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“Wow, that was lovely...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pool House

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Pool House
5.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Highland, Poolewe IV22 2LD, Scotland   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Poolewe B&B and Inns
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Wow, that was lovely...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

We spent Easter weekend at The Pool House in the Whimbrel room or Boat house as it is sometimes known. This was a bit of a treat for us and we wouldn't normally spend quite as much on a weekend away. However, The Pool House really did feel like it was worth every penny!

The hotel is perfectly placed next to Loch Ewe and I can honestly say I have never experienced such beauty in a location. It was simply perfect with the loch still and peaceful with lots of bird life on and around the water. It felt like we were given exclusive rights to one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland.

The accommodation itself was very well appointed, the bed wonderfully grand and comfortable and the bathroom quite stunning with a deep, luxurious under lit bath. We specifically chose the Whimbrel room for the secluded hot tub from which there are amazing views out over the water. What better way to relax aching limbs after a day walking round Loch Kernsary with a glass of wine in a hot tub?!
Speaking of which, the walk round Loch Kernsary is well worth doing. It's a circular route, suitable for novice walkers and at about 7 miles can be done in around 3 hours - or 4 hours with a couple of picnic stops! Again, the Loch and mountain views really are spectacular and there are are also some very friendly horses about half way round.
Breakfast was of the quality you would expect from this standard of hotel. We can vouch for the full Scottish (exceptional locally produced black pudding and haggis!) and smoked haddock with poached egg and a herb and lemon butter which were mouthwateringly good!
Peter, the host was chatty and knowledgeable but not intrusive and it's worth mentioning the whole family were extremely welcoming during our stay. They even gave us an Easter egg!

We would definitely both give the Pool House a big thumbs up and hope to visit again some day.

Room Tip: The Whimbrel room has a hot tub and is the most secluded of the rooms as it is at the far end of the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Inverness, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Stayed here for the weekend recently. The hotel itself is like a tardis from the outside it looks quite small but when your inside it has been brilliantly decorated with lovely big rooms. We stayed in the Diadem Suite and absolutely loved the views from the big bay window in the living room and the lovely coal fire was just the thing after a walk in the cold March wind.
There are several coal fires also located in the public rooms. The bar stocks a vast range and also has a snooker table. The whole place is just great to go an relax and have a quiet time. Your made to feel very welcome and very well looked after by the family.
We ate both nights in the hotel and enjoyed an amazing 6 course meal at a very reasonable price.
Would highly recommend if you are looking to just get away from it all, enjoy some great food, nice wines, amazing scenery and lovely long walks.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Right, well where do we begin...
We decided to really spoil ourselves by booking a hotel that promised luxurious rooms and service, what we actually got was one of...no, THE worst experience we've ever had. We arrived 45minutes early for check in, the lady at reception, who I believe is the owners daughter was clearly irritated by this and we were asked to come back in 45minutes. Now, I realise we were early but, a luxury hotel (NOT A HOTEL!!) would offer a drink at the bar while we waited, seems we were paying £275 a night ( was supposed to be £295 but they made an error over the email reservation). Why would I expect this? Because my wife and I have hospitality experience for nearly 35 years combined, and that is the norm. Not asking for a free drink but the option of buying a drink and waiting should be offered.
When we were shown around the hotel (NOT A HOTEL!!) it was awkward, creepy and frankly shocking customer service, no rapport with us was attempted and we felt hugely uncomfortable.
It felt like we were staying with the family from the movie The Burbs!!
Now to the room...we have no complaints about it apart from the fact that it is worth around about a third of the price. This was the moment when my wife and I double taked each other...the lady described the bed as, and I quote, "a little vulgar and garish". A fine performance from the person who is supposed to beam with joy and show the place off.
Like I said, the room was fine apart from the price. If you are paying this sort of money you do not expect plastic milk portions for tea and coffee. I know this seems pernickity but think about it. £275 a night with £20 knocked off the price.
The hot tub was immense! Apart from the fact that it's described as private but local fisherman can fish literally 10 metres away with full view of you. Before the manager replies to say they can't stop them, that is completely fine, just don't describe it as private!
SO, we went for dinner, decent grub but considering we ate at the Three Chimneys the night before and had 3 courses for £60, the £50 a head was a joke. I've worked at a top restaurant as a chef for some time, have I cooked a better meal for a 6th of the price? Yes, yes I have.
The owner, Peter I believe is charming and really was a great host, it's just his staff who are severely lacking in personality and charm. The Pool House boasts a whiskey room, and as a lover of whiskey, it is spectacular. A splendid range of wonderful whiskeys. All that was needed was a barman with a hint of charm and we would have bought a nip of the lot! Unfortunately, he was shy and lacked knowledge, not blaming him, blaming his training. He couldn't even tell me how many whiskeys there were, a lot according to him. I don't want to criticise him because it's not his fault.
We must seem like we're going on but I'm not exaggerating at all, I promise. The fact that they cleaned our room when we had dinner sounds nice but I can assure it was creepy and unsettling.
I would really not recommend this place at all, unless you have more money than sense. Ruined our honeymoon and it still angers me nearly 5 months on. I can’t stress how overpriced this place is.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
houseonarock, Manager at Pool House, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Well, this is certainly a detailed piece of prose and we can fully understand why it has taken you nearly 5 months of planning before posting your composition. Under the circumstances, you will forgive us for responding at length also.

