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“Lovely Old Hotel”
Review of Bay Highland Hotel

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Bay Highland Hotel
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Strathpeffer
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Lovely Old Hotel”
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Spent a weekend recently at this Hotel and was very impressed with the accomodation and the meals. Our room was a good size, bathroom was clean with nice towels which were changed daily and plenty hanging space. Tea and coffee making facilities were filled up every day and our room kept very clean. The meals were of a high standard and the service was very good. All the staff were very friendly and efficient and nothing was any trouble to them.
It is an old Victorian Hotel but a beautiful building overlooking the lovely village of Strathpeffer. I would certainly recommend this Hotel to anyone wanting a break in the Scottish Highlands. It also is very good value for money.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jeniffer011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
Thank you for your lovely review.
I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed your stay and found the hotel to be great value for money.
Hope to see you again soon,
Kind Regards
Alastair.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (276)
Date | Rating
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English first
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Just got back from an 8 day Highland Tour with Shearings and stayed at this hotel. This is a nice Victorian building in a lovely quiet pretty villiage and we were welcomed by staff on arrival. When I booked this holiday I requested a room on a high floor but was allocated a room on the first floor so I do not know if my request was considered at all. I was aware that some of the rooms were a bit dated but I thought as long as it was clean and comfortable it would be adequate. However, on entering the room we first checked the bathroom as we like a decent shower. The bathroom was much more dated than I expected and the shower was just a hose attached to the taps which is really not acceptable for hotels these days and I would only give this room a 2 star rating. The bed was very soft and not comfortable either so we went back to reception and asked if there were any rooms available with a proper shower over the bath but the only room available was 312 on the 3rd floor which was an upgrade for an extra £10 per night. We checked the room out and could not believe the difference. This was a lovely room of good standard with a modern bathroom, lovely furniture, a comfortable bed and a beautiful view. Apart from the shower pressure being very low we could not fault this room at all and for an extra £50 it was well worth it.
The room was cleaned every day to a good standard and I left a note for the maid asking for extra pillows which were in the room when we returned.
This is a busy hotel and the staff are polite and work very hard especially in the restaurant and always seemed rushed of their feet.
The food is average some nights better than others and at times the vegetable were overcooked and the mashed potato was lumpy. The celery served with the cheese and biscuits was limp and not fresh at all
There is entertainment on most evenings and bingo which most guests seem to enjoy but if this is not your thing then Strathpeffer is a very pleasant village to take an evening stroll.
Overall we enjoyed our stay at this hotel as it is in a beautiful location, staff were polite and the room upgrade made all the difference. However, hotel Staff can only work with what they have and if Shearings want their customers to stay here again then they need to bring these old rooms up to modern day standards before allocating them to guests which can quite easily be done without destroying the character of the building.

Room Tip: Room 312 third floor overlooking the villiage square. Nice room wonderful view
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lovemygarden56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
Thank you for your review.
We are working towards to upgrading all our rooms. We are a very busy large hotel however we have managed to get several rooms upgraded over the last two seasons. I’m glad you enjoyed your stay in one of our recently upgraded rooms. Nice to hear that overall you enjoyed and found the staff polite.
Kind Regards
Alastair.
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Malvern, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in Strathpeffer, staying at The Bay Highland Hotel.
Due to an unforeseen incident en-route we arrived at the hotel later than expected and by the time we arrived the hotel restaurant should have closed for the evening. However, the chef and restaurant staff stayed late and ensured that the full restaurant menu was still available after our 500+ mile 14 hour coach journey. We really appreciated that and are very aware that many hotels would not have offered that service. After a very enjoyable 3 course we went up to our room and found our luggage had been carried to our room door.
We booked a standard twin room and have no complaint. Our room was lovely and quiet! The en-suite bathroom was light, roomy and warm with plenty of hot water for either a bath or shower and the towels were white, soft and fluffy. The bedroom was light (2 windows) and large with both a radiator and an additional electric heater. It had plenty of storage, TV, kettle with tea & coffee - even a radio alarm clock - and our beds were warm and comfy. Irita, our room attendant worked hard, so every evening we returned to a clean, tidy and welcoming room.
The breakfast and dinner menus could not be faulted. They offered a wide choice and the food was plentiful and well cooked. In the restaurant we were well looked after by Betty, who was also very knowledgeable about the dishes on offer. I have a very restricted diet but there was always something on the menu that I could eat. After our meal we retired to the comfortable hotel lounge for tea/coffee.
Our evening entertainment was of a Scottish theme and the hotel bar well stocked and competitively priced. No complaints about either.
The public areas of the hotel are beautiful and fully reflect the affluent era when the hotel was built.
Gary, our coach driver also stayed at the hotel. His local knowledge and driving skills were amazing and because of this, we saw the Highlands at their best.

