VisitScotland

Stars are shining on historic mansion house

Press release   •   Jul 20, 2016 12:30 BST

A luxury self-catering accommodation in Argyll, which offers stylish suites in a restored mansion house, has been awarded five stars by VisitScotland.

Knockdow House achieved the top grading after taking part in the national tourism organisation’s Quality Assurance Scheme which recognises businesses that meet and exceed the high standards expected by guests.

Originally built before 1765 and the home of the Lamont Clan for just over 200 years, Knockdow House is now a family-run business and after five years of restoring the historic mansion house back to its original glory, Fatima and her team started welcoming guests in 2015.

Each of Knockdow House’s four suites sleeps either two or four  people and feature their own unique décor with modern amenities, high-quality fabrics, marble-clad ensuite bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen for guests to enjoy.

Situated on 600 acres of Argyll’s beautiful countryside and on the shore of Loch Striven, Knockdow House is also a perfect wedding and event venue with facilities to suit all needs and where every experience is bespoke.

Fatima Albizua-Ureta, owner of Knockdow House: “When we heard the assessors rating, it was an incredible moment; all our hard work, sweat and yes, tears, had paid off and our efforts had been recognised. Being awarded five stars is also an incredible motivation to continue to maintain and where possible raise standards by listening to our guests. Return visitors are a testament to not only what Knockdow House has to offer but also to the opportunities available in the relatively undiscovered, wider geography, that is the Cowal Peninsula, Argyll.”

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director: “I would like to congratulate Fatima on the five-star award. This is a true testament to the hard work they have put into restoring this beautiful mansion house and hopefully it will inspire other local tourism businesses to strive for such success. Because of this five-star award, visitors to Knockdow House know that they will enjoy a self-catering holiday with excellent facilities and a warm welcome.”

VisitScotland’s world-leading Quality Assurance (QA) Scheme 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 about the Quality Assurance scheme, please see www.visitscotland.org/quality_assurance.aspx

Notes to Editors

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  • 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:
    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. 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
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. 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
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. 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


    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting http://www.eventscotland.org/YIAD_partner_programme

ERDF.