Last year I exhausted all my superlatives trying to describe this hotel, only to find that it was even more fantastic this time! From the moment we walked in, it seemed as if the staff were intent on making this the best Hogmanay ever. Check-in was very welcoming and efficient. You always knew what was going on because there was a flipchart in the lobby and each guest was handed their own booklet to tell them what was going on over the Hogmanay break. The rooms were, as always, very spacious with very comfortable chairs and very cosy beds, and very good heating. There was also a very plentiful supply of hot water to the bath and shower and the standard of cleanliness in the bathrooms was excellent.
The food was of spectacular quality and the menus, both for adults and children, were very well put together- the very talented chef clearly knows what his guests want to eat. You could always have something different for each course each night and it would always be really tasty. Highlights were the Black Isle beef and lamb (gosh I could eat that forever, it was so yummy)- cooked to perfection and served with delicious accompaniments. In addition to this was a breakfast with superb choice and some haggis at midnight at Hogmanay, which was marvellous as ever. On New Year's Day, the chef even brought out a wonderfully-presented grand buffet with an unbelievably good choice and fantastic, fresh items- including some absolutely delicious homemade lobster bisque. The kitchen staff must work incredibly hard here, and what's more, they will always try to be accommodating by offering a range of alternatives that are not on the menu- perfect if you are a fussy eater! One night, they had about six different starters and six different desserts for kids!
But what really stands out about this hotel over any other is the staff. At too many hotels these days, you get the impression that the management sign their names on the guest services directory and then spend days on end on the golf course! Not here! The management here obviously worked incredibly hard to make this the best Hogmanay ever, and were always around for a chat, and even did things like take you in for dinner or serve soup or haggis. They even all introduced themselves personally during a champagne reception. And what's more, all of the other staff were extremely friendly and could not have been more helpful.
Entertainment was brilliant as ever, with Bruce MacGregor's ceilidh band on 30th December being a firm favourite. It would be worth coming here over Hogmanay just to listen to this fiddler's intricate style. It is clearly indicative of the quality of the hotel if they can get musicians of this calibre to play there at Hogmanay.
We spent some thoroughly enjoyable afternoons in the swimming pool and spa too, and found these facilities to be very clean, warm, relaxing and inviting! Would definitely spend more time here next time!
Be warned: we're all without one shadow of a doubt coming back on 29th December 2011, if not before. If you want a personal, friendly and very comfortable hotel with good facilities, good staff and mouthwatering food in Inverness, look no further than the Kingsmills.
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- Also Known As:
- Kingsmills Hotel Inverness, Scotland