It would seem we will have to disagree regarding just how early you arrived but it was not at a time that we would usually offer alcoholic beverages. Nevertheless, had you requested a drink, one would have been provided. You were also entirely welcome to sit in the drawing room for tea or coffee whilst the housekeeping staff finished servicing your room as do the majority of our early arrival guests.

Your description of Pool House is rather subjective. As a 300 year old building you may have found it “awkward and creepy”, but most find it quaint and characterful. The member of staff who guided you around the public rooms and took you to your room made every effort to engage you in conversation and to be pleasant. Your comments can at best be described as unkind and a matter for your own conscience.

It was explained to you that the bed is an “exact replica of Napoleon and Josephine’s bed (the original is in Paris). It took a great number of woodcarvers and gilders to reproduce our copy and we are justifiably proud of their accomplishment. Milk portions are indeed in all the rooms for those guests who might like a very early or late beverage. Throughout the day, however, we are delighted to serve tea, coffee, drinks and provide fresh milk to your room at any time. You only had to lift the telephone in your room to make your request as explained during the room tour.

The hot tub is described as private because it is solely for the use of guests staying in that room and not for other residents. It does not indicate that we can preclude other people from enjoying the great outdoors. We were astonished that you would demand we move a solitary fisherman from the river bank outside the boundary of our property and we hope you understand why we were obliged to decline to do so. Indeed it is rather unusual for someone in the catering industry to behave in such an inhospitable manner. Incidentally, we are astonished to discover that a young, newly married couple has accrued 35 years combined experience in catering.

You paid £60 for a three course meal at a well-known restaurant but were clearly unhappy paying £49 for our five-course menu. You state you are a chef at a “top restaurant” offering a superior experience at 1/6 of the price. This amounts to £8 for dinner or £6.80 once the VAT is deducted. This is an unbelievable price for a gastronomic experience. No wonder you found us expensive. On the other hand, are you absolutely certain that you are “not exaggerating at all” as you “promise”?

It is fair to say we are relieved that you were at least impressed with our whisky collection. It is unfortunate that you chose to enquire about our selection from a young man employed just a few weeks beforehand to work in our dining room and we are sorry you were not directed to a member of the bar staff who would have delighted to assist you. In a rather belated response to your query, we have only a small selection of Irish and American “whiskeys”. We do, on the other hand, have nearly 300 bottles of “whisky” as naturally, we prefer to showcase Scottish distilleries.

Why is it “creepy and unsettling” to have your room serviced in the evening, but not a problem during the day? Turndown service is now a widespread practice throughout the industry and expected by the vast majority of guests.

It is always frustrating for any serviced accommodation provider to be on the receiving end of reports such as these, particularly when you take into account that all guests are asked at the time of checkout if everything had been satisfactory with their stay. If you are genuinely in the hospitality business, you above all others should understand the need to raise issues at this time, or preferably beforehand so that the provider can try to rectify the situation. Hiding behind the internet may be easier but it does demonstrate a disappointing lack of professionalism from an industry colleague.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

What a perfect place for a relaxing break. Our room had a fabulous view down Loch Ewe. There's even sherry in a carafe in the room. All areas were spotless. The bathroom was luxurious and huge, with beautiful and plentiful toiletries. Our bed was very comfortable and the sleep quality perfect. The decor has a nautical theme and there is a shed load of history attached to Pool House. Very interesting.
We really enjoyed the meals. Breakfast was sumptuous with a large choice of hot and cold. The Saturday dinner was fabulous, we loved every mouthful of every course. There is no choice, however you are asked prior to arrival for dislikes. On Sunday evening we enjoyed a very tasty BBQ in the bothy, then came indoors for dessert and cheeses. What a fun evening.
All the family and staff were very welcoming and happy to help with any requests. This is a family home, it really feels like you are part of the family. An amazing place and well worth a visit.
Close to Inverewe gardens and several walks from the village. Wildlife is right out side the window... Seals, divers(birds), otters( though we did not see any) and a very busy bird table.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Salisbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We stayed at Pool House for two nights in mid September, in Diadem. The hotel and the suite were simply stunning, really excellent in every respect. When we drove up we had some initial trepidation, as from the road side the hotel looks very unassuming. Once welcomed in and shown to our room we were both simply blown away by the luxury, comfort and attention to detail. Dinner was superb, too, as was breakfast the next morning.

All told we wished we'd booked a longer stay, as this really is a fantastic place to stay. Best of all, it's not that expensive for what you get - we've paid far more to stay in hotels that were significantly worse.

I have a feeling we may well be going back for a longer stay before too long!

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room facing the sea - the view across Loch Ewe is simply stunning.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights and loved it! The food was fantastic. The rooms were huge with beautiful views - we stayed in Diadem which was filled with memorabilia from the Titanic. If you stay here you'll never want to stay in a bland corporate hotel chain again.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

When our children were small we camped near this hotel and looked in at the windows with longing, we always promised ourselves that one day we'd go back and stay here. Many years later and we went for a two night break and what a treat it was, definitely worth the wait! Everything about it was delightful, beautiful suites that were all full of character, charm and attention to detail. Fantastic views, we sat in our room in the evening and watched otters swimming in the bay as the sun set. Dinner was excellent and the service was attentive and friendly. It is a small and family run hotel so if you want modern, bold and brassy then don't stay here, but if you want to enjoy the beauty of real hospitality and individuality then definitely worth the trip.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pool House

Address: Highland, Poolewe IV22 2LD, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Ross and Cromarty > Poolewe
Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Poolewe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Pool House 5*
Number of rooms: 7
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Also Known As:
Pool Hotel Poolewe
Pool House Poolewe, Scotland

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