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“Good but not great”
Review of Loch Melfort Hotel

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Loch Melfort Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Arduaine B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 October 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights in early October.

Firstly, the location - absolutely stunning. We were blessed with the most beautiful weather and I would have been happy gazing out across the loch to the multiple islands for hours on end. Just beautiful.

We had a room in the main hotel which was nice - I would describe it as shabby chic. It had everything you would want in a room - wasn't the biggest but perfectly nice for a 3 night stay. Only comment is that the kettle lead is too short - you have to scramble about behind the chairs to plug it in, and leave it on the floor while it boils. There must be a H&S issue in there somewhere!

Now to the food... I was disappointed by this. The kitchen is aiming for fine dining, but they seems to have hit style over substance. The food is expensive - bordering on London prices and several of the things I had were pretty average or disappointing. Crab tortellini was undercooked and tough, monkfish tasted like it had been in the freezer for a month, was dry, weird texture and pretty tasteless. I think they would do better to reign back on the fine dining, and concentrate on making the very most of the fabulous ingredients they have on their doorstep. In contrast to the fancy dishes, their steak and chips were great. And the puddings were divine - hats off to the pastry chef.

Service was good, although I the sitting room should be manned all evening. we had to go searching for staff to get a after dinner drink.

Over all a lovely place. Improve the food and it could be great.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank PD1412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Many thanks for your review and your honest comments. We have taken them on board and hope to continually improve both our food and service.
Kind regards
Rachel and Calum

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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421 - 427 of 802 reviews

Reviewed 26 October 2013

Had a lovely weekend break here on a voucher deal, which included £20 to spend in the restaurant and 2 tickets for entry to the National Trust gardens. We stayed in the Cedar Wing and so enjoyed having our own balcony to enjoy the fabulous weather and awesome view. My partner had brought along his hunters scope and we were able to watch various forms of wildlife without disturbing them, although a few wee birds were happy to sit on the railing and accept some shortbread crumbs! We ate in the dining room on both evenings and thoroughly enjoyed everything placed before us. We even took home some of the gorgeous apple and ginger jam we had grown used to spreading on our toast at breakfast time. Have not been so relaxed and rejuvenated by a hotel break for a long time, and would love to return. Thank you Loch Melfort staff for creating a welcoming ambience for your guests!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 2011JR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Thank you so much for your lovely review and we are so glad you enjoyed your stay! Do come back and see us again soon.
Kind regards
Rachel and Calum

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2013

It pains me to write a slightly negative review as there is much that is good about this hotel in particular the glorious views, helpful staff (without exception) and cosy lounges for pre- and post-dinner drinks as well as the large selection of whiskies on offer.

But having visited before it is inevitable you compare, and the above are unchanged from our earlier visit so that is good.

However for £210 for DBB per night I think it only fair to point out my reservations. We were in a refurbished room upstairs and it was OK but the main problem was the shower. Whilst the water pressure in the bath was strong when you tried to have a shower it was like using a Fisher Price watering can! How anyone with long hair would be able to wash and rinse properly is beyond me. I'm sure if the owners had a shower in room 32 they would see this is fair comment. I was asked at check-out if there were any problems and mentioned that we ended up having baths all the time - not really what a green hotel wants to encourage I would have thought - but was met with a "sorry about that"...(the impression I got was they had heard it all before and nothing would be done about it). I also replied to an email survey from the hotel stating the same complaint with a view to being included in the website testimonials but can't see that mentioned anywhere!

Be aware that there is a possibility of dogs downstairs and we were awakened early by a dog owner clapping loudly to attract the attention of his dog which was toileting on the grass. I appreciate that this is not the hotel's fault but in my experience those who don't have a dog don't want to spend their holidays with one or in my case be wakened from a deep sleep by its owner!

Now to dinner: largely good if not stunning and I would echo what other reviewers have said about chef not tasting a dish often enough as the scallops were soggy in their cooking juice and not the stunning ones of the last time. Inexplicably 2 of the otherwise impressive desserts were dressed with shortbread of a very poor quality (not made with butter?) which was left uneaten by all who had desserts in our company.

Breakfast was fine if a little laboured. The smoked haddock I had on the second morning was much better than the frankly ordinary cooked breakfast the first morning. But I have had a lot worse. Just a little disappointed the cooked breakfast was not a showpiece as I hoped it would be.

We all had a great time but at that sort of cost I should not be wanting to get home for a good shower!

Room Tip: Main house if you can afford it to avoid the dogs and the precarious outdoor steps when wet or icy.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank skelghyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to write a review and I am sorry to hear that you did not find your stay as good as your last. Our water is from a private supply and there is not good water pressure. However, the showers are normally perfectly adequate and we only rarely get complaints from people who want nothing less than a power shower, which we will never be able to provide here unless Scottish Water contects us to the Mains one day! We have investigated the shower in Room 32 and found there to be some sediment in the pipes, which has now been flushed out.
We are a dog friendly hotel, popular with many guests and if you are not keen on dogs, then a stay in the Main House would be more suitable in future.
Kind regards
Rachel and Calum

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Reviewed 18 October 2013

Had a two night return visit on a bargain rate. First, the hotels' location and views are unbeatable in a bay with about ten islands visable. It is a twenty minute drive from Oban along the amazing coastal trail. The hotel is a little dated in appearance but the public rooms are of a good standard. The dining room has a beautiful sunset view. Mobile signal is poor so you tend to relax and kick back here, just read and take in the views. Dinner was a four course and we dressed up. We enjoyed cocktails beforehand in the very comfortable lounge. However if this is not for you they have the Chartroom bar. Our meal on the first evening did lack something but the following nights' was superb. The staff are fantastic, helpful and cheerful (well done the two James and McKenzie). We were surprised to find on check out they had adjusted the bill for the bland meal. All in all a very comfortable stay.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to write a review and we are so glad you enjoyed your stay. Whilst we always try to make sure everything is perfect, when we don't meet your expectations then we are always happy to be told so we can improve. We hope you will come back and visit again soon.
Kind regards
Rachel and Calum

