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“2nd Rate Experience at a Place I previously loved to visit!”
Review of Clachaig Inn

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Clachaig Inn
Ranked #4 of 11 Ballachulish B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 16, 2012

I have visited the Clachaig on 5 previous occasions, 3 of which were stays including staying over. This is a place I have recommended to many, and in fact have introduced to visitors from USA, Sweden, Kazakhstan, and now Colombia, so its clear I am a fan of the place.

However, my recent stay 11th - 14th January 2012, was very much disappointing, as I will elaborate on shortly.

The positives first - The Glen and Location are amazing but that's nature for you.

Now, onto the negatives, which can be verified by other travellers :

1. The first night, the heating was only on for 1 hour - Given that 2 of the guests were from Colombia, and the temperatures were rather low, no heating is unacceptable for any hotel far less a hotel that prides itself on 'real hospitality'. What was worse, was when I enquired about the lack of heating in the morning, and I was told 'the boiler had broken down'. When I intimated that, I did not believe this to be the case since I work for A Utility Company and I explained the boiler had been on 1 hr at night and 1hr in the morning, and I suggested it was cost cutting, the lady went quiet. She then suggested, they offer us a portable heater for the room for the following night. When I asked why this had not been offered, or even blankets the 1st night, again I was met with blank looks. The truth is, I do like the Clachaig, but a lack of heating in winter is unacceptable in any hotel, far less in Glencoe in the dead of winter. The 2nd night the heater did turn up, but when the main hotel is boiling hot, yet our room in a wing of the hotel was frozen, it really did sound more like cost cutting on heating than any problem with a boiler system. Any plumber will tell you, if a boiler has broken, it cannot heat some rooms, and not the others, it either works or it does not work. So, I do feel we were more than short changed here.

2. Bar openings - On Facebook, it stated the Boots Bar would be open on Thursday 12th. So, after our day out, and return to the Claichaig, when we enquired about the Boots bar, we were told it was not opening because they didn't have enough staff, then when we enquired why it was posted on Facebook, the reason changed to it was'too dusty'. However, before we departed the Main Bar, we witnessed several staff members, leading a group of 6 friends, through to drink in the Boots Bar. The one with not enough staff, and being too dusty, but obviously not so much to deter the 'locals drinknig in it, or being allowed to do so.

3. Hotel wise, one of my friends daughter had a stomach bug picked up at the hotel, for which she vomited twice, once during breakfast and once at night on the bedding, whilst the staff were helpful regarding this, and I would say the girl was very helpful there were negatives.

Picking up a stomach bug / food poisoning after eating a kid's chicken portion spoiled the trip a bit, but you have to ask how well or not cooked the chicken was. That can happen in many places, but on top of all what happened it was really 2nd rate at least.
This occured at 11.30pm, but we were told the hotel did not have another Quilt available, so the Original one would have to stay, but really who would want to sleep on a vomit covered quilt.

Finally, Bar Prices - If you are going to charge a price for a drink, at least keep it the same. We ordered the same drinks, and on 3 occasions got 3 different prices.


My footnote would be, that if I had not enjoyed many previous visits to the Clachaig I would not be returning, I only hope the Management, actually address these issues, as certain members of staff clearly do not view the hotel's reputation as important.

Room Tip: Try not to be put into the Wing with Cabins, there is no insulation, and this was where the heating...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank JamzyW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clachaig, General Manager at Clachaig Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 25, 2012

We are always disappointed when we receive a bad review and even more so when it comes from someone who has stayed with us previously.

In truth the boiler issue caught everyone out, including our engineer however; the lack of heating was not a deliberate cost cutting exercise but simply a fault with the timer. It should be noted that we have more than one boiler with this particular one servicing the Lodge wing only. It is regrettable that we did not identify the issue sooner and move you to a warmer part of the Inn.

The reason the Boots bar was not open during your stay was due to scheduled maintenance and I have no idea how that translated as a staff shortage issue. I can only assume that other 'off duty' staff moved through to leave space in the lounge bar.

