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“Considering what Scotland is like it wasn't bad”

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Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels in Fort William
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Considering what Scotland is like it wasn't bad”
Reviewed December 8, 2007

My wife wanted to stay in a Castle...so a castle I did find. This place has had so many mixed reviews I really didn't have a clue what to expect so when we pulled up and were immediately greeted by two members of staff who took our bags and parked our car I was pleasantly relieved.

The photos on their web site don't do the place any justice, it's magnificent on the inside without feeling overly stuffy (which is good when you have a toddler with you). All the staff were exceptionally friendly (for Scots - "dower" is the perfect word for the average Scot, certainly the ones we met). The views from our room were unbelievable, right at the foot of Glen Nevis. The rooom itself was fantastic, bigger than some suites we've stayed in.

We dined in the resteraunt every night and were never disappointed. Pre-dinner cocktails\after dinner liquers served in one of the many lounges or drawing rooms, with dinner itself being almost perfect.

The only real criticism of the hotel is more a general issue with Scotland, it appears that fruit and vegetables are illegal. We had some grapes in our room - that was the nearest to fibre we got in the 7 days we spent in Scotland.

Outside the hotel was dissapointing. Despite the proximity to Ben Nevis, I got the feeling most people in Fort William would prefer all the tourists to bugger off and leave them alone. Very few facilities, unfriendly shop staff (not there is any shopping). I know you go there for the scenary but come on - "turn that frown upside down scotland" - you guys are living in a natural wonderland.

In short, we genuinely loved the hotel and they did make an effort with our little boy. If you are going to Scotland you must stay there....but I don't think I'd go back to Scotland - maybe they could move the hotel to New Zealand?

  • Liked — Overall quality
  • Disliked — The surrounding country
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TheClairvoyant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
44 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2007

We spent 5 great days at the Inverlochy Castle Hotel in May. We arrived Wed morning on the Caledonia sleeper from London, and were promptly picked up by the Hotel staff. Since there were 5 of us, we booked the gatehouse, which worked out nicely. The gatehouse has it's own kitchen with fridge, and has a large downstairs with a sofa that converts to a bed. There is also a bathroom downstairs. Upstairs you will find two bedrooms and one bathroom. There are two tv's, one downstairs and one in the bedroom upstairs. There is also a computer with Internet access in the lodge.

We didn't have a car, so we spent a decent amount of money on cabs going back and forth. The hotel can arrange any transportation needed, and everything worked pretty smoothly.

During the afternoon, a menu shows up in your room with options for dining that evening. You call the dining room and tell them what you want, what time you want to eat, and you are good to go. The walk from the gatehouse to the hotel is about 5 minutes, and it seemed to always rain on us (it was May after all), but the hotel has plenty of umbrellas. When you arrive, you can go into an adjoining room for cocktails, then you are brought to your table. The food was awesome, and they were flexible enought to accomodate our kids, who only wanted pasta and french fries.

The service was outstanding, and they really tried to make you feel at home. I also highly recommend that you look up Nairn, one of the local guides. He was great fun and showed us all around the beautiful countryside.

If you can get to Scotland, make sure you stop here!

  • Liked — Food and Service
  • Disliked — If you don't have a car, you have to do some planning to arrange cabs
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank phildude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2007

WE are just home from a weekend stay in Fort William (at a wedding) and we stayed in the Factors Inn. It was tastfully decorated and rooms were quite spacious with en suite. It was off the road but not too far from the city centre. Reasonably priced and rooms were serviced everyday. Set in a stunning background and would return if in that area again.

  • Liked — Set in the countryside
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peridot31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2007

Back for our third trip to this magical place only this time we were here for our wedding! The place is spectacular and all the staff so lovely especially Kerry and Jane. They all worked so hard to make our day so special and Phyllis is a very special hidden talent. The food is exquisite and we stayed in the Queen's suite and the King's suite both beautiful rooms along with the Prince's suite where we have stayed before. The Queen's suite is definitely my favourite for the view and size - it is massive. If you are looking for gracious luxury in a fairytale setting visit Inverlochy Castle - you won't be disappointed.

