I arrived in Inverness at 5:20pm yesterday, and quickly made my way to Strathisla Guesthouse on Charles Street.
I'm a researcher for a university, and do a lot of travelling in Scotland, so I'm fairly used to Scottish B&B fare, all of which has been good in my experience - except for this awful joke of a place.
The owner opened the door to me and, noticing that I had smoked outside, informed me that if he had known about my habit (be it pursued outdoors or not), I would not have been offered a room.
Putting this needless lack of manners behind me, I was shown to my room (no. 2). The walls were ornamented with notices of petty rules, the most shocking of which was the demand that guests vacate the house between 10am and 4pm, 'our family time!'. This sort of stricture happens at Youth Hostels, but not in any guest house I've been to.
The disclosures mounted. At Strathisla, you cannot shower outside the hours of 7:30-9:30am or 7:30-10:30pm, and you are entitled to only one shower per day. What if you get drenched in an Invernesian downpour and need a wash?
The following morning, I breakfasted and then returned to my room. It was only 8:50, so I lay down for a while, to be soon disturbed by the aforementioned creep banging on my door, asking me to get up and out. He also shouted through the door that my light was on.
I showered quickly, ignoring the stupid rule, packed my bags and made for the hall, but not before I surreptitiously phoned other guest houses.
Informing the owner that I wanted to check out, he replied 'Yes, I knew it wouldn't work out', and went on to accuse me of having spent the previous night getting drunk in the town and coming home late. (I had actually dined out the previous evening and enjoyed a good walk around the town, returning to Strathisla at 10:35.)
Having been quoted a tariff of £25 over the phone, I was now asked to stump up £30. I did this with good grace and happily got to my alternative accommodation.
It seems that the man I dealt with has a knack for making guests feel uncomfortable, so it's heartening to see the other reviews here - they aren't wrong!
In short: if you want to stay in Inverness, definitely look elsewhere. Strathisla is an embarrassment to Scottish hospitality. And that's what I'm going to tell the officials in the tourist office.
- Also Known As:
- Strathisla B&B Inverness, Scotland