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“Good but expensive”

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The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Machrihanish
Certificate of Excellence
Cambuslang, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Good but expensive”
Reviewed June 12, 2014

Stayed for a couple of days this week. There is a lot to commend the hotel. Very good staff in all departments, nice room, spectacular location and views. No complaints. However, it is very expensive @ c£200/night and for that you expect the highest service and it doesn't quite get there. In particular breakfast is a big let down. For that price, you don't expect to have to make your own tea & toast or be charged extra for anything but a standard coffee. Someone really need to have a look at major improvements on whats offered because it fall short of the rest of the offering.

Room Tip: Anytime overlooking the sea, particularly at sunset
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lawrence93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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277 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Service
  • Value
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edinburgh
Level Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at the Ugadale hotel for 4 nights from the 2nd June 2014. The hotel (once someone had appeared to check us in) was superb. The room had a bay window and overlooked the coast and the first hole of the golf course. It is dressed in the old Scots style and everything seemed to be pretty new and in great condition. The bathroom was large with a bath and a separate shower cubicle. The power from the shower was very good. There was plenty of hanging space in the wardrobe together with a safe. The free wifi was excellent. All in all no problems with the room. The free shuttle to and from the hotel was excellent. Sadly our experience in the breakfast room on the first morning was not good. There was just one other table of 4 in the room when we arrived. The waiter wrote down our order, got it wrong for both of us and even tried to offload it at the wrong table! Things did improve on the other three mornings, but not replenishing things like teapots, teacups, teabags, preserves and having a very limited choice of breads is not good. Those breads that were provided were very thickly sliced which is not to everyone's taste.
We dined in the Clubhouse on the second night. The food here was brilliant as was the service. Very professional and the staff seemed happy to look after you and nothing was too much trouble. The atmosphere was a bit lacking as there were not many customers. On the wednesday we dined at the Harbour view grill (owned by the same group) and as a previous reviewer has said the quality of the steaks was poor and definitely not worth the nearly £30 charged. Also I had to go in search of a waitress after half an hour to try and get the dessert menu. Not good.
So in conclusion great hotel, the clubhouse was brilliant, but breakfast was poor as was the Harbour view grill. When I booked our visit I mentioned that it was our wedding anniversary. The lady that dealt with our booking said she was sure that they would make our anniversary a day to remember. They did - by completely ignoring it! A first for any hotel we have visited!

Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
66 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2014

We stayed here at the weekend staying in one of the luxury cottages attached to the Hotel. Indeed the cottages were really well furbished and had a very luxury feel about them. The beds were very comfy and the bathrooms spacious , luxury and the showers just hit the spot.

Between the cottages and the hotel was a wee pub - again designed to reflect the style and design of the hotel and restaurants. We had a pub lunch there which was good pub food but nothing else. The staff : drivers , bar and wait staff couldn't have been more helpful and cheerful.

Our gripe rests with the restaurant food. We ate at the Ugadale restaurant and the Harbour View Restaurant Grill - both of which we understand are owned / run by the same US management group. We just found the food pretty poor but terribly expensive for what it was. Had it been a pub with pub prices you would have shrugged your shoulders and got on with it. However, it purports to be fine dining with associated prices and it just failed. £27.50 for wet matured steaks (not even dry aged!) and they were just awful. Vegetables that were overcooked and soggy and cheeseboards that must have been sourced from the local Coop ! Have you seen the dairy farms in the area - what an opportunity to promote the local fayre?!
We brought our own wine and paid £15.00 corkage - thank god. As each meal cost about £50.00 inc. corkage - if we had been buying the wines from their wine list each meal would have been nearer £75 - £80 each and it just wasn't worth it.

The breakfasts were just plain poor - you get better cooked breakfasts in Little Chefs. On the Sunday we just stayed with cereals etc - it was safer.

Shame - the whole set up tied into the golf courses with transport laid on with good integration makes this Machrihanish sojourn a real opportunity to do something quite special in a unique part of Scotland. We just felt let down by the restaurant experiences and prices. Get this right (or fairer - call it and price it as pub grub) and it could be the perfect weekend stopover.

(Its a helluva a place to get to - 4 hours from Edinburgh at least. We stopped on the way up at Loch Fyne for lunch - now there is a place that's optimised the local produce ! On the way back we took the ferry from Campbeltown to Ardrossan - quite fun!)

