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“A little gem”
Review of Boath House

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Boath House
Ranked #7 of 9 Hotels in Nairn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 30, 2008

We had a thoroughly enjoyable stay at this little treasure. The whole place has the feel of a rather grand family home, intimate, luxurious but idiosyncratic. Art is displayed through out the building, the furnishings, while of very good order are not at all uniform from room to room. Personally I think this adds to the charm of the place. The room we had was large with a good sized bathroom, comfortable, clean with a pleasant view of the grounds.

The staff and owners were all very attentive and helpful without being obtrusive. They took time to chat and share their local knowledge and share a joke.

We mainly went for the food and that didn't disappoint. There is no choice as the six course dinner is set but it is changed daily and with advance warning dietary requirements are catered for. Although each course is quite small by the end of the meal you are left feeling replete but not bloated. Again a plus for me. As for the food, it is extremely competently cooked with attention to detail and flavour.

All in all a pleasurable stay and we'll be returning for a longer visit later next year.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Darius_J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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290 - 296 of 330 reviews

Reviewed September 20, 2008

I had been to this hotel for lunch a couple of times and thanks to some heavy hinting, my husband, bless his triathlon socks, booked us in here for dinner bed and breakfast for our anniversary. On arrival, it took a couple of minutes to remember where the bell is located - on a desk to your right as you enter. Once rung, Johnny was on the case, and made us very welcome. He showed us into Room 3, which was absolutely brilliant. The view, framed by the triple windows was stunning. The bed was much more comfortable than it looked, and the bathroom was the last word in luxury. Twin slipper baths in front of a window combined with a room large enough to take your morning jog in made this bathroom the best I've ever performed my abolutions in.

Guests are offered a 'welcome' drink and we chose to have ours outside, on a stone bench overlooking the lake. We spent a very happy hour here! We strolled around the grounds and my husband was delighted for find a 'conker' tree - horse-chestnut to the ill-informed! Given the amount of conkers lying around, it was clear that no small boys has been past this way recently.

Guests are requested to make their way to the drawing room between 7 and 7.30, to look over the menu and wine list. I am careful to say 'look over' rather than 'make their selections' - this was a set menu, of some 6 courses followed by coffee and wee chocolates. In fairness to the chef, all dietary requirements are catered to with no fuss, and guests are advised to let staff know of any issues early on in their stay. A choice would have made this a truly superb experience.

The food is exquisitely presented and tastes wonderful. The staff seem knowledgeable about the ingredients and take a pride in the use of local produce. However, the portions are tiny. I'm not a particularly greedy person - 5 foot 3 and of small to medium build, and I was certainly not full after the 6 courses. Perhaps we in the west generally eat too much, and I was probably quite adequately nourished, but for the money, I would have liked a little more..... I ate some food which I really enjoyed, but would never have selected from a menu, so in some ways my peasant palate was stretched. Thankfully there was no veal or Bambi on offer. The after dinner coffee and petit fours were lovely. The coffee was plentiful, but sadly, the petit fours were not. I could have eaten 3 times as many.

As luck would have it, I had packed some Pringles in my case, so didn't starve.

Breakfast the next morning was extremely filling. Portions were comparatively generous and the 'Golspie porridge with summer berries' was truly lovely. The mango smoothie was less so. I had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon which was utterly divine. Husband had a 'full Scottish' which came piled artfully in the centre of the plate. With a swift movement of his fork he soon had it looking like sausage egg and bacon. He declared it to be fine, which in his language is high praise indeed.

