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Review of The Grange

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The Grange
Ranked #8 of 111 Fort William B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 29, 2012

... than The Grange for the perfect place to stay in Fort William. This pretty Victorian villa is set in lovely gardens with a burn tumbling through them, overlooking Loch Linnhe on the edge of the town. Joan is the perfect hostess and nothing is too much trouble. We were welcomed on arrival with delicious tea and shortbread, home-made that day, in the guests' sitting room, beside a roaring log fire. The house is beautifully decorated and furnished and full of thoughtful touches to make staying there more comfortable than being at home! The three guest bedrooms are individually themed with a mix of antiques and modern furnishings, and the state-of-the-art bathrooms are complete with fluffy towels, robes, and generous Penhaligon toiletries.
We found books, a flat screen tv, clock/radio, iron and board and umbrella, a safe, and plenty of good coathangers! Plus tea and coffee making things, with more of the home-made shortbread every day of our stay, and a decanter of sherry! Our room was the Garden Room, with a delightful view over the garden to the loch, but as we were the first to arrive we were shown the other rooms too which were equally delightful. The exquisite dining room had a fire burning for breakfast, although the whole house was comfortably warm, with extra throws and pillows for the bed, which we didn't need. Breakfasts were a gourmet affair with lots of choice - the home-made compote of fruit and honey and juice was especially delicious, as was the home-made muesli, and the freshly baked little loaves of soda bread. We did our best to work our way through the menu during our stay, enjoying locally smoked haddock in a creamy sauce on home-made potato scones; fresh fruit platters with yoghurt, scotch pancakes, and the traditional full cooked breakfast, to name just a few choices. Joan has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area and can recommend places to visit, outings to make, and places to eat in, and always offers to book tables for dinner, or lunch. We were made so welcome, and were so well fed and looked after, that it was with difficulty we tore ourselves away, vowing to return asap!

Room Tip: All three rooms have a view over the garden to the loch, are well equipped and have great bathrooms...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank wendyedmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 29, 2012

Joan, John (and Shamus!) have created a uniquely wonderful experience for visitors to The Grange. As others have described, you realize that you're in for a treat as you pull into the drive. The building itself is architecturally impressive and sits atop a beautiful garden overlooking Loch Linnhe. As you enter through the portico you're presented with the first hint of the impeccable and stylish interior that awaits in the rooms. It's really an interesting blend of historical Victorian details thoughtfully blended with modern design - the kind of design that could easily go awry and become disjointed is less capable hands, but my wife and I both marveled at the results of Joan's efforts. Everything comes together to create a fascinating design and cozy, welcoming feel.

We stayed in the Turret Room - muted tones, luxurious bedding, incredible en suite, and an all-around comfortable place to call home for a couple of days. There are two closets if you choose to unpack, but plenty of room for luggage in the turret if you choose not to. There's a beautiful, functional sitting area at the foot of the bed, replete with complimentary sherry and fashionable cocktail glasses. Again, there are a hundred ways to provide these little touches, but Joan elevates everything a notch higher by ensuring that every element in the room contributes its own character to the overall presentation. And while fashionable cocktail glasses aren't particularly critical to a great B&B experience, those touches reflect that fact that no detail in your stay will be overlooked, and nothing will be ordinary.

Breakfast contributes to the experience in an equally compelling manner. The breakfast room is more traditional than the rooms, but the Victorian feel is thoroughly "non-fussy". No dangling fringe from the lamps; no doilies. With apologies to the myriad B&Bs whose design sensibilities have them over-indulging in lace and fringe, there's a way to celebrate Victorian details without making one feel like Grandma decorated the place (sorry Grandma!). The feel is a bit more formal, but very harmonious with the rest of The Grange, and fitting for a place where guests gather for breakfast. The temps were cool during our visit, and a fire was burning each morning while we ate. The fruit compote was amazing (thanks for the recipe, Joan!), and the Scottish pancakes and bacon were robust and delicious - perfect preparation for a day of hiking and exploring. The tables are nicely appointed with fresh flowers, the coffee pot a substantial pewter, the plates and flatware of high quality. Once again, these details don't make or break a visit, and it's arguably trite to even mention them, but it's one more example of how no detail - no matter how seemingly trivial - goes without thoughtful attention. There's simply no opportunity for a guest to say "hmmm... that didn't live up to the rest of the experience".

Joan is a gracious and fun host. We tend to rise early, and enjoyed chatting alone with her at breakfast. The other two rooms were occupied by two couples traveling together, one of which makes frequent visits to the Grange. They, along with Joan, helped us replan our day's activities when weather necessitated it. Our B&B experiences are, by design, largely solitary, but in this case we really enjoyed talking with Joan and her friends, and regret we couldn't join the whole gang for dinner at The Smiddy later in the week.

