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Case study: Beach Cottage B&B

This renovated fisherman's cottage in Inverness secured two Top Ten rankings in the TripAdvisor 2015 Travellers' Choice Awards, it placed 3rd in the Top 25 B&Bs in the UK as well as 9th in the Top 25 Best B&Bs in the World.

With breathtaking views across to The Black Isle, the beach just a ten metre hop across the garden and dolphin-spotting a popular pastime, Beach Cottage has hit the 'sweet spot' with its guests.

So what is the key to Brad's success?

These latest achievements are not down to location alone as Brad clearly has a wining formula for running successful B&Bs. His previous guesthouse, Avalon, was voted 3rd in Europe's Top 10 in the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards 2009.

"At Avalon we offered the friendly atmosphere of a family-run bed & breakfast establishment but with the professionalism of a hotel," says Brad. "At Beach Cottage it's about peace and quiet with stunning views. Guests feel they are miles from nowhere but in fact its only six miles from the city centre and just ten minutes from everything Inverness has to offer."

The Beach Cottage has been using freetobook as its online booking engine since opening its doors. "It has everything I need and much more," comments Brad.

It's an unpaid job...

Brad is something of a freetobook ambassador as it turns out. He heads up the 21-member strong Guest House Association in Inverness and has been "persuading them one by one to sign-up for freetbook!"

"It's incredibly easy to set up and use. Plus it does exactly what it says, no fees for bookings coming through your own accommodation website."

The Beach Cottage has been attracting guests from all around the world since it opened its doors but one Australian couple, Chuck and Sue, are more memorable than most. "I discovered that Chuck's visit was something of a research trip. He was born in the fisherman's cottage next door but his parents had moved to Australia with him and his two brothers when he was just eight years old. Over their ten-day stay we filled in many of the gaps in both Chuck's personal history and that of the cottage."

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