The Old Millhouse in Dalkeith has been awarded a five-star rating by VisitScotland, the first for a self-catering property in Midlothian.
The house is situated in four acres of ancient woodland, with the River Esk providing a reminder of the house’s original purpose when built in 1703.
Often described as ‘one of Dalkeith’s best kept secrets’, the house was saved from near dereliction by Sally de Waard in 2012.
Sally is thrilled with the recent five-star rating.
She said: “It’s a funny thing, when you work in hospitality, it’s as if there are two worlds. The world your guests see is luxurious, calm, glamorous. But behind the scenes there’s the hard work of cutting the grass, cleaning out hens and checking every inch of the house is spotless and ready for new guests arriving.
“I’m constantly striving to improve our offering, update technologies and reduce our carbon footprint – it’s a labour of love as I never stop!
“I often drive in and look up at the house and I have to pinch myself.
“The vision from 2012 has become a reality. And it’s not just me who believes its special anymore, this five-star rating from VisitScotland has validated what I hoped was true.
“When you see your work – and your home – recognised with such a glowing recommendation, it’s a real goose-bump moment.”
In the heart of Dalkeith, the house is now a thriving addition to Scotland’s tourism offer and hosts guests from across the globe.