An Orkney guest house which overlooks the Bay of Eyrland and the hills of Hoy has achieved a coveted ‘Gold’ award from the national tourism organisation.
Button-Ben Guest House had already achieved a 4-star grading, but has now been awarded the added ‘Gold’ status from VisitScotland, representing the continuing attainment of outstanding customer service and hospitality for its guests.
The beautiful guest house is in a perfect location for exploring the Orkney Islands and is just a few minutes’ drive from the Mainland’s two main towns, Kirkwall and Stromness.
The property has a total of four luxury bedrooms including one twin room and three double rooms, all of which have king size sleigh beds. Guests can relax in the cosy resident lounge whilst enjoying a warm drink and a home bake or some of Orkney’s famous fudge.
Visitors can enjoy breakfast in the restaurant and try the tasty local produce on offer at Button-Ben as they have also been awarded Taste Our Best - a joint initiative between VisitScotland and the Scottish Government. Launched in 2013, the scheme 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, to give consumers choice.
Button-Ben has since joined the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) programme, through which the national tourism organisation works in partnership with businesses to recognise the work they are already doing in enhancing the visitor experience and bringing the Spirit of Scotland to life, including the provision of visitor information.
May Harper, Owner of Button-Ben Guest House, said:
“We were absolutely chuffed to bits when we were told we had achieved our 4-star Gold Award.
“Before we started building Button-Ben we decided that we would like to aim for four stars, so we made contact with Barbara Foulkes, Island Manager and Lee Inkster, Industry Relationship Manager at VisitScotland as we knew what we wanted and where we were aiming to be, but we were not very sure what was expected of us and how to get there.
“We gained a lot if invaluable advice on our annual inspections, as well as from Lee who has been a pleasure to work with and has always been there to help and encourage with ideas. Without all their feedback and input we would not have achieved this award. I would also like to thank Orkney Tourism Group, who have been an incredible help.
“All we have to do now is keep up the high standard, keep moving forward and keep improving so that we can ensure our guests always have the most enjoyable stay possible (even when the weather is unkind!) to make sure that we promote Orkney in a positive manner.”
Barbara Foulkes, VisitScotland’s Island Manager, said:
“It is fantastic to see Orkney’s tourism offering enhanced by Button-Ben Guest House and their well-deserved achievement. This award is particularly impressive being achieved within just two years of the Guest House first opening.
“We know visitors look for quality accommodation and value for money, which is why VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance schemes are so important to the tourism industry as a whole.
“Button-Ben Guest House is an exceptional example of a business that is working in partnership with VisitScotland – making the most of our opportunities and drawing on our impartial advice and experience to invest in and develop their business.
“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 sustainable as it can possibly be.
“My congratulations go to May, Owner of Button-Ben Guest House on this outstanding achievement and I wish her and her beautiful property continued success for the future.”
Developed and improved for over 30 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow businesses not just to meet visitor expectations, but exceed them.
QA 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.
For more information, visit buttonbenguesthouse.wixsite.com
For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit
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 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
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- 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
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- 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.
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- 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 events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- 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