We are genuinely sorry that we have to rate this cottage with only a two (poor). Please see our reasons below.
Amenities, location and setting were perfect for our family vacation with grandparents, grandchildren and those of us in between. Similarly, the facilities in the house were what we needed for an adequate stay, like washing machine, dryer, et cetera. The setting was fine for us in regards to access to amenities, Stirling some 20 minutes ago, Edinburgh and Glasgow was an hour or over an hour. The latter may not be ideal for those enthusiastic on the daily urbanite experience. But for those like us keen on enjoying the country sites, small and big cities alike, while at the same time having some time to enjoy the together time at the cottage, it was an ideal setting.
The reason for us to so significantly downgrade our rating was the status of cleanliness in the house – it was not acceptable to the extent that we feel compelled to share our experience. Effectively, and literally, we spend the first 7 hours of our stay cleaning the cottage.
As we arrived my husband and my son immediately developed some signs off allergic reaction, this and a smell in a couple of the rooms were the first indicators prompting our more careful perusal right away. The sofa covers had odour and were noticeably dusty as were the curtains. A couple of the rugs we vacuumed to no avail, desisted on the rest, transferring them to a room out of the way. The carpets we thoroughly vacuumed and wiped with a wet cloth. Surfaces, like many tables, desks, television, lamps, shelving units et cetera, had deposits that ranged from dark dust to grime. There were “dust bunnies” behind paintings, on the top of wardrobes, behind bedside tables and other minor furniture against walls (possibly also big furniture, but we could not check it all), inside some cabinets, the fire place, and some other locations. The books were not only equally dusty, but they had the penetrating stale smell of old book stores that did not disappear, with vacuuming wiping of the covers, or leaving the window open every night over night. The fridge we had to disconnect, wait until it reached room temperature and then clean the inside thoroughly to remove the seriously unappealing smell of plastic and retained food smells that put us off from putting food inside. When we thought we brought the place to standards we considered sufficient in the context of the circumstances, we reached for some plates to learn that one of them had been stored away with still food residues attached to it.
Again, we would like to reiterate that this an unfortunate yet non-acceptable situation, particularly because it is not our intention to detract from tremendous appeal and convenience of the setting and other great assets of the place. So our comments are objective, descriptive and well-intended, and hopefully the owner will find some benefit on the feedback and act accordingly.
Cottage is set on a farm in amongst the hills just outside Stirling with stunning views all around. The owners have a tennis court just a wee bit up the road from the cottage that we made loads of use of on our week there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There are also some lovely walks around the farm and up into the hills above. Loads of things to do in the area, Stirling itself has lots of things to do - historic sites, shopping centre and the Blairdrummond safari park etc. Heading west you will find Loch Lomond and even more stunning scenery to take in. Really enjoyed our week and would highly recommend Garrique Cottage to anyone.
Upon arrival you feel immediately at home. The space, the large windows, the secluded garden and deck at the back and the view out of the large front window is unforgettable.You could look the whole day to the landscape, the mountains at the background and to the continuing changing clouds, especially at sunset, if there wasn't so much to admire in the vicinity. The quiet access road is good to do in a few minutes. We have chosen Garrique cottage after having red the extended description with the photo's and the reviews, and it is exactly what we had expected.
Stayed at Garrique Cottage just shy of a week. Excellent cottage, which we would highly recommend.
Perfect location to get away from all the 'hustle and bustle'. That said, it is not a particularly far drive from various places to visit (Stirling, Loch Lomond, Loch Venachar, Glasgow, Kippen, Blair Drummond Safari Park etc).
The cottage itself was cosy, clean, comfortable and had all the amenities one could ask for (excellent wifi, if needed!). Having a large dining area inside, a great dining area outside and a separate sitting room provided plenty of space during our stay. In addition, the surrounding area of the cottage was stunning with plenty of wildlife on your doorstep and plenty of countryside to explore.
This was our first visit. Unlikely to be our last. As mentioned, we would highly recommend staying at Garrique Cottage.
We have been coming here for a number of years and it is always a pleasure to return. The cottage is warm and well equipped and the owners friendly and helpful. The whole family just love this location and have welcomed guests for the day who have also been very impressed with the views, the property and the walks nearby.
The variety of wildlife which can be spotted from the walks or even from the comfort of the cottage helps make even dull weather days entertaining. This year we were fortunate to be able to try archery with our own equipment in a field nearby and that only added to the joy of the great outdoors.
This is an experience not to be missed. There are very few places in the world that we would return to as regularly and be assured, we will be back again.