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank horsetiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montrose, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2014

This is the first review I have given on Trip Advisor as having working for years in the hospitality industry and travelled the world on business I expect high standards and find the idea of writing reviews a bit of a chore - just another half an hour in front of a computer. I believe that if you have paying guests they should be given the highest standards possible (sadly not always the case, but hey, life's not perfect) however, I have felt compelled to put pen to paper (so to speak) due to our recent experience at this hotel. It was a weekend of highs (mostly highs) and lows..... Where to start?........... Lets do the good bits first.

We drove a good distance to get here and just wanted a good meal and somewhere decent to stay. One out of two ain't bad I guess. We were in one of the cottages (four of us on a golf outing - boys for golf and girls for wine, spa and chilling - more of that later).

Location - it's a bit of a trek, but it is through some stunning scenery! We travelled from the east coast down through Angus, Perthshire, and the Highlands, via, Killin, Loch Lomond, Inverary and whilst it was a long drive it passed quick enough and served to remind me just what an amazing and stunningly beautiful country we are privileged to live in. I haven't had a road drip this length in many years and just keep wondering "why not?" The roads are not fantastic (i.e. not mindless motorway) but who cares, go slower and enjoy Scotland!!

Accommodation - we were in cottage #1 - only one word - Wow! just Wow!!! Look at the pics on the hotel website and this is exactly what you get. Lounge/kitchen area is very spacious and beautiful, both rooms en-suite (one with Jack & Jill door to main bathroom). Top of the range everything and a very well catered kitchen with granite work-tops. Everything is just so comfortable and the artisan deer's antler light fitting above the beautiful glass topped dining table is just stunning. Beds are huge and very, very comfortable. Bedrooms are well equipped with lots of space, drawers, wardrobe etc. Each room also has a safe in the spacious wardrobe. Everything you could want is here - loads of towels, fluffy white robes - there is even a dark face-cloth for removing make up!! They have thought of everything, except a clothes brush, so take your own. The bathrooms are fantastic and you could hold a barn dance in the showers!! It really is top notch stuff and I can't make enough good noises about it, especially when we woke up to the sound of the sea on the beach on a lovely sunny morning. This is an amazing place to stay.

Staff - (now bear in mind that having been in this industry and know exactly how tough it can be and my husband is an ex-chef) we can be hyper-critical with the knowledge of personal experience. The staff were all JUST FANTASTIC!!! I don't really have a bad word to say about them, friendly, happy, unobtrusive, efficient (even the ones who were obviously training and still a bit nervous - i.e. shaking pouring the champers). A big shout out to Daniel, Mary-Ann and "Miss Hungary" (couldn't catch her name!) they made our stay very enjoyable, and the others were all great too.

Now that's the up side.............so to the downs. To be honest and totally clear, with a little adjustment and forewarning (hence this lengthy review) there is no real downside.

BUT....... the food was a total disappointment in the rather pricey Kintyre Club Dining Room. Firstly, we were with a veggie who had very little choice on the menu, however, after some suggestions for the chef she ended up with exactly what she asked for made to order in a busy restaurant. Like I said, they can't do enough for you. Top marks here. Secondly, we had a table in the bar - not what we were expecting in a fine dining restaurant, although to be fair they were very busy with golf parties, so on a quieter night it may have been different. Two of the three starters ordered were sub standard and eaten only because we were starving! Two of the main courses were sent back (not something we do lightly) and the other two were pretty bland and disappointing. Deserts were OK (Semifreddo means part frozen, not rock solid frozen block of ice!) and the cheese was nice but too cold to have any real flavour. They did take the two mains off the bill after I queried it, but on a bill of nearly £230 for 4 people not all of whom ate three courses it was definitely over priced for the quality. To be honest I will happily pay good money for quality, but this just didn't hit the mark. The table next to us (5 or 6 ladies) were arguing about their bill as the food was not good enough and in the morning, when checking out, another party was arguing the toss about the food charges because of the quality, but they should have complained at the time, next morning is too late, in my opinion. I suspect it was "sour grapes" as they had had the £300 penalty charge added to their bill for smoking cigars in their room - serves them right! We both smoke - we go outside - that's life, get over it!!! To top it all, the breakfast was mediocre in the extreme and when your sausage matches the colour of the black pudding, you know you have a problem. Poor, poor, poor, poor poor!!!!!