Doreen & Dave - Malvern

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Doreen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
Dear Doreen and Dave,
It is lovely of you to take the time to leave us a five star review. It’s great to hear you had such a good time. I’ll pass on your lovely comments to all the staff you have mentioned.
Hope you’ll come and see us again soon.
Kind Regards
Alastair.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We arrived late afternoon on Sunday and given the key to our allocated room. What a brilliant surprise. We had a large room with a view over the village. Well kept, bright and airy. Dinner was served up to 19.45, which suited us well as we do not like to eat too early. There was always a choice of 3 starters, including a daily soup, 4 mains, including the chef’s daily special and 3 sweets, so plenty of choice. The entertainment was about what you would expect at a Shearings hotel, but we spent most of the evenings sat outside on the veranda watching the buzzards’ and red kites that were nesting in the area. We spent our free day walking around the village, visiting the old Victorian railway station and taking in the views. This was the first time we had booked this type of holiday and were impressed by the standard of service we received. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone. Well done Shearing’s, we will be booking again.

Room Tip: Book a view room if possible. There is a small charge, but well worth it.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kim0359
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
Thanks for your lovely review. Great to hear you had such a good time and will be booking again.
Looking forward to seeing you,
Kind Regards
Alastair.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014

We stayed here for a week as part of a Shearings holiday. After arriving early evening after a very long drive we were handed our keys quickly and efficiently. The first thing which is outdated is the tiny lift which only holds 4 people at a squeeze. There is no indicator inside the lift to tell you where you are and none of the 3 floors has a number to tell you that you've arrived! Surely a 1, 2 or 3 opposite the lift door is not too much to ask? As we were late arriving at the hotel, we were told to come down straight away for our evening meal before our cases arrived at the room. Our room on the 3rd floor number 304 couldn't have been any smaller! I am convinced it is meant to be a single room and they had put a double bed in it. There was only room to walk around the bed, and when the cases arrived it was full. There was a tiny window which overlooked a tree! The bathroom was an absolute disgrace. Yellow toilet with black seat and lid, mushroom coloured sink and mushroom bath with a white hardboard side and the green lino showed them off beautifully! I suppose we should be grateful that we didn't have the rubber hose for a shower which previous reviewers seem to have been given!! I know the Manager's response will be that they are refurbishing the rooms and have done so many since 2010, but the point is that we shouldn't have been put in this awful room in the first place. We booked our holiday in January, so surely people staying 7 nights at the hotel should have preference over 1 or 2 night stays. When everyone is paying the same price for a holiday surely everyone should expect the same standard of room. Once again the Manager will say we should have asked for a different room at reception. This is just an excuse - we shouldn't have been put in there in the first place. Is it Shearings policy to get as many people as possible to upgrade? We're not interested in flat screen t.v.'s and four poster beds, we just wanted a standard room with a little comfort. When I go on holiday I expect more on holiday, not less! The bed was full of springs poking through the mattress and creaked badly. We reported this to Reception, and good enough we were sorted out the same day. But once again, Shearings shouldn't be expecting their guests to sleep on these disgusting mattresses. Do they expect you to upgrade to get a decent night's sleep? The meals leave a lot to be desired! The breakfast is so small it could fit on a tea plate. Nothing is cooked properly. The sausage cooked on 1 side only, the bacon cooked on 1 side only. Even the wafer thin toast is only cooked on 1 side. However, it is usually reasonably hot if you eat it quickly - not the toast though, it is always stone cold. The evening meals would be o.k. if the veg were cooked properly and were hot. We had some of the strangest potatoes we have ever had and the worst mashed potato I have ever had in my life - massive hard lumps. The other veg were overcooked and very strange combinations which didn't go with both meat and fish. The puddings were pretty dull and often with custard. The cheese and biscuits option consisted of 2 normal sized crackers and 1 tiny. Two fingers of cheddar and a couple of soft cheeses. It seems Shearings have now omitted the grapes they used to give with this and you just get a small piece of celery.
I think the best description of the meals would be they are like hospital food - might have been good if they had been served when first cooked and not boiled to within an inch of their life. The waiting staff work very hard and rush around bringing the food so quickly you don't have time to digest one course before the next arrives. An hour and a quarter is not very long, it means that everyone has to arrive at the same time in order to finish in time.
When you first walk into the dining room after the doors open promptly at 6.30 you can't help but notice the nasty stale greasy smell which greets you! They don't serve the tea and coffee at the table after the meal - no you have to serve yourself outside in the lounge where the stewed tea and coffee is waiting in large flasks! I don't think they should be expecting the older guests who aren't steady on their feet to carry a hot drink across the lounge. The lounge is a nice room, different tables would be nice - the small round ones they provide aren't big enough for the number of seats in there. Every time the outside door was opened, a blast of cold air sent shivers through the people sitting near it. The entertainment is typical Shearings with bingo etc.
Strathpeffer is a lovely Victorian village. The Pavillion, pump house and old railway station are well worth a visit. The only trouble is that everything closes at 5pm and there is no escape from Shearings entertainment and drinks prices. On the plus side, our excursions with Gary the driver were without fault - we drove for miles each day while Gary filled us in with his local knowledge and funny stories. Apart from the room and the food we had a very enjoyable holiday with a great bunch of people. As to the Manager's previous comments on other reviews I know a lot of people say the food is good, but the British don't complain do they? The older generation especially eat what they're given and are too polite to say anything.