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Reviewed 16 October 2013

Enjoyed first floor room in a Cedar Wing - roomy with great view. Slightly cold, especially bathroom - had to use separate heater. However mark down was dinner - hotel asked about food allergies at time of booking but still made no provision for a (quite common) shellfish allergy. Menu very restricted with no extra choice offered to cover the 3/4 items off. A chicken dish could have been expected, for example. Wife had to resort to a bland vegetarian dish. Would still return but might go for cheaper Bistro menu, which we only found out about afterwards.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Gdnross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Many thanks for writing a review and we are sorry our food did not meet your expectations. It sounds as though we did not explain our menu choices thoroughly enough to you and maybe if you want to book again, you can express your food intolerances more clearly so that we can make sure you are getting enough choice.
Kind regards
Rachel and Calum

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Reviewed 13 October 2013

The public areas of this hotel have the most fantastic views. Make sure you eat before sunset if possible. The bedroom (in the main building rather than the annex -whch we did not stay in) was very good with all the wee facilities one expects (coffee, hot chocolate, shampoos and shower gel etc) and the decor was modern and stylish. My only reservation was that the food, which was very good, was a bit sparse; some carbohydates such as more bread or potatoes would have filled me up. The cheese platter could have had more than 4 little biscuits. Highly recommend but perhaps have a banana in reserve.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a house room and avoid your neighbour's noise.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank david m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Many thanks for writing a review and we are so glad you enjoyed your stay. Please do feel free to ask for more biscuits with your cheese next time! Chef does try and make sure his portions are appropriate to maximise satisfaction and minimise food waste, but it is appreciated that some people have larger than average appetites. We do hope you can come and visit us again soon.
Kind regards
Rachel and Calum

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Reviewed 11 October 2013

Before I start this review, let me say that overall we enjoyed our stay and would gladly return. We do, however, feel that some of the reviewers have failed to point out some of the more negative points.

Firstly, when arriving, you are confronted by the original house and to the left the “Cedar Wing”, painted in an unappealing dark brown colour. Think 60’s American Motel and the vision is about right. The hotel literature does admit it was originally built as a “Motor Inn”. While it may look dated, the view from the rooms out to the isles is still as good as ever. During our stay there were also highland cattle grazing in the field between the hotel and the foreshore. (Rock and pebble beach accessed by overgrown muddy path)

We stayed in the Cedar Wing, where the room had a dated appearance. It was however, well decorated and clean. The bathroom had been modernised in the recent past, so no complaints there. What was unforgiveable at the price charged, was the mattresses on the beds. They may not date back quite as far as when the Cedar Wing was built, but they were worn out, hollow in the middle and you could feel the springs. All in all very uncomfortable and not what you expect from a hotel of this standard.

We did have a few housekeeping issues, but these were quickly sorted out. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, although there was some forgetfulness at breakfast. “ May we have the tea we ordered 10 minutes ago......please” A special mention has to go to, I think it’s Angela, who was normally on reception. She was always very helpful with any requests you may have.

There have been mixed reports about the food, although most have loved it. Our rate included Dinner, so we had the Table d’hote menu. Most of the dishes had clearly been pre-prepared, which is not surprising given the number of guests eating in the restaurant. As “Harry” from Falkirk said in an earlier review, you had the impression the chef had not tasted some of the dishes, because they were clearly lacking in flavour and balance. The desserts, which were chosen from standard menu were generally very good. I can particularly recommend the soufflé. It has to be remembered that two AA Rosettes is not gourmet dining and overall we found the food quite acceptable.

As others have mentioned, when booking we were not warned about reserving a table for dinner and there was no note about this in the confirmation e-mail.

Hoteliers will often say “Why did you not raise these points during your stay”. The simple answer is that you do not want to spoil an otherwise enjoyable stay, by risking an aggressive response.

If you are paying full price, you may consider Loch Melfort Hotel over-priced. I see a double room is currently discounted on Laterooms for £78. That’s a bargain, but ask about the mattresses!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank UkAlwaystravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GlasgowHugh, Owner at Loch Melfort Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 4 November 2013

Many thanks for taking the time to write a review on our hotel. All our matresses have been replaced over the last 3 years, but of, course sometimes they do get damaged and you would be surprised at how many guests do not complain! We have now checked all our matresses and replaced any that were showing signs of wear and tear.
Please do feel that you can talk to either Calum or myself during your stay, you would certainly not get an aggressive response! We always appreciate feedback and can't improve if nobody tells us when something is wrong.
We do hope you come back and stay again sometime soon

Kind regards

Rachel and Calum

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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 Loch Melfort Hotel

Address: Arduaine PA34 4XG, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Arduaine
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Arduaine
Price Range: £69 - £170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Loch Melfort Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The finest location on the West coast of Scotland awaits visitors to experience this hotel and it's award-winning restaurant, the perfect place for a relaxing holiday or short break at any time of the year... as long as you can put up with the amazing views, the fantastic food, the log fire in the lounge and the selection of malt whiskys! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Loch Melfort
Loch Melfort Hotel Arduaine, Scotland - Argyll And Bute

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