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Today, Balkissock Lodge B&B was awarded a Certification Mark from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere “in recognition of high quality standards in delivering environmental and sustainable development benefits to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

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The award ceremony was held at Culzean Castle and speakers included Dr Beth Taylor (Chair, UK National Commission for UNESCO), John Thomson and Ed Forrest both of the GSA Biosphere and the awards were presented by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop who fondly remembers childhood holidays in Ballantrae and splashing about in the river Stinchar.

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Two other micro businesses were also awarded a certification mark today: Adventure Centre for Education (ACE) based in Girvan and Salad Brew based in Borgue in Dumfries and Galloway.

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After speaking to Dr Taylor, I understand that this accolade makes Balkissock Lodge not only the only B&B with a biosphere certification mark in Scotland but possibly in the whole world!

Cordelia Galley 2018 (c)

If you wish to check availability and book securely online direct with the owners please click here.

If you wish to find out more about Balkissock Lodge B&B please click here.

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It’s a false assumption by some guests that B&B owners just rent out a room and that all money made is ‘profit’ therefore when looking for somewhere to stay, anything over £25 pppn is viewed as expensive … I mean, just how expensive are those sausages?!!

Sadly, this is fuelled by some new online travel booking sites that offer rooms in peoples’ homes at very low costs. But when you run a B&B as a bonafide business there are a number of additional expenses that some owners that advertise on such websites don’t have. Indirect costs such as holding food hygiene certificate, indemnity/business insurance, accountancy fees, credit card facility payments, advertising fees, laundry fees,  etc. can easily add up to £3000-£4000 per year and that’s before you add direct costs such as food and commission.

I’ve invested over £4000 in the past three years improving the environment and facilities here at Balkissock Lodge including redecoration, new larger TVs in both bedrooms, new single mattresses, all new bedding, new carpets, new soft furnishings and new ensuites (to be fitted some time this year) but have only raised prices approx. 10% in 10 years!

I aim to provide guests with a very warm welcome with home baked biscuits and cakes, good quality food from independent, local and regional producers, home baked bread, home made preserves, etc. all of which cost far more than supermarket equivalents and take more time to source, make and prepare.

Having made gains into improving the efficiency of the business last year (pre-ordering breakfast to avoid waste, for example) and having thoroughly analysed last year’s tax return I only have two choices: to remove many of the extras that make staying at Balkissock Lodge B&B so special for many people or raise prices to reflect the quality of service and facilities and to sustain on-going maintenance/improvements.

About half of my guests stay for just one night before or after getting the ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast/Larne. My B&B owner friends will agree with me when I say that one-nighters are the least financially viable which is why many B&Bs have a minimum two night policy. Sadly, a huge proportion of my guests say “I wish we’d booked for longer” (or words to that effect).

I have therefore decided that I must raise prices to make profit on the one-night bookings but with substantial savings for those guests who choose to stay longer.

This does not affect any existing bookings.

Cordelia 2018

If you’d like to check availability for accommodation and book securely online at the best prices available please click here.

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