THINK of everything you picture when you hear the words bed and breakfast. Carnaptious landladies peering out disapprovingly from behind net curtains, counting out the number of Rice Krispies guests dare to pour into their breakfast bowl. Now think again. Across Scotland, boutique B&Bs are increasingly fashionable, even becoming the top choice for young travellers.

Brucefield Boutique B&B, Arbroath

At Brucefield Boutique B&B there is no flowery wallpaper, avocado bathrooms or paper doilies. Voted as one of Scotland’s best luxury B&Bs on TripAdvisor, Brucefield represents a new trend.

During my stay I was treated to a huge feather bed, standalone bath and impeccably stylish interior: more top-quality hotel than seaside B&B and as for shared toilets on the landing – forget it. That was a hallmark of old B&Bs, with fully fitted en suites now seen as standard in the modern bed and breakfast.

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For owner Raymond Kington, 70, the choice to renovate Brucefield to such a high standard was an obvious one. “When people go away for a weekend or for a holiday, they like to feel that sense of ‘luxury’. That’s why we spent that extra bit of money. We looked around Arbroath and saw there was a niche – there was no real top quality option.”

Kington and his son bought the 1920s property in 2007, spending two years turning it into five-star accommodation. They added subtle touches: decking for guests to relax in the summer and an elegant mahogany staircase as the focal point of the entrance hall. Flatscreen TVs, iPod docking stations and walk-in waterfall showers in each room. Yet although it looks like a hotel, having just five rooms means that Brucefield retains the personal touch. There is not only a fridge in each room stocked with water and a pint of milk –to ensure guests can make ‘proper’ tea and coffee – but also a complimentary bar downstairs. Wine, beer, spirits and a choice of mixers await those who fancy a tipple. 

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It is the feeling of being pampered that seems to be drawing a new generation into B&Bs. In our fast-moving world it can be all too easy to feel like just another number, and so boutique B&Bs can appeal to those looking for a more personal experience.

Kington agrees that there is a “different type of people” coming to B&Bs. “There’s a lot of younger people,” he says, “people who expect more from a bed and breakfast. There are changes in hospitality – even the top hotels are now trying to keep up with what is happening in boutique B&Bs. In the cities, people still go to hotels, and older people usually favour them. But the younger ones are increasingly coming to these high-end B&Bs.”

BEST OF THE REST: Scotland’s luxury B&Bs

Barcaldine Castle, Benderloch

If you want to make everyone jealous with your holiday pictures then Barcladine is the place to go: a 17th century castle that has been turned into an impressive B&B. The dining room with grand chandeliers looks straight out of a painting, and the outside grounds are just as stunning with views of Glencoe. Two of the rooms have traditional wooden four-poster beds, so you can truly feel like the king or queen of the castle.

Mint Croft Luxury B&B, Skye

Rather than your own room, these suites are actually your own house – traditional Hebridean stone buildings that give a truly authentic island experience. Floor to ceiling windows give great views of the rugged landscape and make sure you feel fully in touch with nature. But fear not, tech lovers, each room has wifi, IPod docks and a flatscreen TV. After filling up on a two course breakfast, the hosts will then provide you with an ‘Explore the Island Kit’ (binoculars, maps and guides) to make sure you get the most of your stay.

Rudha-Na-Craige, Inveraray, Argyll

Former home of the Duke of Argyll, there are six large rooms in this Victorian B&B, each with a view of Loch Fyne. You can have Loch Fyne kippers for breakfast or a full Scottish breakfast and omelettes. For musically minded visitors, there is a baby grand piano and a guitar.

Firhall Highland Bed and Breakfast, Grantown on Spey

Each of the five rooms has its own uber-stylish décor and all come with underfloor heating in the ensuite, a coffee machine and homemade shortbread on arrival. Firhall is in the Cairngorm National Park and you can have a packed lunch made up for you –with a flask of coffee, home baking and a choice of sandwiches.

5 Thornbank House, Stranraer

Looking for a B&B with wow factor? Then look no further: Thornbank House has its own indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and steam room. The large, well-lit pool is usually quiet as there are only three rooms, but if you do want a bit more privacy you can book the room that has its own en-suite Jacuzzi. There are excellent views of Loch Ryan from each room, and the centre of Stranraer is only a ten minute walk away.

Ardtorna Bed and Breakfast, Oban

Voted Scotland's Best B&B in 2017, Ardtorna is the perfect place to feel pampered. Sweet pastries are served on the day of arrival, and complimentary malt whisky and home-made cream liqueurs are offered throughout your stay. The modern building is light and airy and all rooms have a sea view, along with memory foam mattresses and underfloor heating. And if you are fussy about food then don’t worry, there are 12 different breakfast dishes to choose from – on top of continental options.

Kingsmuir House, Peebles

More of a mini apartment than a room, each suite has its own separate sitting room and large ensuite bathroom (with a built-in champagne bucket should you need it). Expect fresh scones, homemade shortbread and fresh flowers upon your arrival and an extensive, locally-sourced breakfast in the morning. There is an acre of well-maintained private grounds.

Lys-Na-Greyne, Aboyne

The en-suite bathrooms are a real standout at Lys-Na-Greyne: each has a walk-in power shower and some rooms also have a traditional roll top bath with claw feet. The vibrant, colourful gardens make a great view from each room and the conservatory is available for guests to unwind in. The rooms are equipped with smart TVs to allow you to catch up with your favourite shows, and each room also has a portable Bluetooth speaker so you can play your own music and feel right at home.

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Barony House, Edinburgh

Barony House still retains a homely feel in the capital with personalised trip advice from the hosts and homemade bread for breakfast. It is close to the centre of Edinburgh with regular buses into town, but also a quiet haven. If you really want a peaceful night in luxury, book the servants’ quarters with their own entrance and private garden.