Tim Pilcher, from Kelso, was only in his 40s when he suffered a stroke in 2009. Complications meant he had to have part of his skull removed and he spent the best part of a year in hospital in the Borders and Edinburgh.
He was shown round the unit on Monday and was hugely impressed by the transformation.
Mr Pilcher said: “It is a huge difference, this is fantastic. It is such an improvement and it will be so much easier for staff and patients and it is a much more pleasant place to be.
“Nobody wants to be in hospital at all, but this will make it much more bearable.
“It has a much nicer atmosphere, and when you have your wife and children coming in to see you it will be nice to get somewhere to sit where you won’t disturb the other patients.”
John Raine, chairman of NHS Borders said: “We now have a modern unit, dedicated to meeting the needs of stroke patients, which will greatly improve patient care for Borders patients.”
The unit, which became operational earlier this year, has been welcomed by staff, including specialist stroke nurse Sandi Haines.
She said: “It is a much calmer environment for everybody, the patients specifically.
“It will be much easier for the patients to concentrate on their rehabilitation, and it is a nicer environment to work in. There is less clutter and it isn’t as busy and noisy.”