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Historical Traveler Reviews Ballachulish Hotel
Ballachulish shamefully lacking.
Having arrived with expectations of indulging in the luxuries afforded by an established and well reviewed Highland retreat, Ballachulish hotel fell far short of expectations. Self-styled, along with its sister hotels, as the 'freedom of the glen', I wondered whether this was not simply another ploy with which to get visitors to part with their money (living in Edinburgh I am well used to the tactics deployed by tourist merchants).
On the ground floor, just to the left of the reception, is a promising lounge area replete with log fire and full Higland regalia (well, numerous prints and a plethora of prints). Check-in is prompt and friendly, coupled with a short guided tour of the hotel. Our bedroom was well appointed, though sadly lacking any sort of view. Yet the smell of the bathroom was truly offensive - a damp, mouldy aroma redolent of towels left lying on the floor for a couple of days. All good so far.
We booked a table in the hotel's Bulas restaurant for eight o' clock. Arriving promptly at the lounge bar we subsequently waited for twenty minutes and repeatedly approached the bar staff in order to enquire about our table. Had we been able to order a drink whilst waiting it would have been some compensation but this too seemed to be beyond the capabilities of the poorly organised staff.
That said, upon arriving at our table my partner and I truly enjoyed our meal: fresh Scottish salmon for me on a bed of mashed potato and fresh vegetables topped with a creamy white wine sauce, and for my partner the restaurant's eponymous dish, complemented with a crisp French chablis.
Nonetheless, I believe this hotel, and in particular the food and beverage side, had much to learn about hospitality and customer service. After extensive travelling around the Highlands and Islands it seems that many still trade on the beauty of their surroundings with little thought given to the patrons and bill payers from which their living is derived.
The Ballachulish hotel? Give it a miss.
We stayed in the Ballachulish Hotel during our tour through Scotland in June of 2005 and really liked it. The view that we had from the window of our room over the loch toward the mountains was just breathtaking. You could also sit in the restaurant, the bar, or at tables outside, have a meal or a drink, and take in the view. There is a small golf course next door that has great loch views and the Glencoe area is just beautiful. The rooms are not posh, but they are adequate, and the restaurant serves excellent food. It is definitely a nice place to stay if you are touring through the highlands.
Certainly not 4 Star!
This hotel seemed to have some 'start of season' teething problems, mainly effecting staff attitude and level of service.
The room itself was acceptable but the personal touch was certainly missing, such as not making the bed or replacing used toileteries! We also had cobwebs on the ceiling and had difficulty sleeping due to noise from the kitchen area.
Although over-priced the food was very nice and the location of this hotel was beautiful, with stunning views over the nearby loch. It was also very refreshing to see a hotel with such a positive attitude towards recycling and the environment!
Romantic and old world
This setting is picture perfect. The room we had was in the main building, very clean and comfortable, the furnishings appeared new. The shower was fantastic! Food was fresh and delicious, staff was very friendly, the bartender was a little gruff. The entertainment was absolutely charming in the library/sitting room, a combination of bagpipes and storytelling. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there and would highly recommend it.
I stayed ay the Ballachulish this June and it was a highlight of our trip to Scotland. The staff is very friendly and helpful. I was coming down with strep throat when I arrived and they directed me right to a local Doctor. The food was wonderful and the view of the long summer sunset over Loch Linnhe from the dining room at dinner was too lovely to describe. The after-dinner entertainment was really fun. The location is great! The room was nice, the towel warmer didn't work and there was a problem with the water quality, so- a couple of gliches. Overall, I would recommend this hotel to anyone and look forward to staying there again as soon as I can get back to Scotland.
Lovely staff hotel needs improving a bit
We booked rooms last minute for 2 nights. The room included breakfast and dinner. While the rooms were fine the bedspreads coulduse a sprucing up. The bathrooms was lovely and new bit the water was spring water and came out a bit brownish. Did not bother me but I was surprised at first. he food was just ok. I had better meals outside the hotel and breakfast was pretty awful as a buffet. It was peaceful in thew surrounding area and the staff were lovely but many seemed in training for the summer as waitresses and waiters so dinner service was patchy. Get a view of the lake if you can for dinner but you must come early. Overall I would probably not go back as it was nice mbut not a memorable stay. It seemed a cheaper version of the Abbey Glen hotel in Clifton, Galway.
Friendly staff but awful rooms.
We stayed at the hotel in September 2004. The staff were friendly and helpful and the food was very good. Unfortunately, we had rooms in the hotel's extension (compact loch view). The two rooms we had booked were quite tired looking and needed refurbishing, they did have a loch view but only if you stood on your tiptoes, and the worst of all the room was very smelly (urine!). I would not stay there again.
An Amazing Birthday
My friends and I spent my 21sy Birthday here and it was fantastic, I especially reccomend the food, the dining experience was amazing looking over the loch the food was great.
If any one wants to celebrate in style i reccomend here!
Brilliantly romantic and seductive hotel
This was our second visit to the hotel. Once again, the staff were superb, very friendly and informal whilst being very attentive, but discrete. and informal. Nothing is too much trouble, and any problems are dealt with immediatly. We,(my husband and I) love the ambiance, relaxation and and informality of the hotel whilst it keeps its charm of being a high standard hotel. Lots of space for privacy in the public rooms, though beware if you are a smoker! Not many public areas avaliable to the smoker.
What more can I say apart from we have only stayed in the Superior rooms......excellent!!! So comfortable, relaxing, and romantic.
Return? Definetly! Guesse where we are going for Valentines?
A hotel I can thouroughly recommend for either a romantic break. or somewhere to kick your shoes off after a day on the hills.
Food 20 times excellent
TripAdvisor Reviews Ballachulish Hotel
Travel Blogs from Ballachulish
... giving us both a fright and we laughed till we cried.
We took a forest walk to a shelter looking out over the loch to where there are seals. That was cool even though they were a fair distance away. We didn't find the castle ruin we were looking for but it was a pleasant drive ending in Fort William for lunch. I drove us back.
Going a mile or so up the road for dinner tonight.
LATER....great meal at Laroch and a good walk afterwards.
The Peak Challengers were up and about at 0600 so I decided to have an early start too. I caught a bus at 0730 into Fort William but had missed the early ferry to Camusnagaul so I had to wait for the next at 1000.
This was to be another day on tarmac. I continued on the single track A861road along the south side of Loch Eil (a westward extension of Loch Linnhe). Weatherwise it was a day of sunshine and heavy showers so the ...
... ancestors would have endured. In this area of the peninsula we could see many piles of stone marking out the sites of former buildings and the deep furrows of the lazy bed farming method. Feeling satisfied that we had seen something of the McInnes and McAskill family crofting life we made a dash for our prebooked ferry crossing from Armadale to Mallaig.
More driving to our accommodation, but we were awestruck again by the beauty of the colours of the mountains, water and ...
... the ferry and carrying on to Fort William. However we also needed to get some more GF foods so it probably saved us stress later, as its a bit of a hike back. We found what we needed at the first supermarket we came to so we back on the road without too much delay. Back down the road and onto the Corran Ferry to cross Loch Linnhe. The road then became a single lane with passing places ...
... a non-stop hour's run to the ferry terminal at Armadale. We arrived a full hour before our sailing just as the previous ferry was leaving. The CalMac man-who-does-everything/harbourmaster smiled at us - he must have thought we'd missed that sailing - but he presumably ditched that idea when I went and collected my pre-booked tickets for the next ferry. With an hour to kill we sampled the delights of Armadale (which are small) and had an ice-cream. It wasn't long before the ...