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eilean donan castle scotland

    Eilean Donan Castle by Brian A Jackson on Envato

A bed and breakfast owner’s top tips for choosing your holiday accommodation.

As the season is hotting up and visitor numbers are increasing it can be difficult to find suitable accommodation in Inverness.  Particularly when there’s an event or concert taking place demand can be very high.  Wherever you opt to stay here’s my top tips for selecting the right venue at the right price.  Once it’s all booked, you can relax and start looking forward to your holiday.

Location, location, location

So what kind of location are you looking for?  City, rural, suburban, near an event location.  You might want to be in the heart of the action and it might be handy to be near shops, bars, restaurants but will you be disturbed by noise by late-night revellers.  Being on a main road, your b&b will be easy to find but will traffic noise keep you awake.  If you prefer somewhere rural and secluded are you happy to take a drive for the nearest restaurant or shop?

Flexible Dates

If you’re dates are fixed there’s not much to consider but if you have flexibility it’s worth checking what’s going on in the area.  For example, a big event taking place on your first choice of dates could mean a shortage of available rooms and the prices jump up.  Looking at dates nearby could give you a considerable saving and more choice.  You’ll find hotels are more likely to increase their room rates during high demand so they can fluctuate dramatically in the same week.   Whereas if you choose a bed and breakfast or guest house the rates are more consistent.

Hotel or Bed and Breakfast Holiday Accommodation

What kind of place do you want to stay in?  Here in Inverness we have the complete range of places to stay from hostels to 5 star hotels.  Consider what’s important to you – room service, bar, restaurant and leisure facilites in a hotel or the more personal service and recommendations in a guest house.  Maybe you just want somewhere to sleep if you’re going to a special event, so maybe a budget hotel would suit best.

So now it’s time for a little research.  There are so many on-line travel agents to help you find a place to stay, just google your destination and they will come up first.  They are great to give you an idea of what’s available and at the click of a button you can find out what’s available on your chosen dates with a price comparison.  You can find out what other travellers think by reading the reviews.  Maybe they’ll highlight features you hadn’t thought about, like access to public transport.   But did you know that they charge hotels a minimum of 15% commission for each booking they receive?  Many hotels pay a higher than 15% commission rate to be ranked higher in the list of available venues.

My advice is to use Booking.com or Expedia or any of these sites to find out what’s available and then check the hotel or guest house’s website direct. You will often find the same room is available at a cheaper price or there is more availability of different types of rooms.  If you’re booking for a group it’s always worth contacting the hotel direct and asking for their best price.

Still struggling to find what you’re looking for.  The tourist office provides a great resource and often lists small properties that don’t have their own website.  In Scotland, VisitScotland‘s website is a great one-stop shop.  You can search availability on your chosen dates and refine your search to suit your needs.  Whether it’s Accessibility or Pet Friendly options you’re looking for, this site will help you filter the right venue.

Happy Holidays x

 

World Porridge Making Championships took place this weekend in Carrbridge.  It was the 24th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship, which happens each year in the Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge since 1996.  Competitors from across the globe came to fight for the coveted Golden Spurtle trophy and World Porridge Making Champion title.

Ellinor Carsson and Per Carlsson 2017’s World Porridge Making Champions, photo courtesy of James Ross

Congratulations go to Sweden’s Ellinor Persson who took the coveted title of World Porridge Making Champion, with Per Carlsson taking the Speciality title. The 23-strong international line up included competitors from the USA, Russia, Switzerland, Holland, Iceland, Sweden and across the UK and Ireland.

The title of World Porridge Making Champion is awarded to the competitor who makes the best traditional porridge using only three ingredients – oatmeal, salt and water. The porridges are judged on three factors – consistency, taste and colour. 

The Speciality title is awarded for a dish comprising mainly of oats but can be sweet or savoury.  From the simple traditional recipe of oats, water and salt, this competition celebrates the diversity of porridge.  Previous winners have included Sticky Toffee Porridge, Fruity Date Porridge and Pinhead Risotto with Lemon and Thyme and Parmesan.   This simple set of natural and healthy ingredients can be transformed into hearty, flavoursome meals.

Health

Plain porridge oats and oatmeal are 100% natural with no added sugar, salt or additives.  They are naturally low in calories too – an average bowl of porridge made with water is said to be only 171 calories.  Health experts have shown that oats have many health benefits.  Oats have a high content of complex carbohydrates and soluble fibre so they release energy slowly. A bowl of porridge for breakfast should provide the body with all the energy the body needs until lunch time.

World Porridge Making Championship 25th Anniversary

The Golden Spurtle trophy comes from the traditional wooden spurtle that is used to stir porridge.  Ready to test your porridge making skills?  There’s plenty of time to hone your skills to be ready for next year’s competition, when the village of Carrbridge will be pulling out the stops for the 25th anniversary.  Entry details can be found at www.goldenspurtle.com.

 

Highland campervan

Highland Campervans – Freedom of the Road

For a great way to make the most of Scotland’s stunning scenery, hiring a campervan gives you access to every corner of the landscape. Providing both a means of transport and a bed for the night a campervan gives you the ultimate freedom of the road.  Hiring a super little campervan means maximum flexibility to plan your trip wherever the road takes you,  Or you can just adapt your plans around the ever-changing weather forecast.

