Steve and Cassandra Murray run the 5-bedroomed Woodbine House in Uig, Skye which has just closed for the winter season. They have been running this B&B business for just over 2 years. “Our guests are from all over the world. Around half of them are here on Skye as a stopover to the Outer Hebrides. In the last year we’ve had visitors from the Maldives, Singapore and Israel. We tend to get American visitors at either the beginning of the season or at the end, usually during March and September.”
Steve had worked in the Oil industry for many years before he and his wife bought the B&B property and a recently completed cottage next to it which is where they stay. Steve had no experience in hospitality, however Cassandra worked in the hospitality industry for 6 years before running their B&B and their glowing guest reviews highlight their ‘genuinely warm welcome’ and fantastic home baking.
“I’m a people person which is why a B&B business really appealed to me. We work it between us. We both do the baking for our guests when they arrive; I tend to make simple things like shortbread and my wife does the sticky stuff like Millionaire’s Shortbread.
"It’s over breakfast we get to know our guests a little better. Truly we get all sorts of people from all walks of life! We recently had a faith healer from the Netherlands who now lives in Elgin come to stay and then the Chief Financial Officer of a major German household and cleaning cloths company.”
Woodbine House has only been using freetobook for a couple of months. “We inherited the online booking system from the previous B&B owners and ran with it for two years. But it was another B&B owner on Skye who had really recommended freetobook (he’d used it for 6 years) so we switched over earlier this summer. With the cost savings and the channel connection to Isle of Skye website it was a ‘no brainer’ really! The software is very intuitive, and I have been able to use the Help section for most of my questions. It’s very simple to set up and I really like that there are all different styles of booking widget to choose from.”
Steve and Cassandra love the lifestyle that Skye offers and are passionate advocates for the island’s natural beauty (Steve’s favourite spot is Quiraing and for Cassandra it’s the Fairie Glen) and its reputation for top class restaurants. “We are so blessed with great places to eat. Paul Rankin the famous Irish restauranteur has just taken over the Stein Inn – we can’t wait to try it out!”