Room Tip: Don't get a room on the 3rd Floor!!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lyndaella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 2 July 2014
Thank you for your in depth review.
I must admit most of your comments are not consistent with other reviews left on this site. I believe it may be the case the product we offer was not for you. I am aware of other Hotels that offer higher standards of rooms and superior food at higher prices. We aim to offer comfortable accommodation at a great price. Considering we generally cater for over two hundred guests each week and we have a four star rating on Tripadvisor I believe we are achieving our goals.

Regards
Alastair.
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hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

This is a typical Scottish Victorian hotel that fits in with the surroundings and it's history .now do you really want to change the character of this charming hotel that would make it totally irrelevant .it would be just another travelodge,this hotel is special and is to be appreciated for what is was.i could not fault anything from checking in to checking out ten out of ten! Shearings customer mr d thompson

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HampshireTommy333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 25 June 2014
Dear Mr Thompson,

Thanks for your lovely review,

I may be slightly bias but I’m in agreement with you. The ‘Highland’ is full of character and Victorian charm. It’s great to hear you enjoyed your stay here.

Hope to see you soon,

Kind Regards
Alastair.
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Conwy, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2014

We took this holiday from a Shearings Tour, we can't thank the staff at the Highlands Hotel , Strathpeffer enough. From the moment we arrived ( early evening after a long journey north) we were made so welcome. Our keys to our room were supplied quickly and we were settling in within 10 minutes. The room was of good size and well ventilated, well set out for a hotel of its age. The bathroom had been recently renovated with shower cubicle and power shower, very refreshing for those morning showers. The restaurant was well staffed by very polite waiters and waitresses, the meal choice was excellent as I have a dietary condition which means I can't eat anything containing Gluten, I had a separate menu but was still able to eat most of the foods from the main menu as most were Gluten Free. The staff could not have been any more helpful or polite, nothing was too much trouble for them. Stathpeffer is an excellent location for a break away from the hustle and bustle . A great vote of thanks goes to Manager and his team at the Highlands, we will certainly be returning to your hotel in the future.

Room Tip: The basic rooms are of a good standard but upgrades are available if you want added comfort. We had...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ian A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alastair-Grantham, General Manager at Bay Highland Hotel, responded to this review, 21 June 2014
Great to hear you had such a lovely stay and you will be returning in the future.

Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Kind Regards

Alastair.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bay Highland Hotel

Property: Bay Highland Hotel
Address: Strathpeffer IV14 9AN, Scotland
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Ross and Cromarty > Strathpeffer
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Strathpeffer
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Bay Highland Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Peacefully set in its own grounds with lovely views over the colourful village square, this chateau style hotel’s traditional features have been carefully retained to strike just the right Highland note. A warm welcoming feeling comes as much from the friendly staff as from the fine wood panelled public rooms which have been carefully preserved. Strathpeffer itself is just steps away from the hotel and is renowned as an attractive Highland spa resort with fabulous Victorian architecture. Be sure to enjoy the scenic views of the village below from the open veranda. The massive peak of Ben Wyvis is the backdrop to this charming village. It’s a perfect base from which to explore Scotland’s dramatic Northern Highlands – mountainous countryside, sparkling streams, waterfalls and golden shores. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Highland Hotel Strathpeffer
Bay Highland Hotel Strathpeffer, Scotland

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