Speaking of dining and The Smiddy (located in Spean Bridge), Joan was again very helpful in guiding our dining experiences. Robert at The Smiddy is friends with Joan, and clearly takes pride in making sure that guests of The Grange continue their high caliber experience when they arrive at the restaurant. We were very well cared for - even being seated at a table set aside for guests of The Grange, looking out to the garden - and dinner was excellent. Thank you, Robert!

Can't recommend The Grange enough. Simply a remarkable experience, and we will definitely return!

Room Tip: Can't go wrong with any of the rooms here.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rick D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

We sadly only stayed here one night, staying in the Rob Roy room with King size bed, king size bathroom, king size mirrors, king size pillows and king size views over the loch. Fabulous decor,all beige and white throughout with wonderful Penhaligon toiletries in the bathroom and king size towels!
Charming "landlady" , nothing too much trouble, who serves a delicious breakfast, presented with style in the immaculate dining room.
I have stayed in 5* hotels and this definitely gives them a run for their money.
As you can tell can't recommend it highly enough.

Room Tip: only 4 rooms and they all appear just lovely . the 'superior' we had was fabulous.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank handbagsbrockham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2012

The minute you arrive, you know it's going to be great. The Grange looks gorgeous as you drive in and the views from outside toward the loch are stunning. The entrance hall and guest lounge are just beautiful and the decor is so carefully and perfectly put together. There was also a lovely fresh smell in the whole house - reminded me of being in a plush spa.

We stayed in the turret room which is apparently the smallest room (but still bigger than our London flat!). It was spacious, spotless and beautifully-decorated with exquisite attention paid to the little details - Penhaligon's toiletries, perfectly-matched decor and a small decanter of sherry. The view from our windows was stunning and the bed was so, so comfortable.

The bathroom was amazing. A free-standing tub and a monsoon-style power shower. I could happily have spent my whole stay in there - it was all very zen and again, quite spa-like.

The breakfast room was also gorgeous. The day was miserable but we were buoyed up by the fire merrily burning in the fireplace and a beautifully laid table with a great view over the loch. Breakfast itself was very tasty. No waiting around either - everything was served on time and exactly as requested. My scrambled egg was perfectly cooked. Again, the little touches make this place memorable: real tea in the teapot, walnuts and sunflower seeds in my muesli, home-baked bread, sweeteners available if you don't take sugar and proper marmalade.

Joan is also a really lovely host. She's really friendly and helpful and gave us tips on where to stop for lunch on our return journey. The best thing about the service is that you rarely, if ever need to ask for it - everything has been thought of so you don't actually ever need to ask for anything.

I really love this place. Everything about it was wonderful and I hope I get to stay here again one day.

Room Tip: The turret room is apparently the smallest but it's amazing!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Nisha101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

A gem in Fort William wtih first class service and a great location. Pam truely deserves all the stars and nominations for going beyond that what is required, 5 stars all the way. We enjoyed staying in the Turret room and the little extras were a surprise - can't wait to return

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jacky1362
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

We stayed there for 2 days and 'wow' would probably be the most suitable word to describe it all! From the entrance to breakfast everything was just great. So many small details which make such a big difference! Our room (Turret) had a great view and was incredibly beautiful, comfortable and cosy. Beautiful colors and design, hosts sure have an amazing taste. Bathroom was just perfect, we definitely want the same in our future home!:)

I'm always very captious about the cleanliness of rooms but everything was extremely clean. The host was really nice, helpful, and was keen to suggest places and give us directions. Calm surroundings, lovely garden, charming exterior. In short, that's how 5 stars should look, smell, feel, sound, and taste like. Our best accommodation experience ever.

We can't wait to come back and I really hope it's going to be soon!!!

Rim&Ugo

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Forleisureandwork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

We loved staying here because it was cozy and quiet-without feeling like we were intruding on somebody's home. We spent two nights in the Turret room and my only complaint was that it was hard for me to get comfortable. The chairs were not comfortable for sitting and I could feel the springs on the mattress. However, I must confess that I have a bad back already. The room was immaculate and I can't say enough about all the little details-the artificial sweetner pills for the tea, the Pierre Cardin blanket, the robes in the rooms, the fabulous breakfast. The place looked like it was decorated by a professional, and we felt welcome and relaxed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cathryn r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Grange

Address: Grange Road, Fort William PH33 6JF, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Lochaber > Fort William
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 111 B&Bs / Inns in Fort William
Price Range: $78 - $84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grange offers you exceptional luxury accommodation while you take time to experience and explore the Highlands of Scotland.Our B&B is graded at the highest standard by Visit Scotland and holds other awards for the quaility of the accommodation and the welcome and attention provided by your hosts.The Grange 5 star luxury bed and breakfast accommodation is at the west end of Fort William and is set in its own grounds overlooking Loch Linnhe offering exceptional B&B in a lovingly restored Victorian town house with a friendly atmosphere. All bedrooms are designed and dressed to a very high standard with private facilities and views over Loch Linnhe and you will find a thoughful selection of finishing touches to enhance your stay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Grange Hotel Fort William
The Grange Fort William, Scotland

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