Joan, John (and Shamus!) have created a uniquely wonderful experience for visitors to The Grange. As others have described, you realize that you're in for a treat as you pull into the drive. The building itself is architecturally impressive and sits atop a beautiful garden overlooking Loch Linnhe. As you enter through the portico you're presented with the first hint of the impeccable and stylish interior that awaits in the rooms. It's really an interesting blend of historical Victorian details thoughtfully blended with modern design - the kind of design that could easily go awry and become disjointed is less capable hands, but my wife and I both marveled at the results of Joan's efforts. Everything comes together to create a fascinating design and cozy, welcoming feel.
We stayed in the Turret Room - muted tones, luxurious bedding, incredible en suite, and an all-around comfortable place to call home for a couple of days. There are two closets if you choose to unpack, but plenty of room for luggage in the turret if you choose not to. There's a beautiful, functional sitting area at the foot of the bed, replete with complimentary sherry and fashionable cocktail glasses. Again, there are a hundred ways to provide these little touches, but Joan elevates everything a notch higher by ensuring that every element in the room contributes its own character to the overall presentation. And while fashionable cocktail glasses aren't particularly critical to a great B&B experience, those touches reflect that fact that no detail in your stay will be overlooked, and nothing will be ordinary.
Breakfast contributes to the experience in an equally compelling manner. The breakfast room is more traditional than the rooms, but the Victorian feel is thoroughly "non-fussy". No dangling fringe from the lamps; no doilies. With apologies to the myriad B&Bs whose design sensibilities have them over-indulging in lace and fringe, there's a way to celebrate Victorian details without making one feel like Grandma decorated the place (sorry Grandma!). The feel is a bit more formal, but very harmonious with the rest of The Grange, and fitting for a place where guests gather for breakfast. The temps were cool during our visit, and a fire was burning each morning while we ate. The fruit compote was amazing (thanks for the recipe, Joan!), and the Scottish pancakes and bacon were robust and delicious - perfect preparation for a day of hiking and exploring. The tables are nicely appointed with fresh flowers, the coffee pot a substantial pewter, the plates and flatware of high quality. Once again, these details don't make or break a visit, and it's arguably trite to even mention them, but it's one more example of how no detail - no matter how seemingly trivial - goes without thoughtful attention. There's simply no opportunity for a guest to say "hmmm... that didn't live up to the rest of the experience".
Joan is a gracious and fun host. We tend to rise early, and enjoyed chatting alone with her at breakfast. The other two rooms were occupied by two couples traveling together, one of which makes frequent visits to the Grange. They, along with Joan, helped us replan our day's activities when weather necessitated it. Our B&B experiences are, by design, largely solitary, but in this case we really enjoyed talking with Joan and her friends, and regret we couldn't join the whole gang for dinner at The Smiddy later in the week.
Speaking of dining and The Smiddy (located in Spean Bridge), Joan was again very helpful in guiding our dining experiences. Robert at The Smiddy is friends with Joan, and clearly takes pride in making sure that guests of The Grange continue their high caliber experience when they arrive at the restaurant. We were very well cared for - even being seated at a table set aside for guests of The Grange, looking out to the garden - and dinner was excellent. Thank you, Robert!
Can't recommend The Grange enough. Simply a remarkable experience, and we will definitely return!
- Also Known As:
- The Grange Hotel Fort William
- The Grange Hotel
- The Grange Fort William, Scotland
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grange offers you exceptional luxury accommodation while you take time to experience and explore the Highlands of Scotland.Our B&B is graded at the highest standard by Visit Scotland and holds other awards for the quaility of the accommodation and the welcome and attention provided by your hosts.The Grange 5 star luxury bed and breakfast accommodation is at the west end of Fort William and is set in its own grounds overlooking Loch Linnhe offering exceptional B&B in a lovingly restored Victorian town house with a friendly atmosphere. All bedrooms are designed and dressed to a very high standard with private facilities and views over Loch Linnhe and you will find a thoughful selection of finishing touches to enhance your stay. ... more less