In the hope that the forecasters were right and we were going to get two consecutive sunny days this June, we threw an overnight bag in the car and set of for Fife. Meandered up the coast and got sunburned eating lunch at Elie. Decided to try and find somewhere to stay over and were beginning to despair of finding a room, since we discovered our visit coincided with St Andrews University graduations, and those who couldn't afford the St Andrews prices were spread farther down the coast.
We eventually stopped in Crail and tried phoning the Marine. No answer, so walked down to see if the owner was maybe out in the garden on such a nice day. Met him emerging from the front door and asked if he had a room available. Were ushered through to the garden, via the lounge/dining room, which was a bit cluttered and old fashioned, but hey, it's an old house. Another couple had just arrived before us and he was about to show them up to a room, and it would depend on what they took, what he could offer us, but we were asked if we would mind waiting and since we were in no hurry, we were happy to enjoy the great views and the late afternoon sun. There was some evidence of staff (two Polish girls and one of their mothers) being sent hurriedly to service rooms before either we or the other couple saw them.
What we got was, he said, not at all his best room but was a large room on the second floor facing onto the street, with twin beds zipped together to make a king size, There was a set of bunks in the L shape created by the en suite bathroom, which rejoiced in an avocado green bathroom suite - a real blast from the past. The curtains, bedding and carpet were in no way co-ordinated, but the bed linen was clean and fresh, the bathroom likewise and there were even thoughtful little touches like cotton buds and cotton wool pads for face cleanser.
Morgan briefed us on the local eating places, but also cheerfully invited us to go and buy drinks or food at the shop and eat out in the garden if we fancied, so we did buy something to drink and enjoyed it out in the garden before eating at the recommended East Neuk on the main street (excellent food, but poor lass rushed off her feet). On our return from dinner we found him and his staff on the little front patio with a guitar and a bottle of vodka, and three fellow guests who had been shanghaied into joining them for a time. Blessedly the singing didn't go on too long and we slept well.
Breakfast was absolutely fine and there was a great selection on the buffet, as well as cooked breakfasts available. Ok, so the cat meandered in from time to time, and the place is in need of repair and a revamp, but at £55 for B & B for two of us, when I'd recently paid £17 for just a bunk in a cramped dorm in a youth hostel and had to share a shower with goodness knows how many other folk, it was extremely good value.
And, as a lot of other reviewers have said, Morgan is definitely not your average host, but with us he was welcoming, friendly and relaxed. I can see that his style might put some people off, and that he may have a rather off-beat attitude which could tip over at times, but despite the decor being tired and things a tad unusual, we really enjoyed our night at the Marine and would, without doubt go back. We've felt a lot less welcome and a lot less comfortable in far posher places than this. But if Morgan ever did call in Alex Polizzi and did a "Hotel Inspector" make-over, he could end up charging serious prices for the rooms in this extremely well located establishment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Please come and stay. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Marine Hotel Crail, Scotland