Inverness is a perfect base to start and finish your highland adventure, with excellent transport links by air, train and road. You can take in the local landmarks, like Culloden and Urquhart Castle, and enjoy the wonderful range of restaurants, night life and accommodation before heading out in your chosen chariot.  Highland Campervans are conveniently located near the airport and will take time to match you with the right vehicle.  They offer comprehensive pre-hire advice to ensure you have the most suitable campervan or motorhome to suit your needs.  They offer unlimited mileage and 24 hour support during your holiday.  The hire fleet includes  vehicles suitable for the remoter roads in the far reaches of the Scottish Highlands.  They’re also narrow enough to fit in a standard parking space.  And of course they include a few home comforts.  Whether you choose to sleep underneath the stars or in a fixed bed in the van, there’s still a shower and toilet on board.  The full fleet is fuel-efficient which will come in handy in the remotest parts of the country.

From their base near Inverness you can head in any direction to get on the road and start enjoying your holiday.  So what more do you need to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.  There’s breathtaking scenery, the freedom of the road in a modern, comfortable campervan with a few home comforts thrown in.

Bannerman’s New Ensuite Bathrooms

We’re proud to announce our remaining rooms, the Snug and the Eden rooms, now have completely refurbished ensuite bathrooms and are looking very smart in time for the forthcoming season.  This follows the upgrading of the other two rooms, Macintosh and Fraser last year.  Now all four rooms have new showers, WC, basin and heated towel rail as well as a bright and refreshing finish.  The new bathroom mirrors are fitted with a de-mister so they don’t get steamed up whilst you have a shower and include a sensor light and power socket for shaver or electric toothbrush.

In addition we provide towels and complimentary toiletries from Scottish Fine Soap.  We’re often asked by guests where they can buy them from when they get home, so we’ve provided a link to their site.

The Snug Bathroom

The Snug Bathroom

Of course there’s more to Bannerman Bed and Breakfast than just the bathrooms.  With 4 stylish and comfortable rooms, we offer the comforts of home with the service you need to enjoy your stay.  But the days of queuing in a drafty corridor for the bathroom are long gone.  You may think nostagically for times gone by but our expectations are for higher standards of facilities these days.  We used to think having a basin in a b&b bedroom was quite fancy.  Now we’re looking for an ensuite bathroom with modern facilities.

It’s great to start the day with a refreshing shower followed by a hearty breakfast to set you up for the day.  Whether you are here for sport, a hill-walker or you’ve just enjoyed a busy day of sight-seeing, it’s always good to know there’s a plentiful supply of hot water back at your bed and breakfast so you can spruce up before you go out for the evening.

The Eden Bathroom

The Eden Bathroom

The Mackintosh Room

The Mackintosh Room bathroom is a room we’re very proud of.  Yes it’s small and functional but since being refurbished in May 2013 it has proved to be a wow everytime it’s seen for the first time.  The modern shower with chrome finish and wall hanging basin are contemporary and stylish.  The basin has a pull-out drawer to store your wash-bag and toiletries but there’s also plenty of shelf space around the basin.  The chrome towel rail keeps the room and the thick towels provided warm.  We also provide wall-mounted toiletries from Scottish Fine Soaps.  They are so popular we are often asked where you can buy them.

Silent Fridge and Free WIFI

Of the four bedrooms we have here, the Macintosh Room is requested most.  The red colour scheme of the feature wall give it an added cosiness and the dark furniture looks classy.  With the kind of home comforts you’d expect in a Highland bed and breakfast like a flat-screen TV with DVD player, clock/radio, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities, there’s also a silent fridge perfect for storing cold drinks.  And of course the free WIFI means you can keep in touch whether you’re here for business or pleasure.  We also have a DVD library to choose a film from and a book exchange if you’re short of something to read.  You can be sure of a great night’s sleep in the king-size bed and the powerfull shower in the ensuite will refresh you.  Follow this up with a delicious breakfast and you’re set for the day.

Of course all the bedrooms are comfortable and stylish and many guests come back time after time as they feel at home here and there’s so much to see and do in the area.  How does this compare with your experiences of an Inverness bed and breakfast?

You can see the rest of the rooms on our picture gallery page.

It’s not too late to book a Valentine’s break.  Treat yourselves to a romantic break in the beautiful Scottish Highlands and enjoy a relaxing stay at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast, Inverness.  To make the most of the fabulous sights and sounds the area has to offer, book a 3 nights stay and you will get 10% off the bed and breakfast rate.

 

a_wee_dram_inverness

This winter we’re offering you the opportunity of booking a break in the Scottish Highlands at 10% off our published rates.  Simply make a booking for a minimum of 3 nights at Bannerman Bed and Breakfast in any of our rooms staying between 24th January and 28th February 2013 and you will automatically qualify for a 10% reduction in rates.

So that gives you a bit more to spend on all that Inverness and the local area has to offer – like Eden Court Theatre www.eden-court.co.uk, a cruise on Loch Ness for some monster hunting with Jacobite Cruises www.jacobite.co.uk or visit the fascinating Culloden Battlefield www.nts.org.uk/culloden.  Of course if you’re ready for a relaxing break there’s a great selection of restaurants, bars and shops in Inverness and you can spend a cosy evening in making use of the Bannerman DVD library.

 

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