Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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A recent poll has voted the A827 from Kenmore in Perthshire round Loch Tay then up the B846 through Glen Lyon as the best route in Scotland on which to drive an open-top car. Other contenders include:

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The Scotsman newspaper has launched a campaign to have the ailing Forth Road Bridge replaced before the structure may have to be closed to heavy goods vehicle traffic between 2013 and 2018 and for other traffic between 2019 and 2024. The serious corrosion of the main cables has focused attention on the 42 year old structure’s life expectancy. Similar problems have been encountered with the Forth’s sister bridge, the Severn Bridge in England.

Failure to act in time, whether by way of a new bridge or tunnel, could cost the Scottish economy hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

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Star Rating

This hotel currently has no current star rating but will apply for same (probably early 2007) post the refurbishment which is currently in process. In the writer’s estimate rating should be strong “3” if not a “4”. Absence of 24 hour reception may militate against the latter.

Rooms

Five Superiors (doubles/twins) each of which has a lake view. These are currently priced at GBP70 per person for bed and breakfast.

Five/six intermediate rooms which are priced at GBP55.00 per person for bed and breakfast. One bedroom with four poster bed and lake view.

Four standard rooms priced at GBP45 per person for bed and breakfast.

Location

A former manse which is set just a few metres/yards form the edge of Scotland’s only lake-Lake Menteith. The bar and dining room benefit from superb lakeside views of this famous lake in which is located Inchmaholme Priory with its Mary Queen of Scots connection. The pontoon from which the small boast which transports visitors to the island on which sits the Priory is conveniently situated just a few hundred metres form the hotel.

Close to the hotel is a large local church. Behind are the beautiful hills of the Trossachs. Aberfoyle is about 5 miles distant whilst Stirling is 14 miles away. Glasgow and Edinburgh are each about one hours drive.

Food

Nick Nairn’s Cook School is about 5 minutes away from the hotel. Nick Nairn appears to have a small equity interest in the hotel.

With Nick Nairn’s School close by and the two rosette Glasgow Buttery under same ownership/management as the hotel, there is, naturally, a strong emphasis on quality food and fresh, local produce.

Staff

Staff (about 8) are mainly British with a small contingent (2) from Eastern Europe. The writer was very well received by the staff during his visit and gained a favourable impression of service quality.

Public Rooms

A stylish, New England type interior with a fresh/clean impression notwithstanding which an upgrade/refurbishment is planned.There is a bar dedicated to malt whisky tasting.

Market Niche

The hotel appears geared towards the private visitor as opposed to budget coach tours. Location relative to Edinburgh and Glasgow means the hotel is convenient for corporate offsite activities such as “brainstormings” and conferences. The hotel management have targeted this market and provide a well equipped conference room and a connected “break-out” room. There is limited internet “wi-fi”connectivity.

Publicity

A new brochure is planned for 2007.

Summary

This hotel far exceeded the writer’s initial impression gained from the website. The latter does not do the hotel justice.

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