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“Family trip”

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Bay Caledonian Hotel
Ranked #10 of 21 Hotels in Fort William
Reviewed July 9, 2013

I have just returned from a trip to this hotel as part of a bus tour and was disappointed. The hotel itself is very tired and in need of a total revamp. The window frames require to be replaced and the décor is tired and dingy. The rooms were adequate but again required attention. Housekeeping is a bit lax in places. My Aunt found a sock sticking out from under the bed leading us to think that the room had not been attended thoroughly. The staff did offer to move my Aunt to another room which was on the third she declined as we booked as a family group and would have preferred to be near one another. The staff are mostly eastern European and very friendly and accommodating. The food was of a very good standard and in part saved the trip from being a total washout. The hotel states that it is in Fort Wiliam, it is a very good hike to the town so be prepared for a long walk or a £7.40 taxi ride there and back. The bar is very expensive and should review their pricing for alcoholic drinks.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with scenic view over the loch
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank kaydivpy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for posting your review. Please accept my apologies for the oversight by our housekeeping department. I am pleased you found the staff to be friendly and accommodating and the food good. We are indeed in Fort William but just not in the centre of Fort William. It is a bit of a walk to the town but the scenery around the hotel makes up for the location.

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392 - 398 of 596 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2013

We just wanted a night in FW - but it happened to coincide with the mountain bike festival so the whole town was full. I did manage to find this place through late rooms for £29 per night which was very cheap. I rather expected the worst (being owned by Shearings coach tours I think) - but the room was clean and basic, and it served its purpose. Breakfast decidely average. It's a couple of miles from the centre so a longish walk or a drive - we ate in town so I can't comment on the evening meal.

Room Tip: rooms at the front will have views of the loch
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Richard D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for your review, I am glad you found your stay to be of good value.

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Reviewed July 2, 2013

i arrived at the hotel after a long and fabuluous motorcycle trip at 7.50pm. I was told by the person who checked me in that I did not have time to change and that I was too late for dinner. He said the kitchen staff were only paid until 8.00pm.

It would have been so easy to say "sure, get changed and be back in 5 minutes for dinner".

I was really disappointed by this poor welcome. Time to bring in some local staff to restore the highland hospitality which is singularly lacking from this hotel, with the sole exception of the breakfast waiter.

The room was very small but clean. Tired decor and no extractor fans in the bathroom - although there was a sign saying the extractor fans only worked between certain hours and that proved to be wrong too!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I am sorry you were disappointed by your welcome. Arriving at 7:50pm should not have been a problem and dinner was available up until 8:00pm and it should not have been a problem to allow you time to have a quick change before entering the restaurant but I am pleased you found your breakfast waiter to be hospitable.

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Reviewed July 1, 2013

We used this as a quick stop over before continuing further into Scotland. We stayed on a Sunday night and so got a good deal - I'm guessing their main trade is coach tours and so Sunday is probably the quietest night.

The position of the hotel is lovely - the loch is just across the road. We just took a room at the back of the hotel (ie no view) given our brief stay. It's quite a tired building although they seem to be renovating - all the rooms across the corridor from us had the decorators in which could have been a problem from a noise perspective but we were hardly in the room and had to be up early anyway so it didn't bother us. I think our room had been renovated - the bathroom was modern and the whole room had had a general decor refresh. But for the price we paid I was happy. The room was a good size and comfortable.

You have to drive into Fort William but it's 2 miles so walking is possible (weather permitting!) and it's an easy, straight walk.

Breakfast was OK - service was odd and slow. The waiters (of which there were quite a few) just kept looking at us whilst they dried cutlery or something equally benign. Eventually I asked if one would take our order. He went to talk to another waiter and went back to drying his cutlery. Meanwhile the other waiter, also doing nothing that couldn't wait, took another 5 minutes before deciding to come over. Why the first waiter couldn't take our simple order? Most odd. I suspect they are used to the coach tours who stay for multiple nights and only then is it worth their while to make an effort for tips. However, the food was actually very good!

Overall we didn't find the staff particularly welcoming or helpful - they were all a little odd actually.

