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“Fabulous but eat in the pub or cook your own!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages

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The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Machrihanish
Certificate of Excellence
Montrose, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fabulous but eat in the pub or cook your own!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

This is the first review I have given on Trip Advisor as having working for years in the hospitality industry and travelled the world on business I expect high standards and find the idea of writing reviews a bit of a chore - just another half an hour in front of a computer. I believe that if you have paying guests they should be given the highest standards possible (sadly not always the case, but hey, life's not perfect) however, I have felt compelled to put pen to paper (so to speak) due to our recent experience at this hotel. It was a weekend of highs (mostly highs) and lows..... Where to start?........... Lets do the good bits first.

We drove a good distance to get here and just wanted a good meal and somewhere decent to stay. One out of two ain't bad I guess. We were in one of the cottages (four of us on a golf outing - boys for golf and girls for wine, spa and chilling - more of that later).

Location - it's a bit of a trek, but it is through some stunning scenery! We travelled from the east coast down through Angus, Perthshire, and the Highlands, via, Killin, Loch Lomond, Inverary and whilst it was a long drive it passed quick enough and served to remind me just what an amazing and stunningly beautiful country we are privileged to live in. I haven't had a road drip this length in many years and just keep wondering "why not?" The roads are not fantastic (i.e. not mindless motorway) but who cares, go slower and enjoy Scotland!!

Accommodation - we were in cottage #1 - only one word - Wow! just Wow!!! Look at the pics on the hotel website and this is exactly what you get. Lounge/kitchen area is very spacious and beautiful, both rooms en-suite (one with Jack & Jill door to main bathroom). Top of the range everything and a very well catered kitchen with granite work-tops. Everything is just so comfortable and the artisan deer's antler light fitting above the beautiful glass topped dining table is just stunning. Beds are huge and very, very comfortable. Bedrooms are well equipped with lots of space, drawers, wardrobe etc. Each room also has a safe in the spacious wardrobe. Everything you could want is here - loads of towels, fluffy white robes - there is even a dark face-cloth for removing make up!! They have thought of everything, except a clothes brush, so take your own. The bathrooms are fantastic and you could hold a barn dance in the showers!! It really is top notch stuff and I can't make enough good noises about it, especially when we woke up to the sound of the sea on the beach on a lovely sunny morning. This is an amazing place to stay.

Staff - (now bear in mind that having been in this industry and know exactly how tough it can be and my husband is an ex-chef) we can be hyper-critical with the knowledge of personal experience. The staff were all JUST FANTASTIC!!! I don't really have a bad word to say about them, friendly, happy, unobtrusive, efficient (even the ones who were obviously training and still a bit nervous - i.e. shaking pouring the champers). A big shout out to Daniel, Mary-Ann and "Miss Hungary" (couldn't catch her name!) they made our stay very enjoyable, and the others were all great too.

Now that's the up side.............so to the downs. To be honest and totally clear, with a little adjustment and forewarning (hence this lengthy review) there is no real downside.

BUT....... the food was a total disappointment in the rather pricey Kintyre Club Dining Room. Firstly, we were with a veggie who had very little choice on the menu, however, after some suggestions for the chef she ended up with exactly what she asked for made to order in a busy restaurant. Like I said, they can't do enough for you. Top marks here. Secondly, we had a table in the bar - not what we were expecting in a fine dining restaurant, although to be fair they were very busy with golf parties, so on a quieter night it may have been different. Two of the three starters ordered were sub standard and eaten only because we were starving! Two of the main courses were sent back (not something we do lightly) and the other two were pretty bland and disappointing. Deserts were OK (Semifreddo means part frozen, not rock solid frozen block of ice!) and the cheese was nice but too cold to have any real flavour. They did take the two mains off the bill after I queried it, but on a bill of nearly £230 for 4 people not all of whom ate three courses it was definitely over priced for the quality. To be honest I will happily pay good money for quality, but this just didn't hit the mark. The table next to us (5 or 6 ladies) were arguing about their bill as the food was not good enough and in the morning, when checking out, another party was arguing the toss about the food charges because of the quality, but they should have complained at the time, next morning is too late, in my opinion. I suspect it was "sour grapes" as they had had the £300 penalty charge added to their bill for smoking cigars in their room - serves them right! We both smoke - we go outside - that's life, get over it!!! To top it all, the breakfast was mediocre in the extreme and when your sausage matches the colour of the black pudding, you know you have a problem. Poor, poor, poor, poor poor!!!!!

What else? Oh, if you fancy the GYM whilst the men play golf, forget it - the "gym" is a carpeted room with a few pieces of equipment - not good at all. AND, so much for our relaxing day in the spa, advertised as "open daily 10am - 6pm" - it isn't open on Sundays!! What is that all about????? We also had the impression there was a pool, sauna etc. there isn't. I don't know why we thought that, but we did. Maybe it is just what you expect when a "spa" is mentioned, but that was a big disappointment as we ended up walking round the golf course with the boys, just for something to do.

