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House of Gold

Press Release   •   Dec 29, 2016 12:23 GMT

(l-r) Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, with Susan and Paul Johnson.

They came to Edinburgh from Australia on a foreign home-exchange that was meant to last just 5 months – but fell in love with the city and ended up staying and running their own B&B.

Now, just over two years later, Paul and Susan Johnson have struck ‘gold’ with VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme.

Their bed and breakfast, Barony House in Mayfield Gardens, has been awarded the Four Star Gold status by the national tourism organisation’s customer experience scheme.

It is in recognition of the extremely high standards of visitor accommodation, while the ‘gold’ part of the award represents the continuing attainment of outstanding customer service and hospitality.

It has been double success for the couple who last month were celebrating their win at the Regional Final of the Scottish Thistle Awards where they picked up Most Hospitable B&B/Guest House in the Lothians and Borders.

Barony House offers five bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and a bedroom with a separate private bathroom. The B&B is proud to have a Taste Our Best award, for its use of local and quality Scottish produce, is a member of the Golfers Welcome Scheme and is part of the VIP (VisitScotland Information Partner) programme to enhance the visitor experience.

Paul Johnson, owner of Barony House, said:

“On receipt of the Visit Scotland Gold award after our last inspection, my wife and I were in tears.

“We take the responsibility of running a B&B very seriously and we put our hearts into ensuring every visitor has a genuine personal experience with us. To have our efforts recognised with an upgrade in our star rating was an emotional moment and we want to thank everyone for their support.

“We will always strive to be the best we can be and treat everyone we meet with love and respect.”

Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said:

“Congratulations to Barony House for receiving a Four Star Gold award in the VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme. To receive a Gold standard in just two years of running their B&B is a fantastic achievement and a reflection of the high standards of experience they deliver to new and returning visitors.

“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’s Quality Assurance schemes 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.

Launched in September 2013, Taste Our Best is a joint initiative between the national tourism organisation and the Scottish Government. Assessors rate the overall eating experience, the extent to which Scottish produce (at least 40%) is used and promoted, and staff knowledge of the produce on the menu and its provenance.

For more information on the VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, visit

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

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