My partner and myself (ages 63 and 66) went on a National Holidays 5-day holiday to the Claymore Hotel from 19 to 23 April, 2012, and were mostly pleased with the hotel, considering what we paid for the holiday in total.
Our room was dated and a bit small, but we were not in it long enough to worry about that. The most important thing was that it was quiet with the exception of people moving about in the room above, and there was always plenty of hot water for bathing. Tea, coffee, and milk sachets were replaced daily. The hotel as a whole needs refurbishing, and the dining room is quite gloomy and soulless.
Our one complaint was about the mealtimes and food. Breakfast is 8am to 9am which is OK because you have to be on the coach for trips at 9.30, and the food at breakfast was usually fine, except on the Friday, when everyone is going home and the food is obviously cooked in advance, and was cold.
But evening meals are from 6pm to 7pm, which we considered to be too early, and too short a time, especially since entertainment does not start until 8.30. I did not think the food quality was very good, and some of the food is far too salty, especially the soup, but my partner did not agree.
The restaurant staff are very nice. We were served by Georgina, who is very helpful, and they all seemed to be friendly and hardworking.
Entertainment is not bad for this type of venue, and we particularly enjoyed the humour of singer/comedian Des Barton, although it is not to everyone’s taste. It is good to find a comedian who can be funny without resorting to swearing and blue jokes. Some people we spoke to did not share our opinion, but then we did not enjoy the singer/guitarist that they liked, who we considered far too loud for a smallish room – you can’t please everyone!
We did not like the fact that smokers congregate outside the main entrance, so the Reception area always smells of smoke, and you have to run the gauntlet of smokers every time you enter or leave the hotel. Whilst we were in the Reception area on one evening a female guest was so desperate for a cigarette she passed us in her pyjamas and dressing gown (and boots) to go outside for a smoke. That is a first for us – and no, I am not joking!
The smoking ban should apply to the areas immediately around the hotel as well as the hotel itself.
The fire alarm went off at about 8.00am one morning, and I would guess this was caused by someone smoking in the wrong place.
Our coach driver was Les, and he was great. We always felt very safe, and he kept us informed with a wealth of knowledge about the places we passed.
However, we did not think much of the places he stopped on either leg of the trip. Leeming Bar on the A1 where we stopped on the outward journey, is a miserable place, and Gretna Green Smithy, where we stopped on the way back only had seats outside, and they were all taken, so we had nowhere to sit. Fortunately the weather was good, as we had to stand outside. Also, there was a long queue at the toilets in the courtyard, because the restaurant toilets were out of order.
The trips from the hotel were good from the point of view of seeing beautiful scenery, and on the one Les did to Inverary and Oban we were interested in his commentary. However, the trip to Callendar and Balloch for the Loch Lomond boat trip was taken by a local driver, and he just talked far too much (repeating a lot of what Les had already told us). The boat trip was a bit boring, and we probably would not do it again.
The optional trip on Wednesday was to Stirling, but we decided to make our own arrangements as we wanted to see something of Glasgow. You can get a local bus from Arrochar to Glasgow at 9.26am, but you have to get a return from Glasgow at 2.00pm, so you only get about three and a quarter hours in Glasgow. Obviously this is only enough time to see a very small part of a big city, but we thought it was worth doing nevertheless.
Overall we enjoyed the holiday, and thought it was good value. It allowed us to see a part of the UK we probably would not otherwise get to as it is a long drive, and it is a pleasure to be able to let someone else do the driving whilst you relax and enjoy the scenery.
Top floor with loch view will be quietest
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC