We booked here because the other places we tried were full. The reviews on Trip Advisor were mixed, so we arrived uncertain of what we would find.
Our first experience of the place typified everything about it. We drove up to find plentiful parking with marked bays, each the width of our car, which was fine so long as you had no intention of opening the doors.
The hotel is like that throughout. It offers good basic service but messes up the little details. Everything comes out feeling a little bit mean, which can make you miss the fact that it's actually a good basic hotel in a spectacular location.
Reception is hidden round the corner from the door but, once we'd steered away from the bar that dominates the reception area, we were given a friendly welcome. Our room was large, clean and airy but somewhat under-decorated, giving it a Spartan feel. The duvets on the twin beds were measured to the millimetre. An extra couple of inches of material would not have cost much and would have made them a lot more comfortable.
When we arrived, on a chilly evening, there was no heat on at all. Again, this was just careless. A radiator and an electric heater soon had us cosy, but most hotels heat rooms ahead of the guests arriving.
The bathroom was, again, fit for purpose but, again, why the petty meanness of providing only one small bar of soap for two people? I have never come across any other hotel that does this. There was only one tooth mug, too. The holder for a second had snapped off and never been replaced. The bath enamel was chipped, giving the whole place a rather run-down air, accentuated by the absence of a bulb in the room lobby light. But, the next day, when we returned from a day walking in the cold and damp, we discovered that the important things were fine: the bath filled quickly with wonderfully hot water.
Food in the splendid dining room was served reasonably quickly by very pleasant staff. We were seated by the window with a view that pretty well justified the price of the meal by itself. The set menus were good, without being great. We were surprised that there was no a la carte menu.
The £7 minimum charge for wi-fi is beyond a joke, but £5.50 for a packed lunch seemed reasonable and the cooked breakfast was a bargain.
The hotel is run by a management company on behalf of owners who seem to take little interest in it, which is a shame. This could be an exceptional place and the staff do their best. But the penny pinching (music in the dining room from a ghetto blaster presumably because the speakers mounted on the ceiling don't work, decor that was cutting edge in the sixties but now just looks uncomfortable) means that it seems to survive on coach parties of elderly visitors.
We'd visit again for the location and the lovely staff. But we can only give it three stars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Magnificently situated at the very foot of the ‘Arrochar Alps’ on the shores of Loch Long, the Arrochar Hotel is only two miles from Loch Lomond and is ideal for a relaxing break or great to discover some of Europe’s finest scenery. A warm welcome awaits guests. Step into the former coaching inn and soak up the peace and tranquillity for which the Scottish Highlands are famous. Guests can relax with a fine malt whisky in the lounge bar, before dining in the restaurant with magnificent Loch Views The nearby harbour at Balmaha is ideal for sailing and water sports and there is a championship golf course at Loch Lomond. Walking and hiking are also popular activities in the area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Arrochar Hotel Scotland