This was a hard one to rate as I have been to the Clachaig many many times over the last 20 years & in the main always rave about the place. What I rave about though is the atmosphere created by the other guests who visit. Most are outdoor enthusiasts who after a tough day outside are filled with positive endorphins & ready to socialise & share their experiences with other similar people. I now have several good friends that I met up at the Clachaig. I love the fact that they allow dogs into the bar; these doggies in the main have also had a tough day out on the hills & they love resting beside their owners at the fire. If it was based just on this I would without doubt give the Clachaig 5*
I've seen great improvements to the food menu over the years, I come in here to try & replenish the calories I've used on the mountains, I'm not in for a gastronomic experience! That said If you order the right dish it can be pretty tasty, I particularly liked the Octoberfest burger with chorizo one of the days I was in.
So why only a 3 in this review?
I've noticed a decline in standards over the last couple of years. Sure the place has been renovated & there is improved parking & a play area for kids.
Something seems to have happened with management though; service is slack, staff don't seem to care & generally seem pretty demotivated.
During the 12 days I was up visiting, Octoberfest was on I don't think there was any more than 3 ales on at any one time. Scotland has had an explosion of microbreweries open & I'm sure loads of them would love to showcase their beers at one of Scotlands most famous outdoor inns, so why the same old breweries & why no beer? I used to love going to the Clachaig to sample proper real ales as they were always such champions of the stuff. There were more real ales on tap in Fort Williams wetherspoons (for a lot less money) than there were during what was supposed to be an ale fest at the Clachaig.
What has prompted me to right this review though is the increase in number of thefts happening in the Clachaig. Several of my friends have had good quality jackets stolen, one has had 3 stolen!? Another friend had his £80 head-torch stolen right off the bar beside him. This last Friday 2 out of our group of 6 had a jacket stolen, they were all right in front of us on the tree rack. I know we are not alone in this either. In the past this would have been unheard of but somehow an unsavoury element now knows of this Inns existence & with certain expensive outdoor jackets being the Neds/Chavs jacket of choice I guess it was only a matter of time before somewhere like the Clachaig became a thieves shopping ground. If you do have a good quality jacket I personally would not take it into the bar now. Sadly to the owners of the Clachaig I would stop viewing your Inn as a safe country Inn & start treating it like it is in the centre of a big city with the security that comes with it. I know that you too suffered recently.
- Also Known As:
- Clachaig Hotel Clachaig
- Clachaig Hotel
- Clachaig Inn Ballachulish, Glencoe
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in the heart of Glencoe, Clachaig Inn is a popular hostelry with a rich mountaineering heritage. Accommodation is provided by 23 en suite bedrooms, most of which enjoy the spectacular mountain views. Clachaig has 3 lively bars award winning bars and specializes in cask conditioned ales and malt whiskey. Food is served throughout the day and the menus use a variety of locally sourced ingredients. ... more less