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“Basil Fawlty service”
Review of Portsonachan Hotel

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Portsonachan Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portsonachan
GreenLeadersBronze level
Scotland
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Basil Fawlty service”
Reviewed 14 May 2014

An excellent location spoilt by the service from the front of house staff. We booked via the Ideal Home Show in April 2013, and it accepted pets we thought it ideal.

On the first evening the bar tender (using the word in the loosest possible way) when taking a booking for evening meal, could not comprehend a local common clan name, deciding it was a made up.

Evening meal service was acceptable, but not exceptional. Then we turn to breakfast. Everytime we were encourage to order quickly as the place was likely to get busy soon - on the three days this comment came at 07:30; 08:30 and 09:15. All it meant was that the order was taken for three of four tables and after a considerable wait tea/coffee and toast arrived, and then after another longish wait cooked breakfast arrived.

The Head Waiter - who we saw on two of the days had all the charm and customer care of Basil Fawlty. Ordering the staff around when they were already do a good job. I saw him taking a pot of tea to another table and carrying it at an angle poured it out on the floor as he walked. On the second day the tea arrived in a coffee pot, the coffee in a tea pot and when we asked for milk it arrived in a tea pot.

The good point was Sergio who gave us service with a smile and could not do enough to help us - when he was given a chance!

The accommodation in a Lochside apartment met our requirements, however the instructions for the TV just did not work. The Freesat was not correctly setup, meaning we could not get BBC2 and the only BBC1 service we could get was BBC1 Wales and BBC1 South East. We commented on this and the response was that was all that they could be done.

There were speakers mounted on the wall of the living area and the head of the bed, which were not connected. The TV in the bedroom was unusable as it was only connected to an aerial and obviously Freeview in not available at Portsonachan.

There were some positives. The location is a great base with Oban and Inveraray easy to get to and some great views across Loch Awe.

Would we go again - unlikely. Would we recommend to a friend, possibly but only with the caveats detailed above.

Room Tip: Get a Lochside apartment
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pencefn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

We booked our weekend away some months back at a travel show and this was without looking on trip advisor, which is something we would normally always do. On checking reviews when we got home we were slightly worried but we had booked and were looking forward to a weekend away.
We paid a bit extra to stay in a loch side apartment as we wanted to be sure we had a view, for the view alone this is definitely worth it.
On arriving I was slightly disappointed with my first impression of the apartment, although the hotel looked lovely and we were checked in quickly. The apartments are quite old fashioned and could do with a make over, we thought we had gone well equipped but there was no cleaning equipment so had to go out and buy extra as we didn't want to eat out every night. The kitchen and bathroom could have been cleaner, but as mentioned earlier, if they were updated it would help. Some of the pots and pans were very old and wonky!
We had always known we would eat out on the Saturday night and had decided before our visit that it wouldn't be in the hotel, purely because of the reviews but after a long day out driving we couldn't face another drive to Dalmally so decided to give the restaurant at the hotel a go (note: you need to reserve your table on a piece of paper at the bar). We were really pleasantly surprised with our meal, both starters and mains and really glad we decided to give it a go, we eat out and travel a lot and it was lovely! Staff were also very pleasant and polite and couldn't do enough for you. As for one of the previous reviews saying the bar was dark and there was no lounge to have a drink (as well as the terrible food and staff), I'm not sure where they were staying but it doesn't sound like the same place! There is a small intimate bar and a larger lounge with real fire right next door (you can't miss it). The fire wasn't lit so one if the waiters brought wood and coal round and let my partner light it whilst we enjoyed a glass of wine.
I'm not in the habit of writing long reviews but I wanted to get my point across that hotel really is worth a visit - spectacular views, good food and great staff.
It would have had 5 stars throughout if the apartments and had been more modern and better equipped.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tracy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, North Yorkshire
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I booked this hotel at The Cruise Show in Glasgow last year and we went May bank holiday weekend. We were in the Coach House but the apartment they gave us was upstairs and not pushchair-friendly so they let us have the disabled access apartment - no bother at all. The apartment was quite nice but the hotel itself was lovely. A gorgeous conservatory restaurant overlooking the loch with an equally nice patio area outside. A lovely bar and a residents lounge with big leather sofas and armchairs - a great place to relax on an evening. The staff were all lovely and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The breakfasts could not be faulted and included local undyed smoked haddock and poached eggs and whole local kippers. There was also a great selection of cereals, a high quality muesli, fruit, yoghurt and toast. I know a lot of people complain about this hotel but funny that they keep going back there! Some people just like to moan I think.

Room Tip: You can choose from the main hotel, a loch-side cabin, a log cabin or the Coach House self catering...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JackieJefferson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
glasgow
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Went here with fear and trembling as we had read the reviews But -- although we knew not to have dinner in the Hotel -the breakfast was excellent
We were in a lovely lodge so had superb lunches in the Oyster Bar at Loch Fyne
Liz was especially helpful and if the chef did fantastic Bar Meals in the evening i am sure that the reviews would tell a different story ! It is too far to eat out at night so a late lunch is ideal --and don't even think about the pub just down the road !!!
Yes the landscaping around the lodges needs attention and some gardening to make it more attractive but the view is spectacular and so peaceful -- we are going back

Room Tip: A room with a view
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 134wilma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gravesend, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

We have also just come back from our second stay at Portsonachan, we even took friends this time, who like ourselves and beta 125 look further than the end of our noses ! and look forward to returning, rooms are spotless, food is excellent staff try so hard and are all friendly, dont knock it until you have tried it !

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Theclubbhouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scunthorpe uk
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2014

2nd time I have stayed here,you get what you pay for. we paid £132 for 4 nights b&b .
we found the food to be good beer pricey staff friendly Sergio and Maryanne were very helpful.
the place is a little dated but the setting makes up for all the negatives I stopped in the main hotel room was a good size fresh towels daily plenty of hot water and clean.
as I said you get what you pay for if your expecting 5 star luxury for £33 a night I suggest you look elsewhere my 2nd time here and yes I would go back give it a try do not read too much into the negative comments from the people who want everything for nowt.

Room Tip: try to get a loch view
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank beta125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Really don't get all the negative reviews. We stayed here in April 2014 in a log cabin, first part of a honeymoon round Scotland and it was great! Just exactly what we needed, a space that was all our own, bedroom, sitting room, kitchen, dishwasher, comfy couches, flat screen TV, sauna, hot tub, view - the lot! Basically a home away from home. Fair enough its not exactly ultra modern, and the hot tub was a portable type (brand new), but its in a nice location and it was comfy and clean and quiet. This place is just fine and I'd do back. My only real complaint is it was quite expensive. Also we didn't go into the actual hotel at all but it looked nice enough and the reception people were friendly. Its miles away from anything but that is what we wanted so suited us, no popping out the the shops so make sure you get all your supplies before you go (there's local shops, but they're pretty basic and far away).

Room Tip: we stayed in log cabin "carrick"
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bru_22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Portsonachan Hotel

Property: Portsonachan Hotel
Address: | South Loch Awe Side, Portsonachan PA33 1BJ, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Portsonachan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Portsonachan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Portsonachan Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel, with restaurant and bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portsonachan Hotel And Lodges On Loch Awe
Portsonachan Hotel Dalmally
Portsonachan Resort Dalmally

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