VisitScotland (Scottish Tourist Board) Star Ratings


stb 1 star rating stb 2 star rating stb 3 star rating stb 4 star rating stb 5 star rating stb 4 Gold star rating
Acceptable Good Very Good Excellent Exceptional Gold - Excels in all areas

VisitScotland, formerly known as the Scottish Tourist Board, works all year assessing standards for visitors. You can learn more about VisitScotland's star grading scheme here.

  • Guest House
    A guest house normally has at least 4 letting bedrooms, some with ensuite or private facilities. It is usually run as a commercial business. Breakfast is available and evening meals may be provided.


  • Bed & Breakfast
    Accommodation offering bed and breakfast, usually in a private house. B&Bs normally accommodate no more than 6 guests, and may or may not serve an evening meal.


  • Farmhouse
    Bed and breakfast or guest house accommodation provided on a working farm or small holding.


  • Small Hotel
    A small hotel normally has a minimum of 6 letting bedrooms and a maximum of 20. Most bedrooms have ensuite or private facilities. Small hotels serve breakfast, dinner and, normally, lunch, and they have a drinks licence (though it may be a restricted licence). They are normally run by the owner(s) and reflect their own personal style.


  • Inn
    Bed and breakfast accommodation within a traditional inn or pub. The bar and restaurant is open to non-residents, and provides food at lunchtime and in the evening.


  • Self Catering
    A house, cottage, apartment, chalet or similar accommodation, with self-catering facilities, which is let normally on a weekly basis to individuals, although shorter breaks may be available.


  • Serviced Apartments
    Self catering apartments with cleaning provided and with meals and drinks available.


  • Hostel
    Star-rated accommodation often in shared rooms with bunk beds but family rooms may also be available. Hostels normally welcome individuals, families and groups, many of whom are staying on a short-term basis. Hostels often have a quite formalised structure, which may or may not include restricted access, meal service, etc.


  • Backpackers
    Very similar in style to a hostel, but may be run on less formal lines, such as 24-hour access. They are often more appropriate for longer term independent travellers and the younger end of the market and they tend not to take family groups.


  • Bunkhouse
    Rural accommodation which can be booked by groups or individuals. Services and facilities may be limited but will include a self-catering facility. Bunkhouses are not star rated but will meet or exceed minimum standards for cleanliness, maintenance and quality.


  • Caravan Holiday Homes
    Individual caravan holiday homes are not star rated but will meet or exceed minimum standards for cleanliness, maintenance and facilities.


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