We've just had a wonderful stay at the Cluny Bank. It was perfect for us but it would not have been perfect for everybody. But if your needs are like ours you would not be disappointed.
What it does it does very well. But this is not really a hotel, it is probably better described as a restaurant with rooms. Our room (the McGregor) was very comfortable, reasonably spacious, but had only a view of trees. If you like trees and nature (which I do) then it was wonderful: but if you want to see rolling vistas then you would be disappointed. We weren't!
As a "restaurant with rooms" it should not be expected to provide lounges, sun terraces, swimming pools, saunas or jacuzzis ............. and it doesn't. But what it does provide is peace and tranquilty; a welcome retreat at the end of a long day's touring (and some wonderful walks though woodland just a few yards from the front door).
Trip Advisor lists a number of critical reviews of the restaurant and food. Our experience was one of great satisfaction. Admittedly the menu was a little pricey, and the portions were not huge, but I never left the table hungry. What must be admired is the quality of the fare. The ingredients and the end product was far and above what I have been presented with in the virtually all the other hotels I have had the misfortune to stay in, both in the UK and overseas. Each year I spend over 100 nights in hotels and I would love to come across this quality of food in just a handful of them.
Cluny Bank is what it is because of its 2 owners, Lloyd and Julia. They own it and they run it. There are a few casual helpers (cleaners and waitresses) but apart from that it is a 2-man band. The chef comes out to see if the food is up to expectation (and will even tell you exactly how it has been prepared, cooked, and even where the ingredients came from): he will come and take your dessert orders and the rush back into the kitchen to produce them. Julia runs the front of house as receptionist, barmaid, waitress and manager. During the 4 days that we stayed there we never managed to sneak in without her catching us, asking how our day had been, and presenting us with fresh milk for our in-room tea-tray (despite there already being the obligatory plastic pots of UHT as found in every other room from Travelodge to Hilton). Such is their attention to detail and care.
Would I stay there again? The answer is most certainly YES. Would I recommend it? Again yes, but with reservation (because it would not be to everyone's taste).
I give it 9/10. It's not perfect, but at least they do try!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Small Hotel (Restaurant with Rooms, really) set in the best residential area of Forres, Moray. There are lots of activities within easy reach of the hotel such as golf, the world famous Malt Whisky Trail, castles, beaches and much more. Inverness is only 30 miles (airport 25 miles) away and there are many places of interest which can be reached. We have an extremely good reputation for food as you will see from the reviews. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cluny Bank Hotel
- The Cluny Bank Hotel Forres, Scotland