Our visit to the Lairg started off well and managed to slide downhill to the point of hitting rock bottom when we left. Probably the oddest hotel stay I've ever had.
The owner worked through his less-than-native-standard English to be friendly, welcoming and informative on arrival. The 'convenient' parking was a bit of a misnomer, but he gave us two options, including a specific residential space about a third of a mile away, at a cost of £10 until 2pm the next day. So he said anyway.
The rooms were a pleasant surprise. I'd say furnished to a significantly higher standard than you expect for hotel in this price bracket. I have to stop short of saying comfortable though, because it was rather chilly and the radiator stayed stubbornly cold throughout the stay, even though I adjusted it. I didn't bother saying anything because it was just about warm enough under the duvet.
To breakfast. The young waiter seemed to speak very little English and was painfully shy (perhaps there was a connection between the two). His idea of asking for your order was to stand a couple of yards from your table, look at it, and tap his pad with his pencil. This was just awkward. The breakfast that came out was decent enough though.
What happened immediately after breakfast took off whatever gloss was left. We were informed that another guest had paid for our parking space and we needed to vacate it (five hours ahead of schedule). What's more, one of our party of four was to get in the new guests' car, direct them to the parking space and then drive back to the hotel in our own car to collect our luggage and the rest of our party. We had no desire to split up, nor to have one of us go off driving around an unfamiliar city with a pair of complete strangers. We tried to object politely, and ended up having to object more firmly because the owner was incredibly persistent in trying to persuade us to go along with his little scheme.
So, we went to get our car, five hours ahead of schedule, and just as we got there, the new guests pull up in their car to sit there and wait for the space. We continued our road trip of northern Britain in not particularly good humour.
Our experience was perhaps a one-off, but you've been warned!
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- Also Known As:
- The Lairg Hotel Edinburgh
- The Lairg Edinburgh, Scotland