Back to the good bits............The PUB - great little pub - friendly, good staff and nice atmosphere. Really wish we had eaten here as the food looked fantastic and lots of it. "Miss Hungary" was great company behind the bar and the locals were happy to chat and have a laugh with you. Really enjoyed being in here and it was only a 30 yard "stagger" to the cottage.

So.......... overall a great weekend in a truly beautiful place in amazing accommodation, with a great team looking after us and a jolly decent little pub to chill out in. You can't really get much better than that and the only reason it's not been given full marks is the Kintyre Club food. If they ever get a decent chef and lay on a little something for the ladies whilst the guys play golf they have got a real winner, which I would happily drive another six hours to go back to. In fact, we probably will go back again and hopefully soon, but our plans will be adjusted to include the wherewith all to cook our own breakfast in the cottage and we will eat at night in the pub rather than the hotel.

Oh a word about the golf at the Dunes Course - wow! Now that's a golf course and a half!!! It's a definite "experience" for any golfer and will challenge the best. It's a helluva round of golf - take your crampons for climbing the hills!!! I've been dragged (kicking and screaming) round many courses as a caddy for my husband (excellent golfer btw) and this is just amazing, I've never seen another course like it. It is such a challenge that it might be worth paying for a guide as it is without doubt the "quirkiest" course I've ever experienced and someone who can guide you round would be well worth the extra expense.

Room Tip: Spa closed Sundays, No Pool.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ronioma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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267 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    210
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    10
    3
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See reviews for
37
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4
14
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014

Stayed on the weekend 19th april was fabulous. excellent refurbishment of hotel beautiful spacious rooms professional staff lovely location nice food. golfers paradise also surfers too, surprisingly but adds to the laid back lifestyle of area. also played golf at the dunes got lifted and laid treated professionally but with warmth. if you get the chance to go then you won't regret it drive on way round is a joy although slightly long.

Room Tip: cottages for group excellent accommodation and fallout distance from pub.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alex H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
603 reviews
189 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 333 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014

With all superior rooms enjoying a view of the sea and the famous Machrahanish golf Club this is a very special place.

We enjoyed three wonderful nights at the hotel aided no doubt by the fact that the sun shone for the duration of our stay. Our room (Room 2) was splendind, large, comfy bed and nice large bathroom with bath and shower.

It takes a while to get here but its worth it. The food is ok (if a bit over priced), personally I think the Machrahanish Golf club is the best place within walking distance.

Note the hotel golf course (Mach Dunes) is not the same as the one over the road from the Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Baxie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014

We spent three nights at the Ugadale and didn't want to leave! From the minute we arrived until the minute we left there was nothing we found fault with. The staff are so friendly and helpful - nothing is too much trouble; the decor is calm and understated while our rooms (12 & 15 ) were delightful - the beds are sooooo comfortable! The breakfast was delicious - set both the golfers and the beachcombers/ shoppers up for the day ahead. Meals in the Old Clubhouse were also delicious and served by attentive staff in a relaxed atmosphere. We'd go back tomorrow if we could! The hotel is worth every one of its stars .....and more!

Room Tip: Our rooms were to the front - the views are spectacular !
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Alison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
milton keynes
Level Contributor
72 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 April 2014

Being on the 'ancestor trail', we arrived without a booking, looking for a hotel for one night and although the hotel had two big golf dinners that night we were offered a suite (2105) which was lovely. A large bedroom running into a well furnished, modern sitting room with a large and modern bathroom attached.
Everything was extremely clean and comfortable! Two large TVs, tea and coffee facilities, loads of cuboards, bottled water in rooms - in fact everything you need.
We couldn't be accommodated in the dining room, because of the golf dinner (which we were informed of before booking in to our room) but were directed to the on-site pub for dinner. The food was was very nice and the pub was friendly with a good open fire burning!
This is a really good top class hotel, surrounded by beautiful scenery, located opposite a rock pool beach.

Room Tip: Suite 2105 is big, comfortable and has a view of the shoreline.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sellsMiltonKeynes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falkirk, Scotland, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

Having had two fantastic visits to the Ugadale cottages myself, I organised a two night birthday treat for my parents in the Ugadale Hotel. I had already described the fantastic setting and great treatment they would receive there and it would seem it lived up to all their expectations. They found their room very comfortable and enjoyed fabulous views over the water. They even manged to see seals at close quarters on the beach, a bit hit with my mum! They could not praise the staff enough for their attention and enjoyed the food in the Clubhouse, even though portions were a little on the large side! They both thoroughly enjoyed their stay and will be recommending it to others. I dare say they will be back themselves at some point. Many thanks!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tracey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

Just back from an Amazing Easter break with the kids. We could not fault anything. The most comfortable bed i have ever slept in. Staff are so friendly, kids are made welcome and the food is beautiful. Best Scottish break ever for us. Loved every second and made some great family memories :)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Debbie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages

Property: The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages
Address: Machrihanish Farm Dunes, Machrihanish PA28 6PT, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Kintyre Peninsula > Machrihanish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Machrihanish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, consisting of Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages and The Old Clubhouse Pub, coupled with The Royal Hotel in nearby Campbeltown, offers you a golf destination rivaling the finest in the world. ... more   less 
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