A luxury self-catering lodge which replaced a former Royal Deeside hotel has achieved its five star Quality Assurance award from the national tourism organisation.
Potarch Lodge, which is owned and run by Ballogie Estate and sits in a picturesque location beside the River Dee, received its award from VisitScotland at only its first grading visit.
The former Potarch Hotel was recently renovated to a high standard, creating a high standard self-catering lodge which provides quality accommodation for up to 14 guests in seven bedrooms all with en-suite facilities.
The lodge, which opened to visitors earlier this year, has a large open plan kitchen, dining and seating area with a wood burning stove and a separate, cosy sitting room with an open fireplace. Personal touches to the property include soft furnishings in Ballogie tweed.
The lodge is perfect for large families or groups and benefits from a spacious enclosed private garden with an outside patio area, barbecue, rod store, outdoor equipment storage room and private parking. Other facilities include Wi-Fi, Freeview TV & video/CD, broadband connection, radio, a Range cooker and microwave oven, American style fridge freezer, as well as washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher.
Ballogie Estate has also created a café & restaurant beside the lodge which has been awarded Taste Our Best and is proving very popular with locals and tourists alike. Taste Our Best is 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.
Ballogie is a place of stunning natural beauty, lying on the south side of the River Dee in Royal Deeside. It is a popular location for field sports and salmon fishing enthusiasts.
Potarch Lodge has also joined VisitScotland’s VIP (VisitScotland Information Partner) scheme, which allows the national tourism organisation to work in partnership with businesses in the area to recognise the work they are already doing in enhancing the visitor experience, including the provision of visitor information. Potarch Lodge is also part of the Anglers, Cyclists, Field Sports and Walkers welcome schemes.
Lewis Gray, Property Manager at Ballogie Estate Enterprises, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to be awarded this Five Star grading by VisitScotland. It is a great achievement showcasing the hard work and dedication by all our staff and local contractors, who completed this project to such a luxury standard.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors to Potarch Lodge to enjoy the property and the facilities available on Ballogie Estate and Royal Deeside. We are confident that our commitment, renovation and redevelopment of Potarch and the surrounding area is beneficial to the local community and provides a welcome boost to the travel and tourism industry in the area.”
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.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:
“This a great story of redevelopment and investment in Royal Deeside, particularly in Scotland’s year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.
“I would like to congratulate Lewis and the team at Potarch Lodge for their well-deserved achievement. They are providing a very high standard visitor experience, which is reflected in their five-star award.
“I hope the success of Potarch Lodge at only their first grading visit sets an example to other businesses to join the scheme, which benefits tourism businesses and visitors alike. It is vital that everyone involved in tourism works together to offer visitors a fantastic experience when visiting and staying in Aberdeenshire, to strengthen our tourism offering.
“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 economically sustainable as it can possibly be.”
For more information, visit www.ballogie-estate.co.uk
For more information on VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme, please visit www.visitscotland.org/quality_assurance.aspx
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
2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
- 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 started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It 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 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 is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016