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“Overpriced and with an atmosphere of failure”
Review of Lovat Arms Hotel

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Lovat Arms Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Beauly
Surrey
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Overpriced and with an atmosphere of failure”
Reviewed 7 September 2009

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression and our first impression of the Lovat Arms was not good. We heard it before we saw it. The hotel's bar and bistro were hosting a VERY loud live band at 7pm on a Sunday evening. The unsmiling, wooden guy on reception seemed indifferent to our obvious disappointment and uncertain as to when the racket would end. We had booked on a DBB rate but eating in earshot of the din was impossible and he suggested trying the nearby Priory instead, which we did. In fairness our room was large and comfortable, although with a tiny TV set for the size of room and 'quality' of hotel. Breakfast was adequate and the service prompt, as well it might be as we appeared to be almost the only people staying there. At check out a young girl apologised profusely and had credited the bill with our uneaten dinner. If only a smile and an apology had been forthcoming when we checked in we might have felt a little better about this place but I can't escape the feeling that the Lovat Arms is more of a bar with a hotel attached than the other way round. And with one exception the staff looked miserable, with morale at zero. It's a nice looking building but don't venture inside!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SurreyRipcord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Scotland
1 review
Reviewed 25 February 2009

Looking for a clean, competitive, en-suite room with free wi-fi to catch up with work, at a cost that means not having to work overtime to pay for it, not all solo travellers will prefer a 'lodge' or similar bed-silo. I prefer a place with a bar for a bit life when I've finished work, ideally also a restaurant to save walking the streets of an unfamiliar town looking for dinner, especially when the weather seems to settling for being less than clement. So, recently, in the vicinity of Inverness I remembered the Lovat Arms, that in my time as a tour operator was never a cause for concern, and thought I'd give it a try, 15 years on.

An opening gambit that suggested I wanted a room, but not at any price, was met with an entirely appropriate (if somewhat complicit) response, and a rate which meant both the hotel and myself was getting an acceptable deal. Before making my way to my room, I was advised of meal times and the various rooms were clearly indicated by the receptionist. On asking if the room had internet access, the receptionist affirmed and passed me a slip with the access code printed.

The en-suite twin bed (canopied, to boot) room I got for single occupancy faced the not very busy main road/street (this is Highland Scotland) and was equipped with secondary-glazing; not the most elegant solution to cold and noise, but very effective against both nonetheless. The bathroom was a little dated, but it, like the room, was spotless, all fittings and fixtures present and working properly with no cracked tiles or gaping mastic found in much younger houses. The curtains, when drawn, would have shut out an explosion and essentially sealed the room from any exterior elements you could reasonably imagine. All lights and fixtures worked. As did the wifi access code.

Being really picky, I'd probably appreciate one more electric socket in the vicinity of the desk. As it was I charged the phone using the 'laptop' plug during Dinner.

This was a business trip and I tend to find fine dining and business budget don't go particularly well together. The Strupag Brasserie was warm and welcoming, and even if the public bar-staff doubled up as waitress for the Brasserie the service was fine: Welcome, menu brought, specials pointed out, and drink order taken, on seating. Eye contact and order taken from a limited, but varied menu. The menu stressed produce from local sources and I had no reason to dispute. Hot and well-cooked, the portion was ample and no dessert was needed.

Noticed other guests. A number of business travellers, a young couple and an overseas family. By no means full, but who'd expect it to be, in this location, at this time of year.

After another hour's work, a nightcap in the quiet (Monday night, end of month) public bar served, and recognised, by the bar-staff who'd waited dinner. Wished goodnight on leaving.

Excellent night's sleep. One of the better hotel beds I've used.

The shower was an electric model, but still with sufficient pressure to stir the circulation. Windows actually opened for fresh air (this is quiet highland town).

Breakfast was help-yourself cereals and canned fruit plus choice of juices. Tea or coffee with choice of toast order taken by organised and capable young immigrant-worker girl, and served with an apparently genuine smile. Full breakfast ordered and appeared cooked to order. Portion control generous again. Extra coffee to take to room was no problem, also served with a smile.

The hotel probably looks somewhat more welcoming in sunlight, but the glow of the lights inside on a brisk evening do offer something positive too. It is uncompromising in its use of highland art and artifacts with tartan as decoration, but in a traditional highland hotel a more minimalist approach might suggest one's visit had been after that of the bailiffs. I actually was fascinated by the history of the Clan Fraser (synonymous with that of the family) I found in my room, and other features. I might have been less fascinated if I'd arrived from overseas, as there was little visible to help non English-speakers, equally I might not have gleaned that the food was from the family farm. But perhaps this is rectified with changes with the seasonal trade?