  • Liked — Grand luxury
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Onslow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2006

Wow! This is certainly not the place for someone on a budget travel plan, unless you budget for it. That said, if you have the opportunity to stay here, just do it. The is definitely a place to partake a little indulgence. It is well worth the extra money to experience a stay here. The hotel and grounds are beautiful. Our room, The Prince's Suite, was to die for. Large enough for two people who were traveling together for 6 weeks to spread out and not be in each other's way. I took a bath each night because the tub was the perfect size for soaking. Towels big, fluffy and warmed on a rack. Fresh grapes delivered every morning. Staff that were incredibly polite and obliging without being annoying. Free in -room internet access allowed me to change other travel plans with ease. The food was outstanding and accompanying wine was spectacular. Of course, there were the requisite single malts available for the asking but anyone's tastes could be satisfied here. A beautiful place, with beautiful staff. Highly recommended. It will be a while before I get to go back but I am definitely going to do so.

  • Liked — The staff.
  • Disliked — There is nothing to not love.
  • Tips/Secrets — Be prepared to entertain yourself with hiking, reading, driving, photographing, etc. There isn't much to do the entertaining for you in Ft. William.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank ingrdo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2006

My husband and I stayed here for our wedding anniversary. The room was massive (larger than most NYC apts). and it had stunning views of Ben Nevis.

I agree with the other reviewer that the bathroom was not as high spec as other 5 star hotels but you have to remember, this is a bona fide castle. You can't just go in there, making holes everywhere. I thought it was fine - nothing special (our bathroom was also huge) but not terrible either. It's a bathroom afterall.

What makes this hotel special is the service and dining in the restaurant. It's nice to actually get dressed up for dinner and come downstairs and have waiters bring you aperitifs and hors d'oeuvres while you sit in the grand hall. The food was very nice but again, the service was outstanding. We thoroughly enjoying retiring to the drawing room to have our coffee and petit fours and having the entire room to ourselves. The quiet of the hotel was very peaceful.

There isn't much to do in the immediate area apart from hike ben Nevis so I would recommend Inverlochy Castle for a short visit - as a special treat, rather than staying there for several nights.

  • Liked — Amazing service
  • Disliked — The price!
  • Tips/Secrets — Try the hotel restaurant - make sure you have an empty stomach!
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Hopping-along
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2006

Inverlochy touts itself (for example on its website) through a number of awards won as the best hotel in Europe, best hotel in the UK and best value hotel in the UK. This is so far off the mark as to be laughable.

To be best hotel in Europe (voted by travellers, but by putting this on their website, it is also a representation made by the hotel itself), they are up against the best that London, Paris, Monaco et al have to offer. There is no way Inverlochy is in the same league. I stayed for 2 nights in one of the large double bedrooms (£576 per night for bed, breakfast and dinner). These are some of my gripes:

1. Bathrooms were pretty bad. To many guests like me they are the true indicator of the hotel's quality and, incredible as it may seem, I have seen better at Holiday Inn hotels. The grouting was flakey and mouldy. Tiles were chipped. Some tiles had holes in them that had been sloppilly fixed with plaster that was not even sanded down. At least those tiles were the few lucky ones to be fixed at all. The fittings (taps etc) were poor quality, the type you install in a London flat you are trying to rent out to students. Armitage Shanks 1970s stuff. The net curtain in the bathroom (net curtain!) was a tad depressing and brown. The bottled water was complimentary (which does not happen in most hotels). There were no cotton earbuds or any of the various extras you find in semi-decent 5-star hotels (picky, perhaps, but this is supposed to be the best hotel in Europe).

2. The bedroom. The main room was OK. It was a good size, maybe about 35 square metres. The bed was a good canopy design. There was a flat screen TV, a bit small (about 30 inches?) especially since the bed was around 8 metres away and the lights glared onto the screen making it difficult to watch. A laptop was provided, which was a nice touch. The complimentary fruit was pretty tired. All of that I could forgive, but weird grey/black streaks on the (poor quality, low thread count) sheets I could not. No deep satisfaction from sinking into bliss here. No, more Holiday Inn utilitarianism, only with dirty streaks.

