The awards focus on the standard of the welcome, hospitality and service they provide, as well as presentation and the standard of toilets, shop or café if they have them. The number of stars awarded to a property indicate the levels visitors can expect of the establishment:
- 1 star: clean and tidy, a fair and acceptable, if basic, standard
- 2 stars: a good overall standard
- 3 stars: a very good standard
- 4 stars: an excellent standard
- 5 stars: an exceptional standard
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 staff development and training.
An extensive range of properties is assessed under the various star-grading schemes. These include:
Serviced and self-catering accommodation
B&Bs, budget hotels, campus properties, country house hotels, exclusive-use venues, farmhouses, guest accommodation, guest houses, hotels, inns, lodges, metro hotels, restaurants with rooms, self-catering, serviced apartments, small hotels and townhouse hotels.
Activity centres, arts venues, castles, gardens, garden centres, historic attractions, historic houses, leisure centres, museums, tours, tourist shops, wildlife experiences.
Caravan and camping
Camping parks, holiday caravans, holiday parks and touring parks.
Activity accommodation, backpackers, bods and bothies, bunkhouses, group accommodation and hostels.