Published on : Thursday, September 22, 2016
A Highland hotel which has hosted Queen Victoria and Prince Albert has achieved its ‘Gold’ award from the national tourism organisation in recognition of its excellent customer service.
The Grant Arms Hotel was already a 3-Star hotel but has now been awarded the added ‘Gold’ status from VisitScotland, representing the continuing attainment of outstanding customer service and hospitality for its guests.
Situated in the busy Highland town of Grantown-on-Spey, the stone-built 50-bedroom privately owned hotel has been recently refurbished and upgraded to offer modern comforts, while retaining its traditional character.
The establishment, which also has meeting and conference facilities, has been welcoming guests for many years, with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visiting in 1860. Things have moved on significantly since those days and the hotel now has ensuite bedrooms, all with tea and coffee making facilities, toiletries, hair dryer, colour TV and direct dial phone. There are two disabled rooms on the first floor accessible by lift.
The Bird Watching & Wildlife Club (BWWC), based at the Grant Arms Hotel, also exists for anyone interested in wildlife, from beginners to dedicated birdwatchers. For those who want to go off each day by themselves, the BWWC Team will tell them what is around, where to go and the best time to see it. For those who want escorted trips, the team can provide advice on the many and varied trips available. The BWWC’s club room, library, walks, talks and briefings are free to all hotel guests.
Guests can also book for several events through the hotel, including a red deer rut break in October and a celebrity guided holiday with TV presenter Nick Baker in November.
The hotel has also been awarded Taste Our Best – 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.
Based in Grantown-on-Spey, fresh meat is supplied by Stuart Grant who is also famous for his black pudding, which features on both the dinner and breakfast menus.Other suppliers include eggs from Gawnsmoss Farm in Banffshire; fish freshly supplied by M&J Seafoods and Sutherland’s of Portsoy; Great Glen Game in Spean Bridge for game; McLean’s the Highland Baker for bread; Stirling-based Caledonia’s Larder, purveyor of fine terrines and TPS of Turriff who supply much of the Forres grown vegetables and Scottish fruit berries.
The Grant Arms Hotel 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.
David Duncan, General Manager of the Grant Arms Hotel, said:
“VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme is an excellent foundation upon which to build a hospitality business. It is an ever-present, measurable control mechanism which influences all decisions, actions and reactions throughout the team.
“The customer is reassured, their experience enhanced and their memory lasting, for all the right reasons.
“The Grant Arms Hotel team delivering QA, grow and glow with the positive customer feedback and high level of repeat business. The journey does not stop here, it will go on indefinitely, flexing, developing and growing to satisfy emerging markets way beyond expectation, with 3 Star Gold playing a key role in focusing.
“Taste our Best supports our kitchen brigade and food service delivery team, inspiring confidence through local authenticity in the sourcing and seasonality of foods.”
Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:
“It is fantastic to see Grantown’s tourism offering enhanced by the Grant Arms Hotel’s well-deserved achievement and I would like to applaud David and his team for their hard work, outstanding customer service and hospitality.
“High-quality hotel accommodation is vitally important to our visitors, which is why VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance gradings are so important to the tourism industry as a whole.
“Developed and improved for over 30 years, our Quality Assurance schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. They allow you to not just meet visitor expectations, but exceed them.
“Quality Assurance is about much more than just the ‘stars’ on your door – it’s about the entire visitor experience, it’s about investing in your business and making it as sustainable and profitable, as it can possibly be.”