3. The communal areas of the hotel are great, just as pictured on the website, calming and impressive without being intimidating. Quadruple height, full of sofas, excellent pianist, good cornice work and general paintwork/wallpaper/carpets. Impressive Murano-style chandeliers. This is certainly where the hotel's work and money has gone.The gardens are perfectly manicured while not too dry and formal. There is a walled garden full of flowers and vegetables which is well worth a visit. And as I said, the views are excellent. There is also a small lake on which you can take a boat, which they provide (I did not do this, so can't provide details). Also part of the communal areas are your fellow guests. If you like hanging out with people around 50-70 years old, who speak quietly and dress well and add to the calm and dignified atmosphere, this is a good hotel for you.

4. Service. The staff are hit and miss. The senior staff (Graeme and Jane) did a great job, when they were available. I ambled past reception many times a day trying to find someone but it was permanently empty. The junior staff generally did a good job but there was some sloppiness, requests not met properly, food orders mixed up and from some employees an air of flippancy that was not appropriate to the dialogue I was having with them.

5. Value for money. The fact that Inverlochy is on a par with the most expensive hotels in Paris and London (look it up on Expedia - the Georges V, the Bristol, the Lanesborough etc) is not in itself a problem. True, Inverlochy is in the middle of nowhere ("Scotland"), in country one normally associates with bed and breakfasts. True it is multiples more expensive than anything else in the area. But I don't mind how expensive it is. What I do mind is what you get for that money. It's not like £500 a night hotels are rare these days. They are all over the place, and many offer great service, and (heresy) clean sheets. What I would love to know, objectively, is Inverlochy's profit and loss account. Assuming they are not creaming off huge profits, what exactly does £500 a night get spent on? Their best feature, the view, is free. The building is also fantastic but was built in Victorian times, and they certainly spend little maintaining most of it. This is most certainly the worst value for money hotel at which I have stayed.

If you are visiting the Highlands and want to stay in a luxury hotel, you don't have a lot of choice. Inverlochy is one of the few options, and perhaps the lack of competition has made it complacent. Is it better than a bed and breakfast? Yes certainly. Is it ten times better? I doubt it. Is it the Lanesborough transplanted to Scotland? Definitely not.

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — The room
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't go to Scotland.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
25 Thank countofmontecristo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inverlochy Castle Hotel

Property: Inverlochy Castle Hotel
Address: Torlundy, Fort William PH33 6SN, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Lochaber > Fort William
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels in Fort William
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Inverlochy Castle Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Inverlochy Castle Hotel and Restaurant, Fort William, Scotland.Inverlochy is Scotland's finest luxury hotel and restaurant uniquely located amongst the glens, lochs and mountains of the West Highlands of Scotland.At Inverlochy you will experience one of the most relaxing and exciting vacations of a lifetime, where every detail for your comfort and enjoyment has been carefully considered.Rooms & ReservationsEach of the 17 bedrooms, all with private bathroom, have their own individual design and character, along with splendid views of the grounds and surrounding mountains. Room facilities include 30 inch Phillips mirror televisions, personal laptop computer with internet access, personal safe, cd player, radio, iron/ironing board. DVD player and video player as well as Playstation II available upon request.Below are small images of our rooms at Inverlochy. By clicking on the images you will be taken to a page with a 360°, interactive image of the entire room. This allows you to capture the unique atmosphere of our very individual rooms and make the choice of which of our luxury rooms you would like to reserve.Dining at InverlochyDinner at Inverlochy is an experience to savour in any of our three dining rooms, each decorated with period and elaborate furniture presented as gifts to Inverlochy Castle from the King of Norway.Dining at InverlochyDinner at Inverlochy is an experience to savour in any of our three dining rooms, each decorated with period and elaborate furniture presented as gifts to Inverlochy Castle from the King of Norway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inverlochy Castle Hotel Fort William, Scotland

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