The more serious claim that one of your group suffered food poisoning is cause for concern. I can assure you that all necessary steps are taken to eliminate any such risk. We have robust procedures in place across our entire food preparation & production areas monitored daily and verified by our local authority. I am therefore confident that the 'tummy bug' was picked up elsewhere.

We do take our reputation seriously and I hope you will reconsider your view on staying with us again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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646 - 652 of 829 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2012

Clachaig Inn came highly recommended and this wasn't my girlfriends first visit here having been previously with her family many years ago (again recommended by someone).

We spent the day in discovering the Isle of Skye and made the drive back from there to Fort William and beyond to find the inn. Admittedly we got lost after driving past the sign in the dark and ended up some 15 minutes away in the wrong direction.

My only criticism it was difficult to find in the pitch dark...but we got there eventually.

When we arrived the place was warm and friendly but really busy (a good sign by my thinking), we found ourselves a table tucked away in the corner and grabbed a few menus.

To choose any one thing was near impossible and looked terrific on paper, the real thing...even better!

The food was delicious and well worth the journey past our hotel to find. The local whiskey and beers are also great and they carry a good range of both.

The food was so good, after spending the day on the road to the Isles we returned the following night to absorb ourself in the warm and friendly atmosphere, great food and pleasant surroundings.

A must for anyone visiting the local area!

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Richard K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Was up in the Highlands with my wife and kids and we popped in here in a night for a meal and a few Beers. Fantastic portions and the food was lovely. It really is a gem in one of the most stunning settings in the world. We will return

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank RuairiBhoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2011

Well another couple of days at the inn, this time a mid week break during xmas holiday, thankfully they have not changed too much of the boots bar, wish they kept the juke box though, this will have been our 10th-11th visit to this fab place, food is superb, never had a bad meal well done chefs and the venison is cooked to perfection, real ales are also fab,would like to see a loyalty scheme at the inn, for regular customers, when it has been fully booked we have stayed in the larger local hotels, and all are cheaper,would be nice if regular travellers to this fantastic inn could be rewarded for there loyalty, a lot of money is spent there on accomodation,food and real ale, come on management have a look at this request??????, and get the fire in the boots bar sorted ??? we will be back in January.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2011

We stayed here on a week night in December. The setting is amazing, the rooms quite small but clean and comfy and the breakfast was tasty and staff that served it were excellent. Reception staff were good but what was not excellent was the service in the restaurant and bar in the evening. We got the feeling that it was an inconvenience us being there and a complaint about an aspect of the food was not well handled. I had heard great things about this place and that was why I had taken the people I was with there, despite the fact it was slightly more expensive than other accommodation options nearby. As a consequence I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed with the service we got.

  • Stayed: December 2011
    • Value
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1  Thank wilko20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2011

I used to come here regularly throughout the summer and winter holidays on University climbing trips and in recent years have brought other friends with me. It's a perfect place to warm up and unwind after a lengthy day in the mountains. There is often a log fire going and the selection of local ales is fantastic. Although quite expensive, they also have a huge range of whiskeys along the back wall. The food is exactly what you need after a full day out and for an average price. Well worth a visit!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Dave U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2011

Food was excellent, staff were pleasant. They were decorating the place before the winter season begins but this didn't spoil the night. Would go back again.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Deersirhc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Clachaig Inn

Address: Ballachulish, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Glencoe > Ballachulish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Ballachulish
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the heart of Glencoe, Clachaig Inn is a popular hostelry with a rich mountaineering heritage. Accommodation is provided by 23 en suite bedrooms, most of which enjoy the spectacular mountain views. Clachaig has 3 lively bars award winning bars and specializes in cask conditioned ales and malt whiskey. Food is served throughout the day and the menus use a variety of locally sourced ingredients. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Clachaig Hotel Clachaig
Clachaig Inn Ballachulish, Glencoe

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