I booked beds in the bunkhouse for myself, sister in law and close friend for one night before going up Ben Lomond . It was a last min decision and only found it as a result of a google search of hostels and spotted it several pages in.
Amazingly, it was empty even though it was Good Friday , so Frazer the ranger got our booking put through and we rolled up early afternoon. Plenty of parking at the lodge, away from the car park and off the main west highland way.
It is a property owned by the National Trust for Scotland and we were greeted by a ranger called Alasdair, top bloke. Showed us around the lodge, which was surprisingly spacious. Downstairs off the entrance hall is a commercial sized, well equipped kitchen with several appliances and all the pots, pans and devices any budding chef would need. Also a good sized dining area with a table to seat at least 10.
Across the hall is the lounge, wow. Huge space with one wall all windows . Lots of sofas, recliner, tables ect and lots of books, boardgames and TV. In the corner is an amazing wood burning stove and a good supply of kindling and wood. Very easy instructions to use and we lit it at night with no bother at all.
Upstairs there are two main bedrooms. We had a 4 bed room, 2 sets of bunkbeds and plenty of room. Surprised how large the room was. Each bed had mattress comforters, a duvet and pillow. There is a linen cupboard in hall and you make your own bed, 100% cotton too I have to add! A towel would rush you a meagre £1.00 to cover costs of laundry and again, good quality thick cotton. There is another very large 6 bed room ( we had a nosy!) and it is massive! They could easily fit more beds in both rooms, but I love that they haven't . There is also a large showeroom/ toilet and a huge bathroom/showeroom/toilet. Also a single toilet downstairs .
Everything was immaculate, superclean.
After unpacking we met Frazer, the other ranger, and his super cute and friendly dog Pepe. These guys are so welcoming and gave us lots of tips and brochures on a hidden history trail, even showing us an arrowhead from the Bronze Age. Frazer stays on site in a room and kitchen off the main hallway, so reassuring to know if help needed it was there. He had chat and sat with us when we cooked dinner, really nice guy.
We had the whole place to ourselves , and for £20 a bed I can't believe it's not booked out every night. All money generated goes to the upkeep of the mountain, so you feel you are actually doing good staying here, its non profit. They take solo, groups, family and you can even book out the whole lodge. There is a ' sit ooterie' with hammock, proper fire pit and seating too for BBQ if you fancy it. We loved it and can't recommend it enough. We plan to visit again soon with a larger group and I plan on taking my kids there in next month or so.
Brilliant place made all the better by Alasdair, Frazer and Pepe :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ben Lomond Bunkhouse, at Ardess Lodge, Rowardennan is ideal for groups of up to 10 looking for affordable & quiet accommodation. It sits at the base of Ben Lomond, only 50m from the West Highland Way, and 10 minutes walk north of the Rowardennan hotel and car park. There is a spacious lounge, large well equipped kitchen, drying facilities, & secure area for bag drop off. Good sized bunkrooms; one sleeping 6, the other 4. Two bathrooms, both with showers, & one with bath. Cost £20pp inc of bed linen and tea and coffee. Ben Lomond Bunkhouse may be guaranteed for private use for £200 pn.All income from the bunkhouse goes to support the conservation work at Ben Lomond managed by rangers and volunteers of the National Trust for Scotland. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ben Lomond Bunkhouse At Ardess Lodge Rowardennan, Scotland