I was in town to meet up with other mature students to discuss books...and one of my kind fellow students was able to get me a good rate for one night which I extended to two and paid full price the second. The average nightly rate worked out to be £65.00 per night including breakfast. I thought this was a very good rate for this hotel. I had been to a conference years ago and I thought it looked like a good place to stay. It was!
The reception personnel were very nice, I checked in a bit early and my room was not ready yet so they took my bag. I mentioned to reception that I might need help with my bag going up the stairs as I had thrown my back out a bit. I went to the lounge and had a juice and read while I waited. The sofas were comfortable and the bar was well provisioned. One of the reception staff found me in the lounge to let me know my room was ready (I could have been working out or swimming on walking thru the manicured grounds during this time but I was needing a little down time and the lounge was quiet enough at that time of day to provide it.) She had kindly had the porter bring my bag to my room for me. The room no. was 06. There is a tiny elevator that takes you up one flight and then a walk to the back or side and some funny steps up and down to the room so it wouldn't be ideal for someone who can't walk well - there were not too many rooms in this section. (Probably the favorable rate section.) The hallways were clean and had nicely located chairs.
The room was plenty big enough for a couple with a large king size bed, a table and two chairs and a desk. The king size bed was a real king...but it was made up of sections put together, it wasn't that great if one tried to lie crosswise...which I sometimes do when I'm alone. But it was comfortable enough and the heating was actually controllable so I could put the heat on when I needed it and shut it down when I went to bed. The room was nice and clean and the tv was very easy to use. The funny thing was there was no clock but I found that by putting the tv on and pressing select the time showed up!
The room was nicely done up in that unobtrusive, quasi-elegent style that is comfy and country-house like. The table and chairs were convenient as I had purchased take out sushi for my supper one night. The lighting was not as bright as I like it for reading but it worked out ok. The desk was nice and large for spreading out papers and maps.
The bathroom had a nice, clean deep tub which was perfect for a hot bath after a cold, windy day spent at Culloden. Since we only have a wetroom at home, a hot bath is quite a welcome luxury and I enjoyed it with some Lush products I picked up in the center of town.
There was no view to speak of in this room as it looked out over the lower part of the hotel and there was some heating units out there that buzzed through the night. The noise didn't keep me awake but it is a consideration if you are given this room at the full rate. If I had this room at the full rate of £189 per night I would have asked to be moved to something with a view and no buzzing.
The breakfast was a fairly standard hot & cold buffet with some items not generally seen such as black pudding on the hot buffet and hash browns (yummy). A good supply of fruit both fresh and tinned and plenty of juice. The catering staff was excellent at keeping the troughs filled. There was a very good selection of breakfast type baked goods and lots of items for vegetarians. Ask to be seated in the conservatory dining room as it looks out over the garden and although a longer walk away from the buffet, if you are indulging at the full Scottish breakfast it might be a good thing.
The pool was good, although a little small but it was clean and not freezing. The health suite seemed to have everything one required (I have to admit only looking thru the glass!)
The location is a bit out from the center of Inverness and is a healthy walk to (10 - 15 minutes)and fro or a cab ride in the vicinity of £3.80 - £5.00 depending on where you pick it up, roughly about £22.00 to the airport. I walked from the hotel into town but returned in a taxi as I was laden with packages.
The staff was highly professional and well-trained. They have a very good understanding of service and were quite helpful to both me and an elderly couple whose questions I happened to overhear.
Would I bring my disabled husband? I don't know, he wouldn't use the pool or the gym although he would like the breakfast and since he wouldn't be able to walk back and forth to town we would have to have taxis both ways which is an added expense to budget for.
I didn't use the dining room or room service although I was tempted as the menu looked very good, venison and hare were both on the menu as well as vegetarian options and bar food like burgers. The lunch service seemed to be full of parties of locals having their Sunday lunch - which is always a good sign. If I went back with my husband I probably would try the dining room as it is not so much fun for a solo traveler to have formal experience alone.
The only fault in the room was the door to the bathroom was a little hinky, maybe it should open outwards instead of inwards as it was a bit tight when trying to leave.
Inverness is a surprising busy place with a lot to see and do at all times of the year. The Snowman Auto Rally was on the weekend I was there and it brought in a lot of tourists. All in all I would go back to Kingsmills as they seem to be doing everything right with the caveat that if I were paying rack rate I would want a really nice room overlooking the garden. I would imagine that children would like this hotel also as there is good outside space and an excellent public playground right across the street with swings and a slide that even tempted me!
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- Also Known As:
- Kingsmills Hotel Inverness, Scotland