Imagine having to crouch over a 17 ins tv screen all weekend trying to watch the finals of the FIFA World Cup. This was the problem we faced staying at the Ben Wyvis Hotel where our superior, top floor room of 35 to 40 square yards could have comfortably accommodated a 37 or 40 ins flat screen tv set.
Strahpeffer is about 20 miles north of Inverness and is a once popular Victoria Spa Town of the 1860's and is still full of traditional hotels.
It now exists of coach tours from overseas and we had German, Italian and Spanish tours staying over the weekend. The Spanish and Italians were only interested in the food and the German in beating Argentina in the final of the world cup!
The Ben Wyvis is a traditional 'grand' hotel of yesteryear and is kept sparking clean with modern decor of dark red, browns and black colours. The 3-course dinner menu has a good choice and the breakfast is help yourself buffet!
Our bedroom was comfortable, but the bathroom toiletries consisted of one square of soap for two people for the weekend. There was no shampoo or body lotions and a total lack of paper tissues. This is a 3-star hotel catering for overnight coach tours so we must assume this is the reason there were no amenities at all available!
It all looks good on arrival, but once settled in, the lack of maintenance becomes noticeable. The double wardrobe in our top floor room leant forward by about 4 ins. It only needed a piece of wood cut and stained the same colour to go under the front to put it upright again.
The hot top for the bath and shower worked but the cold tap would not turn at all. Taking a shower was risking being scalded! The sash windows will not open as the pulley ropes are broken.
Crerar Hotels might like to consider employing a Clerk of Works to inspect their hotels on a regular basis. Also employimng their own teams of two "Jacks of all trades' to work on their hotels. They could be employed full-time on building, joinery, electrical, plumbing, plastering, painting and tiling work.
They could start by building a ramp to the front door for handicapped and wheelchairs. Also cleaning the brass work which is stained with age. The front hallway has a high antique table and half the surface is work away with use. All it needs to restore it is treatment with a bottle of stain of the right shade and polish. A few minutes work would return it to being a valuable piece of furniture!
The reception could be made 'user friendly' by taking away the high piece in the middle of the desk so that the reception staff could see the clients arriving!
If our room was a typical example, there is plenty of work for a 'hit squad' to carry out repairs!
The exterior of the hotel has metal hoops fitted to take hanging baskets, but none are in use. What a pity as it would make the hotel look as good as the surrounding gardens!
The hotel could easily be brought up to 4-star level by some simple improvements and some TLC. However, in its present state, it would fail the 3-star tests of Best Western in the USA.
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- Also Known As:
- Ben Wyvis Strathpeffer
- Hotel Ben Wyvis
- Ben Wyvis Hotel Strathpeffer, Scotland