What else? Oh, if you fancy the GYM whilst the men play golf, forget it - the "gym" is a carpeted room with a few pieces of equipment - not good at all. AND, so much for our relaxing day in the spa, advertised as "open daily 10am - 6pm" - it isn't open on Sundays!! What is that all about????? We also had the impression there was a pool, sauna etc. there isn't. I don't know why we thought that, but we did. Maybe it is just what you expect when a "spa" is mentioned, but that was a big disappointment as we ended up walking round the golf course with the boys, just for something to do.

Back to the good bits............The PUB - great little pub - friendly, good staff and nice atmosphere. Really wish we had eaten here as the food looked fantastic and lots of it. "Miss Hungary" was great company behind the bar and the locals were happy to chat and have a laugh with you. Really enjoyed being in here and it was only a 30 yard "stagger" to the cottage.

So.......... overall a great weekend in a truly beautiful place in amazing accommodation, with a great team looking after us and a jolly decent little pub to chill out in. You can't really get much better than that and the only reason it's not been given full marks is the Kintyre Club food. If they ever get a decent chef and lay on a little something for the ladies whilst the guys play golf they have got a real winner, which I would happily drive another six hours to go back to. In fact, we probably will go back again and hopefully soon, but our plans will be adjusted to include the wherewith all to cook our own breakfast in the cottage and we will eat at night in the pub rather than the hotel.

Oh a word about the golf at the Dunes Course - wow! Now that's a golf course and a half!!! It's a definite "experience" for any golfer and will challenge the best. It's a helluva round of golf - take your crampons for climbing the hills!!! I've been dragged (kicking and screaming) round many courses as a caddy for my husband (excellent golfer btw) and this is just amazing, I've never seen another course like it. It is such a challenge that it might be worth paying for a guide as it is without doubt the "quirkiest" course I've ever experienced and someone who can guide you round would be well worth the extra expense.

Room Tip: Spa closed Sundays, No Pool.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ronioma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2014

Stayed on the weekend 19th april was fabulous. excellent refurbishment of hotel beautiful spacious rooms professional staff lovely location nice food. golfers paradise also surfers too, surprisingly but adds to the laid back lifestyle of area. also played golf at the dunes got lifted and laid treated professionally but with warmth. if you get the chance to go then you won't regret it drive on way round is a joy although slightly long.

Room Tip: cottages for group excellent accommodation and fallout distance from pub.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alex H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
655 reviews
197 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 347 helpful votes
Reviewed May 3, 2014

With all superior rooms enjoying a view of the sea and the famous Machrahanish golf Club this is a very special place.

We enjoyed three wonderful nights at the hotel aided no doubt by the fact that the sun shone for the duration of our stay. Our room (Room 2) was splendind, large, comfy bed and nice large bathroom with bath and shower.

It takes a while to get here but its worth it. The food is ok (if a bit over priced), personally I think the Machrahanish Golf club is the best place within walking distance.

Note the hotel golf course (Mach Dunes) is not the same as the one over the road from the Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Baxie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed May 3, 2014

We spent three nights at the Ugadale and didn't want to leave! From the minute we arrived until the minute we left there was nothing we found fault with. The staff are so friendly and helpful - nothing is too much trouble; the decor is calm and understated while our rooms (12 & 15 ) were delightful - the beds are sooooo comfortable! The breakfast was delicious - set both the golfers and the beachcombers/ shoppers up for the day ahead. Meals in the Old Clubhouse were also delicious and served by attentive staff in a relaxed atmosphere. We'd go back tomorrow if we could! The hotel is worth every one of its stars .....and more!

Room Tip: Our rooms were to the front - the views are spectacular !
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages

Property: The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages
Address: Machrihanish Farm Dunes, Machrihanish PA28 6PT, Scotland
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Argyll and Bute > Kintyre Peninsula > Machrihanish
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Machrihanish
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, consisting of Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, The Ugadale Hotel & Cottages and The Old Clubhouse Pub, coupled with The Royal Hotel in nearby Campbeltown, offers you a golf destination rivaling the finest in the world. ... more   less 
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