Checkout. Simple card transaction. When looking at the charge, what was there NOT to like? Excellent value for money.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Scotfree1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
479 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 449 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2008

Lovat Arms Hotel is barely o.k.

I would expect to stay in a place like Lovat Arms if I traveled on a budget bus tour with 50 retirees, no offense intended to any reader since husband and I are not too far from the retirement age. And, in fact, the hotel was used by a bus tour which scored all of the rooms in the main building.

The main building of the hotel looks somewhat like a structure from the old wild west. There is also a brand new annex around the corner and this is where our rooms were (we traveled with a couple of friends). So, the rooms were nice enough and new but our window faced a narrow alley with a wooden fence, and friends' window overlooked the construction site and car dealership on that side street. Just not homey at all.

Another disappointment was the town of Beauly itself where the Lovat Arms hotel is located. The town is surrounded by ugly commercial/industrial area and the hotel itself is located on the main thoroughfare. We did not see any interesting shops to browse through or restaurants to dine in.

We had supper at the Lovat Arms restaurant. I had a totally tasteless piece of meat called steak and husband's chicken breast was floating in a sea of peach colored gravy. Next morning, our breakfast was equally tasteless and sloppily prepared, only further contributing to our disappointment with Lovat Arms. Despite reserving for two nights, we checked out early and continued onto Skye. I am so glad we did.

I would not stay at the Lovat Arms again or in Beauly, for that matter.

  • Liked — Nothing much
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Anna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 October 2008

I agree with the other reviews. The hotel is in need of refurbishment. The furniture is old and horrible and the carpets well worn. It looks like nothing has been done for many years. The area is quite pretty but would stay elsewhere.

  • Liked — area
  • Disliked — bedrooms
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank samtamuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2008

As others have said, we didn't find the receptionist very welcoming. Our room was quite large, but the bathroom wasn't very well designed and the fittings were very outdated. The seventies style taps were difficult to grip with wet hands. And the soap dispensers did not dispense properly.

Our evening meal (served in the bar a.k.a. 'Strupag Brasserie') was OK, though nothing special. Breakfast (only available up to 9am) was a severe disappointment. Not much choice of cereal (no muesli?) and a shortage of other cold buffet items.

We were told that checkout was 10am, a time more in line with guest house rules rather than a hotel? All in all, very disappointing compared with what we experienced for a similar price in other hotels in the Highlands earlier in the week.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — breakfast
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lady_W_Dorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clackmannanshire. Scotland.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2008

When we arrived at the Lovat Arms Hotel we were told very abruptly by the receptionist that we were in the annexe at the back of the hotel. This turned out to be a house completely separate from the hotel building. It smelt badly of smoke. Our room and ensuite were very disappointing and dingy. Our view from the window was of the wheelie bins and the back door area of the hotel. In the morning we had to make our way out onto the street and walk round the hotel to the front door in order to get our breakfast. The breakfast was the poorest that we have ever had in any hotel that we have stayed in. Because of the warm weather the bedroom window was wide open, and when we returned to our room the cleaners were out in the hotel back yard emptying buckets etc., Their language was so bad that we decided that we were not staying any longer at this hotel. It was a bad experience from start to finish. We won't be back.

  • Liked — Nothing.
  • Disliked — Everything.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jimmar17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2008

We had a 5 night stay at the Lovat Arms Hotel, Beauly and overall we were disappointed. On the plus side we were given a large, comfortable and clean double room. We found service at mealtimes though to be haphazard, hampered by the fact that some staff spoke little English. The Strupag Brasserie is basically a lounge bar offering what we felt was pretty standard pub grub, with breakfast being served in the hotel’s large dining room (otherwise reserved for functions). On busier days staff sometimes struggled to cope with breakfast orders and one morning the guide for a large party complained very loudly and publicly about the long waiting time. On quieter days the breakfast buffet selection was limited - no cheese or eggs, though there was a type of cold luncheon meat. On the last three evenings of our stay we ate out. Once at the nearby tandoori restaurant which we thought was good and, on the last two evenings, at the dining room of the Priory Hotel across the square. Here we found excellent food and prompt and efficient service – everything in fact we had hoped we might find at the Lovat Arms.

  • Liked — comfortable and clean room
  • Disliked — haphazard service
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank CouplefromKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Lovat Arms Hotel

Property: Lovat Arms Hotel
Address: High Street | Inverness-shire, Beauly IV4 7BS, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Beauly
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Beauly
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Lovat Arms Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Lovat Arms Beauly
Lovat Arms Hotel Beauly, Scotland

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