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“Really brilliant relaxed pub hotel!”

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The Galley of Lorne Inn
Ranked #1 of 2 Ardfern B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We stayed at the Galley of Lorne for 2 nights, and had a really great time. The place feels a lot more like a pub with rooms than a hotel, but to be honest -that really worked for us! The room itself was lovely (we stayed in the Skye suite, and it was worth the extra money for the big bath).

The previous review said there was little to do in Ardfern, which is true - but the scenery is stunning and there's a lot of good walks in the local area. We enjoyed the lack of things to do as Edinburgh city folk, it was a great place to get away to.

Probably the best bit of the hotel for us was the pub, really great to just relax with an ale (a choice of 3 ales all priced reasonably) by a roaring fire. It felt like a proper pub rather than just an overpriced hotel bar. We found the staff to be great - really friendly in a very genuine down to earth way, happy to chat away but without any of that kind of Americanized forced friendliness. We felt really at home at the Galley of Lorne which made for a fantastic relaxing break. The breakfast had lots of choices and was pretty tasty, and I also really enjoyed the one meal I had in the restaurant - I wasn't expecting Masterchef style presentation for £15!

If I'm honest, yes I have probably had a better breakfast elsewhere, and yes - if I was Michel Roux I could find fault with the food but as an overall experience it is one of the best hotels I have stayed in, in Scotland (and I am a bit of a groupon fiend). It was just a really great relaxed place, quality touches without pretension and friendly without being overbearing.

We would definitely come back!

Room Tip: Skye suite has a great view and a massive bath!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank April G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 - 363 of 730 reviews

Reviewed January 14, 2014

The setting is beautiful. There was no one at reception and we rang the bell, and as no one appeared after a few minutes rang again. We were then greeted with the comment, "you only need to ring it once, I am on alone and busy" Mmmmm? What about, sorry you had to ring twice, how can I help you. A simple intercom to allow the staff in the bar to let customers know they know you are there and will be with you in a minute would be helpful Customers just need to be kept informed and silence of any kind starts things of on the wrong foot.
My daughter had arranged a bottle of win to be in our room, and this didn't happen. "sorry, the boss has been too busy" Not quite the right response either.
The room was clean, but quite small, but you would be wasting time in there anyway with such beautiful surroundings around you. Everything clean and comfortable and tasteful.
A lot of attention to detail in the room and bathroom, so a shame the staff were not so careful and welcoming.
Breakfast was cold and other guests also complained about this. The egg was obviously the last thing to be added to a pre-arranged plate. The plate was cold, so it was not hot to start with and had not been sitting in a hot cupboard or under lights waiting for the egg. This is a simple thing to fix. The waitress was pleasant but not very warm or welcoming and was just doing the job. You need more than this in the hospitality industry, the clue is in the name
I get the sense that the owners are very much aware of how to provide a wonderful experience and perhaps they need to do a bit more to share their passion and motivation to the staff, especially when they are not there themselves. Overall, I would recommend a visit and would love to try it again, and hopefully I was just unlucky. We were there on a special off season deal, so felt we got our money's worth, but would have complained it we had paid full price. Maybe on season it is better? Should have standards all the time. Sound proofing between the rooms needs a bit of a re-think. There were loud skin squeaking on a bath sounds from next door and voices and could have heard what was said if had no TV!!! The good news in the beds back onto the bathrooms, so once in bed I think privacy is ok! Overall this little gem has so much potential and I think just needs a bit of sparkle from the staff and to understand when we are there it is our temporary home and should be made to feel "at home"

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chalkie42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

I'm sorry but I don't agree with the rest of the comments. We stayed here for one night and found it to be very cold. We had a voucher and arrived at 3.55pm to find there was no one at the reception desk. We rang the bell several times but no one came. I went into the bar and found a young lady who said that she had just started her shift and that we were not due to check in till 4pm! The dinner was nothing fantastic and I did not like the breakfast at all. I'm sorry but I think it is fair to give my comments even though they are not the same as everyone else. Ardfern is a little 'out of the way' and there is nothing to do. I must admit that I had read reviews before we went and I was disappointed although my husband seemed to like the place. Can't please everyone.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank lanzaholic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Galley_of_Lorne, Owner at The Galley of Lorne Inn, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2014

I’m very sorry too, that I have the need to write a response to your review. I’m sorry that you found our establishment disappointing, but mention that your husband’s opinion differs to that of yours. Perhaps you could ask him to put on a review to redress the balance?

You came here on a voucher at £35.00 per night (less than half price). After deducting 20% commission to the seller of the voucher and 20% of VAT, you can see that we make next to nothing from the room and is nothing short of an absolute bargain. Your confirmation email and additional information clearly stated that check-in is from 4:00pm and that we are closed weekdays during winter months. This is furthermore supported by our website. This is exactly why check-in is from 4:00pm Mon-Fri during the winter season, and hence why no one would be there at 3:55pm. You state that there was no one at the reception desk. You should have therefore noted that right next to the bell there is a sign stating that the reception desk is not permanently manned too. Furthermore there are extensive signs on the reception entrance to state that if you arrive before 4:00pm and the hotel is closed, how you can either contact the owners or find us. By 4:00pm you would have quite rightly found a member of staff, but of course she would not have heard the bell before 4:00pm because she had not started work at that time and therefore was not present in the building. It all rather makes sense doesn’t it?