For the price we paid I can't really fault it. We had a good nights sleep and it's in a good location.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cvinsider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review, thank you for your positive comments on the value and comfort of your room. I would like to apologise for the service in our restaurant, I have not had a comment like this before on our staff, in fact most comments are the complete opposite, that they find our staff to be very helpful. Our restaurant supervisor will hold a meeting with all staff to ensure that this does not re-occur.

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Reviewed June 29, 2013

The Caledonian is situated just across the road from the loch.If you pay for,or have a front facing room,the view is superb.The food is a bit hit and miss,with some meals very good,to ok.Breakfast was always good.The entertainment is very good most nights.The town of Fort William is 2 miles away,so the only way to get there is by car.The car parks near Morrisons only charge £1.50 for a day.If you want the Fort william to Malaig steam train,you MUST book in advance.

Room Tip: The only advantage is to pay extra for a Loch view.Well worth it.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank PaulT12-18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for your review, I am pleased you found the majority of your stay to your satisfaction.

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Reviewed June 15, 2013

Decided to visit Scotland for the first time and booked a 3 night break in Fort William. Arrived at the hotel lunchtime and was disappointed with first impressions. The hotel looked tired and in need of refurbishment. We paid extra for a room with a view and we could not fault this especially in the mornings with views over the loch. The room was clean and functional but the TV was an old analogue and we could only get 4 channels. The hotel was obviously fully booked as the dining room was packed at breakfast and dinner. We had to share a table and they were so close, people had to move to let others sit down. The waiting staff were very good considering, but It was not a very relaxed atmosphere. We had the impression they wanted us in and out as quick as possible. The food was below par and we felt is was massed produced down to a price. The breakfast cereals were second rate and the toast brittle and not very pleasant. I guess for the low price we paid we could not expect any better. Fortunately the weather was super and the highlands wonderful otherwise our break would have been very disappointing. You get what you pay for.

Room Tip: Worth paying extra for a room with a view.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Terry68Cheltenham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for your comments, as you say we were full during your stay and as such it was very busy so unfortunately we had to put tables together. I’m sorry you did not find the food to your liking as the majority of the comments on the food are excellent but I’m pleased you found the staff to be good. As you say the view from the hotel is faultless.

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Reviewed June 15, 2013

Hotel in beautiful location. Good facilities. Helpful foreign staff. Bus tour-ville! Rooms desperately tired but with not too much refurb could be miles better. Come on Bay Hotels this particular asset has been sweated long enough, time to give it a little TLC! In its present state it leaves a bad impression of hotels in this beautiful part of the world. You do not do the Ft William/Lochaber tourist industry any favours by continuing to operate this potentially award-winning hotel on a rundown backpackers basis.

Room Tip: Request loch front.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Sc0ttishExile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gm_cal, General Manager at Bay Caledonian Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 18, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. We are currently in a rolling programme of refurbishment, this year to date we have had ten rooms renovated and more are scheduled for next year.

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Additional Information about Bay Caledonian Hotel

Address: Achintore Road, Fort William PH33 6RW, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Lochaber > Fort William
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 21 Hotels in Fort William
Price Range: $77 - $154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bay Caledonian Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated directly opposite Loch Linnhe, you can admire the fantastic views of the beautiful surrounding wooded hills and mountains from this hotel. Along with the dining room and pleasant lounge area, all front facing rooms offer super views of the breathtaking Loch Linnhe. The comfortable lounge and ballroom host entertainment most nights, often with a distinct Scottish flavour which is perfect for unwinding after a day’s sightseeing or exploring. A number of rooms have been recently refurbished to increase the capacity at this popular hotel and there is a convenient lift that serves all floors. At nine miles long and over a mile wide and with Ben Nevis towering above, Loch Linnhe is one of Scotland’s natural treasures. The hotel is also just two miles south of the town centre of Fort William, known as the outdoor capital of Britain, and here you can explore the many small and interesting shops and museums. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Caledonian Fort William
Caledonian Hotel Fort William
Fort William Caledonian Hotel
Bay Caledonian Hotel Fort William, Scotland

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