Frequently Asked Questions
- What is self-catering in Scotland?
- Why pick a property belonging to an ASSC member?
- How do we go about finding our ideal holiday home?
- What can we expect to find when we get there?
- Why choose self-catering accommodation?
- How do we work out the price of our accommodation?
- What do the ‘stars’ stand for?
- What facilities and equipment will we find in our property?
- What if we have disabled person in our group?
- How do we book?
What is self-catering in Scotland?
Self-catering is the term most often used in the UK to refer to self-contained holiday accommodation which has facilities for guests to prepare their own meals. It is usually more spacious and has space for sitting and living as well as a kitchen, in addition to bedroom(s) and bathroom(s). Self-catering differs from serviced accommodation (hotels, guest houses, inns, bed & breakfasts etc) by offering a self-contained ‘home from home’. You will usually have exclusive access to the accommodation (with your own front door!) and will not share communal space with other guests. However, there is normally also no ‘room service’, daily maid service, concierge or staffed reception. In the UK is it usual to rent self-catering by the week (seven nights), although many properties now offer short breaks or even nightly rentals.
Why pick a property belonging to an ASSC member?
All ASSC members are committed to quality. Every property listed on this website belongs to an owner or operator who is a member of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, the official trade organisation for self-catering accommodation in Scotland. Formed in 1978, the ASSC will only accept members committed to high standards of comfort, cleanliness, courtesy and efficiency. The Association was influential in setting up, and continues to be involved in, the operation of the VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme.
How do we go about finding our ideal holiday home?
The ASSC can offer you over 2,500 fantastic properties all over Scotland, so the honest answer is ‘by doing your research’! Follow these simple steps and let the ASSC be your passport to success. You can SEARCH for properties that meet your specific needs, using the panel on the right. Click the line at the bottom beginning ‘Need help…’ if it is not clear how to work this. You can find out about a geographical area and BROWSE properties in that region by clicking on the map to the right, or the list of regions on the Home page. Use the short descriptions to find ones you are interested in, then click through to find out more, to contact the owner directly, or even to book online with some operators.
What can we expect to find when we get there?
Part of the charm of self-catering is that there is a great variety of properties available which you can have as your home for a week or more, or a short break of just a few days. All ASSC member properties are clean and comfortable, with a range of accommodation facilities. However, they vary from the fairly basic up to sophisticated luxury. On this website, you’ll find something for every lifestyle and budget.
Why choose self-catering accommodation?
Self-catering offers freedom and fantastic value for money! It is also the ideal way to get to know Scotland at your own pace – to discover its natural beauty, meet friendly Scottish people and generally feel ‘at home’ whilst enjoying independence and the ability to come and go as you please. Self-catering works well for families, as you don’t have to fit in with restaurant meal times or worry about disturbing other guests. It is also ideal for couples, who want to be left alone to enjoy their holiday together. In fact, self-catering suits just about everybody!
How do we work out the price of our accommodation?
The price you pay will depend on the time of year (season), how long you are staying, and what optional extras you choose. This website gives you a price range guideline for each property, showing the lowest and highest prices charged in the year. This will often be based on a standard weekly let, as indicated, but this does not mean that shorter lets are not available. Some operators will charge extra for electricity and heating, bed linen, pets etc. Clicking through to the owner’s own website via the link on their property page will often give you more details about season, extras and prices.
What do the ‘stars’ stand for?
The stars shown on this website mean that the property has been awarded a Quality Assurance grading from One to Five Stars by an approved independent scheme, such as the Scottish Tourist Board one run by VisitScotland. They indicate the quality of the accommodation and facilities, the welcome, the overall ambience and the service offered. ***** Exceptional, world class **** Excellent *** Very Good ** Good * Fair and acceptable
What facilities and equipment will we find in our property?
All ASSC member properties will have the following: cooker with oven and grill, refrigerator, a selection of cutlery, china and cooking utensils, colour TV (unless guests are specifically informed otherwise), iron, basic drying facilities, bedding. All 4 Star properties will also be able to supply bedlinen and towels. At the 5 Star level, you can also expect a video, microwave, dishwasher, freezer, telephone, hi-fi, washing machine and dryer (or 24 hour laundry service), and garden furniture where appropriate. Many owners include facilities and equipment beyond the requirements of their grading award, or indeed choose not to be graded. If you have a need for any specific equipment or service, always check with the owner/operator directly before booking.
What if we have disabled person in our group?
Some of our Members are graded under the National Accessibility Scheme with identified levels of facilities to meet the needs of visitors with disabilities. Look for the symbols under individual entries, and always check with the owners that the particular property you are interested in meets your needs, as not every property in their establishment will necessarily meet the criteria Category 1 – Unassisted wheelchair access for residents Category 2 – Assisted wheelchair access for residents Category 3 – Access for residents with mobility difficulties (able to walk a few paces and up 3 steps )
How do we book?
Contact the owner of the property directly, not the ASSC. We are not an Agency and you get the best price available as there is no Agency commission or mark-up. Before sending any money always check the availability of the specific property and dates you want, either online if they have that facility, or by e-mail, phone or fax. The individual property pages on thei website have contact details and links to members’ websites.