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Quality boost in Ballater

Press release   •   Jan 16, 2018 12:29 GMT

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, presenting Daniel and Dominique Drewe-Martin, Owners of Ballater Hostel, with 5-star certificate.

With a lot of hard-work, Ballater Hostel has achieved VisitScotland’s highest accolade. After achieving a 5-star award at their first ever grading visit, Ballater Hostel is now the only hostel in Aberdeenshire to hold the exceptional VisitScotland award.

The Hostel is located in the centre of Ballater, and attracts many of the walkers and outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy the Cairngorms National Park.

There are 25 beds on offer at the Hostel with an option of traditional dorm or private rooms, as-well as a large open plan kitchen, dining and communal area with a wood burning stove.

Ballater Hostel has also joined the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme. 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.

Visitor attractions, accommodation providers and social enterprises have all joined the scheme to become a network of local ambassadors who help ensure visitors receive first-class quality local information about the region and Scotland as a whole.

As well as taking part in the star grading, Quality Assurance scheme and the VIP programme, owners Dominique and Daniel work hard to provide for a wide range of visitors, as evidenced by their participation in the Walkers and Cyclists Welcome Schemes.

Welcome Schemes have been developed by VisitScotland, to complement star grading’s and to guide those visitors with a range of interests to businesses that pay particular attention to their varied needs. Star grading’s and Welcome Schemes help visitors make informed decisions and select businesses that meet, and exceed, these expectations.

Dominique, Owner at Ballater Hostel said:

“Following a very busy year and a lot of hard work it’s great to receive this award.Since we moved to Scotland a year ago, we’ve completed some big projects at the hostel. These were more behind the scenes and weren’t necessarily seen by our guests directly, such as eco-friendly underfloor heating and giving the roof a little TLC, so it is really satisfying to be recognised through VisitScotland.

“We try to experience the hostel from the customer’s point of view - sleeping in all the beds and using all the facilities – so that we can create the best possible experience for our guests.The fact there is so much help and advice online through the VisitScotland website for the QA scheme is really encouraging.”

Michael Coletta at Ballater Business Association said:

“The Ballater Business Association (BBA) is delighted that the hard work of Dominique and Daniel is being recognised.Shortly after moving to the area they had to overcome the challenges that the floods presented us all with, but this seemed to give them even more enthusiasm for their project and their dedication to their business and genuine hospitality has seen them raise the standards of service and quality that everyone has to achieve.They make every guest who stays with them feel like they are visiting old friends and as a consequence I am sure that they will prosper, see guests return and by their reputation, they will bring new visitors to Ballater.The BBA is blessed to have them as active members of the association and will continue to support them as they grow.”

Jo Robinson, Regional Director at VisitScotland said:

“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Ballater Hostel on attaining such an outstanding award from VisitScotland – very well-deserved.

“Owners Dominique and Daniel are doing a fantastic job in delivering a quality experience that meets, and exceeds, visitor expectations, which is crucial in making Aberdeenshire a must-visit, must-return destination.

“I’m delighted that the Hostel has also joined our network of VisitScotland Information Partners. It’s another sign for visitors that they will not just get a friendly welcome, but can also talk to staff about the many other things to see and do in Ballater during their stay.

For more information about Ballater Hostel, visit

For further information about VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, visit

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2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
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