes providing useful information packs with local restaurants and the best things to see and do in the area.
Guests can also enjoy a traditional Scottish breakfast, with the extra treat of New Orleans-style pancakes. Due to its use of local produce, Ashfield House has received VisitScotland’s Taste Our Best accreditation.
The B&B is also a member of the national tourism organisation’s Walkers and Cyclists Welcome Schemes and Cristina even provides bicycles for guests who are unable to bring their own.
CristinaSanchez-Navarro, Owner of Ashfield House, said: “I am thrilled to receive this award from VisitScotland. Hospitality is in my blood and I’ve always strived to give guests the best experience possible. I’ve been determined to achieve the Gold award since my first assessment so it’s wonderful to get this recognition.”
David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Congratulations to Ashfield House on this fantastic achievement. Scotland is renowned for being a warm and welcoming country and it’s great to see a local B&B owner going the extra mile to ensure our reputation is well maintained. Cristina is a credit to the region and to Scottish tourism.
“Our Quality Assurance Scheme is world-leading and provides a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. It is about much more than just a star rating – it is about the entire visitor experience and investing in the business to make it as economically sustainable, and profitable, as it can be.”
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.
Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland.
Taste Our Best, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government is designed to recognise businesses including hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, visitor attractions and B&Bs that not only offer a quality food and drink experience, but include and promote Scottish produce on their menus, giving consumers more choice.
For more information about Ashfield House B&B go to www.ashfieldhousearrochar.com
For more details about the Quality Assurance Scheme, VisitScotland Information Partner programme, Taste Our Best and Welcome Schemes go to www.visitscotland.org
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- 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 five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- 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)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
2018 Year of Young People
- The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
- Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
- Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
- The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
- Participation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
- Education – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
- Health and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
- Equality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
- Enterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
- Culture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
- Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.