I had an overnight stopover here in October 2013, and I am legitimately in two minds about what direction to take with this review. Do I let my big 'no no' experience outweigh the goods of this hotel? Or am I able to forgive it this once and rate the hotel on its overall merits..
On the one hand, the positive side of things, the hotel is unique. Decorated nearly completely in tartan, I was surprised to find that just about the only things not tartan covered were the bedspreads and shower curtain. It's cheesy, but it's fun. I enjoyed the theme throughout the hotel. The bar and lounge area were fantastic, warm and inviting with ample seating for our group on very very very comfortable chairs and couches. I had a solid night of sleep, no disturbances from adjacent rooms or outside influences. Free wifi, always a plus.
The locks to the hotel room doors were a joke. Fair enough this is a building trying to keep its heritage but to have to carry around a cumbersome key that still takes a solid minute or two of jiggling to open the room, not good. Totally unnecessary really. At least I knew nothing was going to be stolen easily. The dinner/breakfast, not terrible, but far from great. The hotels own brand of beers in the bar were dreadful.
And the showers. My biggest gripe. I tried to shower before retiring to bed for the evening, and the water was either as cold as the Loch Ness or with the tiniest variation in the taps position was as scolding as pouring a freshly brewed jug of coffee over myself. I gave up on it and decided I'd try to shower in the morning. The water choices the following morning had been halved; only Loch Ness coldness was on offer. The hotel had run out of hot water. When inquired about at the front desk after learning many of my fellow travel buddies had the same dilemma, the lady on reception just shrugged it off and said something along the lines of "that's just how things are in an old building". Not good enough whatsoever. She made it sound that our lack of hot water wasn't an isolated issue and something that is a common occurrence. If your hotel isn't equipped to provide enough hot water to every room for a morning shower whether it's at capacity or not (and we weren't staying when the hotel was at capacity I'd like to point out), it has issues. I have never ever come across a hotel running out of hot water, not even in developing third world countries where water is scarce.
And ultimately, unfortunately this massive and completely unforgivable negative is enough to outweigh the few positives this hotel provides. The Loch Ness Lodge has a unique Scottish charm, it's cozy and the couches are comfy. But it also doesn't have much in the way of hot water. And when you're waking up and about to head out for a full day in a cold Scottish autumn, this simply isn't good enough, not in this day and age. It is due to this that the Loch Ness Lodge has the dishonour of receiving my first ever one star review on TripAdvisor. If it wasn't for the shower issue, this hotel would have likely received a 3 star rating from me. Other minor grievances as mentioned are that the food is mediocre and the 'home brand' of beer only serves to get you drunk rather than be enjoyed.
It is absolutely like no other hotel I've ever stayed at, in both a good and bad perspective, mostly bad.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our 50 bedroom hotel caters for all clientele, families, couples, singles, friends and groups. We have a restaurant that serves a table d' hote menu three course meal. Our Pibroch Whisky Bar has an extensive choice of whiskys. The Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre is on hotel grounds and Nessie Hunter Cruises, hourly cruises on Loch Ness depart from hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Loch Ness Hotel Drumnadrochit
- Loch Ness Drumnadrochit
- Loch Ness Lodge Hotel Drumnadrochit