Despite the small portions, I'm left with a yearning to go back. Next time I shall come via Marks and Spencer's foodhall though.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank PeedieLizzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2008

Oh My Goodness where do we start....we went to Boath House for four days for our honeymoon. Our stay was pure and unadulterated heaven from beginning to end. The staff could not have been more welcoming, attentive and unpretentious. The room was immaculate, beautifully decorated and completely luxurious. The food was out of this world. We spent every day in excited anticipation of what delights lay ahead and enjoyed every single moment of dining there - it was the most amazing experience. We could not explain to anyone how fabulous Boath House is but we are over the moon that we chose it for our honeymoon. It could not have been a more wonderful experience. An amazing place to begin your new life together and we will be recommending it to everyone we know!!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Wirral-Lass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2008

We recently spent two days at Boath House and found it to be the most charmingly ecclectic hotel we have ever visited. The house itself is not too large and has been made to feel more like a very familiar family home rather than a hotel.
The food is simply outstanding, some of the best we have ever eaten, and served in a relaxed but service orientated way.
We were particularly impressed with the kitchen gardens and the obvious pride taken in serving homegrown produce.
The staff were all local and from our greeting on the doorstep to a final friendly chat on the portico were attentive and keen to ensure that we made the most of our stay in the area.
Rarely have we ever been made to feel more welcome in a hotel!!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Oranges46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2008

We stayed at Boath House for a couple of nights having largley been seduced by the picture of the twin baths on the website.

Expecting a warm welcome, we were let in by the cleaner with no sign of anyone else around. Be prepared to be questioned if you ask for a key - " we don't do keys round here" was the reply. They did relent and gave us a key when we insisted, although it went missing the following morning at which point, we'd given up asking.

The ambience is intimate to say the least - however, intimate with everyone else in the hotel. Breakfast, if we're completely honest, is painful. The a la carte menu is stuck rigidly to with no allowances for dietary preferences. A request for porridge with water was met with a derisory smirk and a comment that it's " it's got everything in it", the inference being that you either did it Don's way or no way. The lack of music also made things awkward as you could hear every other conversation in the restaurant and were forced to talk in whispers. What with that and the clinking of spoons on the plate, we couldn't wait to get out of there in the mornings. To be fair, the food is good (although rich) and the evening meal was not as awkward (probably given fact that everyone had had a bottle of wine by half eight (that being because you could only have dinner between 8 and 8.30 (we're not joking).

We're not saying it's bad by any means but it's certainly overpriced (we paid over a grand for 3 nights) and for what we were looking for (i.e. intimate, boutiquey romantic hideaway) it just missed the mark by a long way.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Scrabble33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2008

My partner and I recently returned from a 9 day trip to the UK, during which we stayed 5 nights in London and 3 nights in Scotland. We stayed at the Le Meridien Piccadilly in London and chose the Boath House for our 3 nights in Scotland. We were visiting family and friends in London and wanted to have a romantic sojourn in Scotland, while visiting whisky distilleries and some sights in the Highlands. A friend of ours in London also joined us and stayed at the Boath House. (Originally, it was supposed to be he and his boyfriend, who unfortunately couldn't join us last-minute due to his job.)

For the record, I've stayed numerous times in Scotland, including stays at the Caledonian Hilton and the Balmoral in Edinburgh. As a whisky fanatic, I have always stayed at the Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside, about 30 minutes away from the Boath House, whenever I've been in the Highlands. On this trip, however, the Craigellachie was full. So, after a length search online and a few email exchanges with some people at places like the Glemorangie House (another place I considered), I settled on the Boath House. Please understand that we usually stay in suites at luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Ritz-Carleton, etc., as well as numerous boutique luxury properties around the world. We had high expectations for the Boath House despite the fact that the Scottish Highlands are not known for such luxury.

We were not disappointed! Unlike the other reviewer, we knew what we were getting and were absolutely delighted. We were looking for an intimate, charming, small boutique property in the Highlands, preferably offering a suite of some sort and also the chance for excellent dining. Please understand that the boutique luxury options in the Scottish Highlands are few and far between, and I believe the Boath House is an outstanding option. I suspect the previous reviewer has not sampled the many options in the Scottish Highlands and doesn't quite know how good the Boath House really is.

