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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

 

Take a Full on Adventure

To make your holiday in Scotland trully memorable, Full on Adventure is a great suggestion for a unique experience.  Full on Adventure is a company less than 45 minutes drive from here, who are innovators of adventure in the Highlands of Scotland.  Based in Aviemore, at the hub of the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, they have a passion for outdoor adventures and wild experiences.

They work throughout Scotland, the UK and beyond. Whether it’s White Water Adventure River Tubing, Rafting, Canyoning, Mountain Biking, Climbing, Scrambling, adventure sports coaching or guiding – whether it’s fun, the thrill of adventure or a physical challenge you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone.

Full on Adventure

Kayaking on the River Spey

Excellent Coaching

For all Adventure activities, training courses and tours you’ll receive excellent coaching and guiding from the experienced and qualified team. The best quality equipment is provided as well.  By travelling widely they have collected great ideas from overseas and adapted them for Scotland. Very often this involves adding thick wetsuits and the best quality warm kit to ensure the activities work in our variable climate.

For the passed 5 years Full On Adventure have teamed up with Rothiemurchus estate to offer a range of watersports activities on the local estate. Families and groups that visit Rothiemurchus can now take part in exciting activities only 5 minutes out of Aviemore. In 2012 they opened a new base and heated indoor changing rooms on Rothiemurchus at Inverdruie. This base is on the ski road just minutes from Aviemore centre, next to the tennis club and over the road from Tree Zone.

You can see for yourself there are plenty of 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor from families and adult groups and so you can see how popular these awesome activities are with the best instructors and the highest quality equipment. Now Aviemore is really exploding as the real adventure hub of the Scottish highlands, with so much to do in the area this really is a great place to visit on your adventures.

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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Tickets are still available for Eden Court Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in collaboration with Scottish Opera.

The only date is 29th January 2013 at 7.15pm. For more information and booking on line, see www.eden-court.co.uk/whats-on/shows/a-midsummer-night-s-dream-1

And should you need accommodation for visiting Eden Court Theatre, Bannerman B&B is only a few minutes walk.

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Highland room