You mention that you found it to be very cold, and yet fail to mention that as we do through the winter, every room in occupancy is pre heated with an electric heater, so that the room is cosy and warm on arrival. It is not economically viable to have LPG heating running throughout the hotel for the entire day when we are not open, as if we were to do this, we simply would not be in existence financially and thus people like yourselves would not be to take advantage of such magnificent deals. I believe running a real fire in the lounge bar during restaurant opening, in the public bar all night together with the hotel central heating system through the evening, coupled with pre heating the guest rooms before arrival to be about as much as we can do, let alone the fact that we provide spare blankets and that each bed has an electric blanket. I do not know what more we can do. Setting fire to the place for that all round warm glow is not an option I wish to explore.

As for location, the deal clearly is advertised as a retreat, a get away from it all deal, but how Ardfern can be classed as ‘out of the way’ is beyond me. Compared to many areas of Scotland we are positively cosmopolitan. We receive thousands of guests from the Central Belt of Scotland whose sole aim is to get away from City life. Having said that, we are just 1 mile from the main road north to Oban and are just over a 2 hour drive from Glasgow. Having holidayed on the Outer Hebrides, believe me when I say that Ardfern is not isolated. Had you taken a moment to research your stay on our website (probably one of the most comprehensive 'things to see and do' on any hotel website in the world) or in our guest folder, you would have found extensive lists of things to see and do. Our booklet runs to 36 pages! Alternatively, our staff always advise our guests on how to make the most of their stay. They only have to be asked. If you are looking for casinos, theatres, cinemas and fast food joints there are plenty to be found in the Central Belt. It’s not what the West Coast is about. However, if you wanted me to inform you of where to find some of the most beautiful views, walks, scenic villages and ancients artefacts, then I’m your man!

I am sorry you felt your meal was nothing fantastic. Perhaps if you had told us at the time we may have been able to do something about. I assume from your comments however that your husband enjoyed his meal. As you can see from a perpetual stream of reviews, ordinarily our food is excellently received. Furthermore it seems you didn’t like your breakfast (again not to have been mentioned to a member of staff at the time), and yet our highlander breakfast is not only regularly positively commented upon, but also in some cases is so well received our guests take photographs, one or two of which can be seen on Tripadvisor.

I’m glad that you acknowledge that your comments aren’t the same as everyone else’s. This is most certainly true. We have an overall excellent reputation and are one of the highest rated Inn’s in Argyll and have received Tripadvisor Excellence awards for the past 3 years. We strive continuously to improve and we are more than approachable. As such if you had highlighted some of your issues at the time of your stay, perhaps we could have addressed them at the time to your satisfaction.

It’s true, we can’t please everyone and I would only give myself a heart attack trying. I think as we have said on a couple of occasions before, perhaps it is more about the individual writing the review, their personal tastes etc. as opposed to any shortcomings of the establishment itself. At least that’s the view of vast majority of reviewers and seemingly your husband.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

I spend much of my life in fine and moderate hotels so am a little fussy. I found the owners of this quaint hotel, have achieved something quite unusual. It looks like a country inn with accommodation but it has all the special touches of a good quality and small hotel but with a nice country pub attached. It is usually hard to keep the two apart without some overspill from one to another, but this has been achieved quite nicely. The food is very good, breakfast is excellent. Rooms are clean, not that large but certainly adequate and most of all they are quiet. Some rooms have splendid views. I stayed for 3 days in the ARON room, this does have lovely views. I would certainly recommend this establishment for a relaxing break

Room Tip: The two end of corridor rooms have best views over the loch, all are quiet
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tckqe2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

Stayed here for 2 nights as part of a voucher deal.

Booking and interaction with owner Andrew was great beforehand and very friendly.

A lovely journey to Ardfern from whichever direction you arrive. A lovely, picturesque, scenic part of Scotland. Think relaxingly quiet rather than bustling. Ideal.

Staff are great. Smiling, chatty, helpful. A credit to the owners.

Food is superb. Not cheap but worth it. Seasonal menu has some nice variations. Breakfast very nice and cooked to order.

Bar and lounge are comfy and full of character. Could be a bit cold sometimes. Maybe keep both log fires on all day!

Rooms are fresh and homely. Size is fine for a couple of nights. Comfy bed. Quiet area and you'll only hear a particularly noisy guest if you are unlucky. Plenty of storage.

Hotel is a good wee base for the area, Craignish peninsula is stunning and lots of photo opportunities and dark skies. You will really need a car here although there is a bus to the town.

I'd like to try the hotel in summer. Sunsets here would be awesome.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank GBCScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

We went for a three night new year package with some friends and enjoyed our wee break.. The staff were very friendly and helpful, as were the locals who were there for the new year celebration. The rooms are not large but nonethless cosy and adequate for our needs with comfy beds! We were particularly impressed with the standard of food and if it wasnt such a long way away from home, we would certainly be eating there regularly!

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank maureen t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

What a beautiful spot for a romantic break away from it all. It was wild and blowy outside but so cosy, and comfortable indoors. The staff were very helpful, especially Annie. Wow the breakfasts are the best, with plenty of choice, and ours were cooked perfectly - even for this fussy eater. Just wish we could have stayed longer.

Room Tip: Choose a room at the front with large windows for views out over the loch.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bluebeam28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Galley of Lorne Inn

Address: Ardfern by Lochgilphead, Ardfern PA31 8QN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Ardfern
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Ardfern
Price Range: $82 - $131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Galley of Lorne Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Galley of Lorne Inn is a 17th Century Drover's Inn and country retreat situated in the picturesque village of Ardfern which nestles among the hills beside Loch Craignish. This beautiful corner of Argyll has long been a favourite for yachtsmen, artists and those who appreciate beauty, wildness plus the good things in life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Galley Of Lorne Hotel Ardfern

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