The main house is absolutely lovely--a true Georgian manor home, restored wonderfully, in our opinion. We elected to stay in the caretaker's cottage, a separate building altogether, so we could have as much privacy as possible. Our friend stayed in one of the regular rooms in the main house. His room was small but intimate, well-equipped for a rural country inn type accommodation, and he said his bed was very comfortable. Our room had a lovely living room, a separate bedroom with a similarly comfortable bed, and a large bathroom equipped with both shower and separate lounging tub. Other than a few issues with an occasional power outage, we loved our rooms.

Service was excellent. The owner, himself, came down to fix our electrical outage problem, which didi happen a few times because of recent rains. Normally, I'm annoyed at such problems at major hotels, but I find myself taking such issues in stride more when I'm in such rural surroundings. The issue was handled very quickly, which helped dispel any annoyance for me.

We had no issues with our keys, nor did our friend. We were greeted upon arrival by a staff member with our keys, and she escorted us all to our rooms. She showed us how to operate everything and how the place "worked" so to speak. We were reminded again that dinner seating occured between 8:00-8:30 pm, something I already knew from my requests for information from the property. (Perhaps the previous reviewer should be more careful to ask questions and understand the type of property this is! When staying at a property with only 8 rooms, you can't exactly expect 24 hour room service, after all!)

The restaurant is amazing. We dine at some of the best restaurants in the USA and abroad whenever we travel, and we were quite impressed with the meals. We found the 5 course dinners (included in the room rate, by the way) to be fantastic. Once, there was something that I wasn't fond of included in the pre-fixe menu, and they were gracious enough to change that to something more to my liking--unlike the previous reviewer said. We also enjoyed the breakgfasts immensely, being "breakfast people." I am a hearty eater, belying the fact that I'm thin, and I asked for 8 poached eggs for breaktast each morning. Trust me--that's an oddity in the UK (and even in the USA!). Without fail, they prepared them for me as quickly as possible, quite a feat, indeed, knowing the size of the kitchen!

We were mildly annoyed that there was a corkage fee for trying to drink one of our bottles of whisky we had purchased earlier that day in the living room prior to dinner. That was a bit dumb. But that's a small boutique property for you. We made sure to take our pre-dinner drinks first in our living room, before making our way to the living room of the main house to get a pre-dinner drink officially!

All in all, we loved our stay there at the Boath House. In the end, my partner ended up proposing to me on our last night--ironically, exactly one week prior to the California Supreme Court deciding that gay marriage should be legal in California where we live. The owner and staff discovered the engagement and were all gracious, congratulatory, and lovely--offering us complimentary champagne, as well.

The staff was also lovely when helping us to prepare for our whisky distillery visits. I already knew the areas quite well from previous trips, but the staff and even the owner tried very hard to make sure we were comfortable with our directions and plans.

We will definitely return to the Boath House. For those looking for a boutique/romantic small inn experience in the Highlands, and/or a spectacular dining experience, we highly recommend the Boath House!

4  Thank Bill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2008

I booked for valentine's day and was not disappointed. The welcome from the staff was very warm and welcoming.

The house has been restored to a amazing standard and has a great setting with nice garden and pond.

The room was first class with large fire place and bathroom with two baths and a view of the garden and pond.

The food and service was of the finest quality and the staff and owners could not do enough to make your stay a good one.

well worth the drive.

Stayed: February 2008
Thank windy1875
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Boath House

Address: On A96 | Auldearn, Nairn IV12 5TE, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Nairn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Nairn
#4 Luxury Hotel in Nairn
#4 Family Hotel in Nairn
Price Range: $378 - $493 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Boath House 5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned and run and famous for style, quality, gardens and fine cuisine. We are situated on the north east coast of Scotland on the Moray Firth Coast and the Grade A listed Georgian Mansion has been restored lovingly back to it's original splendour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boath Hotel Nairn
Boath House Nairn, Scotland

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