Skip to main content

Pilot Paul and wife Rhona walking on Ayr after gold award

Press Release   •   May 24, 2014 00:00 BST

Local proprietors Rhona Meehan and husband Paul, a pilot for British Airways, have just been awarded the ultimate accolade, a 5 Star Gold award by national tourism organisation, VisitScotland.

Ayrs and Graces, located in High Maybole Road in Ayr, has achieved the highest accolade from VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme to which it has belonged since 2009.

Ayrs and Graces luxury B&B offers three fabulous suites – the Brig O’ Doon, Robert Burns and Jean Armour suites, a fourth double bedroom and separate self-catering cottage – the Tam O’ Shanter. The B&B is a previous winner of TripAdvisor excellence awards 2013 and 2012. The rooms offer immaculate comfort, with every attention paid to detail and mouthwatering breakfasts are served each morning. Customer service is attentive but unobtrusive and the B&B offers free wifi and car parking.

The Gold award recognises serviced accommodation businesses which consistently achieve the highest levels of excellence within their VisitScotland star grading. Businesses achieving the award will excel in the areas of customer care and hospitality and show evidence of a real commitment to developing their tourism product.

On securing the five star Gold award, Paul said: "Rhona and I are absolutely amazed and delighted to get this Award . To learn that there are some 4,000 Bed and Breakfasts and only sixteen 5 Star Gold in the entire country is truly humbling. I love the contrast in my 'jobs'. One minute I am whizzing 337 passengers around the Global Village at 575mph, the next revelling in the exalted position of Chief Toast Monitor and "Manuel Style Waiter" at the Bed and Breakfast! What is most satisfying though, is the absolutely wonderful people from literally all over the world we have met, many of whom have become friends."

VisitScotland Regional Director Annique Armstrong said: “Accommodation providers such as Rhona and Paul Meehan, who continue to provide such a high level of service to their visitors, are doing an amazing job in attracting people not just to stay here but to return, year after year.

“Ayrs & Graces B&B should also be congratulated on setting an excellent example in this, Scotland’s Homecoming year, to other businesses who can be capitalizing on what 2014 can bring in terms of tourism to Ayrshire and indeed Scotland.”

VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme currently boasts over 7,000 participants and there are 94% of participants in the scheme which has been used as an example of best practice with countries all over the world, including Sweden and Namibia, have made an investment in their business in the last few years, totaling around £70 million.

For more information, 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 has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • 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.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • 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
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to
  • For more information on VisitScotland’s annual review please go to