We travelled from Worcester up to Dunkeld, and then from Dunkeld to Ullapool to explore the highlands. We were extremely lucky with the weather, with temperatures of 26 degrees giving us the best welcome we could possibly have had. Coming into Ullapool, the scenery is spectacular. Although it's a functioning fishing port, and has a few hotels and B&Bs, you get the overall impression it's not touristy and is very genuine. The hotel is set back one road from the fishing boats, but is literally a minutes walk from the harbour front and the gorgeous views. It has a car park at the back of it, where we parked and were greeted by two collies with a ball who seemed very keen to play for a while. Very friendly! From the car park, there is a back door into the bar area and another door which goes through into the hotel reception. We had an exceptionally friendly greeting from the owner who was training a new member of staff, but was nevertheless efficient and happy to help in any way. Our room was on the top floor, overlooking the harbour with amazing views. To say the hotel is one road back from the harbour, you definitely don't suffer because of it. We must have spent hours just watching the fishing boats and what looked like an otter playing in the water. Truly memorable experience.
The room itself was good. The bed was comfortable and clean, as was the room all over. The bathroom was dated with wallpaper peeling off underneath the sink and in the corners. A little updating is needed, but other than that the room was lovely.
Downstairs in the evening, there was live acoustic music in the bar which was great. We ate in the restaurant and though it looks out onto the car park, which is scruffy, the food was amazing. My partner had cullen skink for starter and Salmon for main which he loved, and I ordered a rib eye steak which was probably the best I've ever had. The meal was GINORMOUS .........we had anticipated having pudding but that simply wasn't an option. I was so fat I could hardly move from the chair ;-)
Staff are friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The place might be a little tired in places, but it's got oodles of atmosphere and has got to be my favourite of all of the hotels we've stayed in so far in Scotland.
We opted for breakfast in the restaurant, and that was brilliant! Fruit juices and coffees and teas were waiting for us when we got downstairs. As was cereals and yoghurts. We were then given a choice of different breads for toast, and some freshly baked pastries were offered to us while we waited for our cooked breakfast! These were as good as any I've had in France! Breakfast can be any number of many things, from your choice of cooked breakfast (minus or plus any bits you fancy) through to kippers, or breakfast rolls with your choice of contents. All were well cooked and presented by a very friendly gentleman who checked everything in detail, down to whether you wanted butter on your roll with your breakfast or not! I simply can't fault it.
The owner came through a few times to say good morning to people and ask how they were and offer advice on their travels for the day. She also advised us to use their private door to get to the car park when we left because there was a large puddle outside of the bar door.
I just loved the atmosphere and friendly reception in this place - I could happily have stayed longer and I don't think I'd ever get bored of the view or the options of places to go around there. Everywhere seems to be beautiful - weather permitting. When the weather changes and the mist rolls in, it can get very rainy and dark very quickly........
Very much recommend this hotel. It's not luxury, and needs updating in places, but the pluses VERY MUCH outweigh that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Friendly independent hotel with impressive views over Loch Broom, lounge bar and quality restaurant, live music and entertainment, fresh locally sourced Scottish menu, seafood and steaks, range of vegetarian options, good beer, real ales, large free car park. 'Wester Ross Pub of the Year 2011' as voted by CAMRA. In Good Beer Guide 2011. Well behaved pets welcome. Free Wi-Fi. Husband and wife Nigel & Franner and the team look forward to welcoming you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Argyll Hotel Ullapool, Scotland