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“A contradiction in reviews or mabey we were just unlucky” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Lovat, Loch Ness

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The Lovat, Loch Ness
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fort Augustus
Certificate of Excellence
aberdeenshire
Level Contributor
151 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“A contradiction in reviews or mabey we were just unlucky”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2011

A beautiful hotel in stunning surroundings with very good accommodation free wirless. We booked the Easter weekend on the basis of the trip adviser reviews.

I don’t think were being picky as we had overall a very good time. In the restaurant the first night I asked for our table to be changed but was told no as all tables were booked. “ I don’t understand what the problem would have been in changing us and putting someone who didn’t mind on the one we were at”. Very good starter, the main course I had crab linguini which was swimming in sauce and too much chilli. My wife had slow cooked shoulder of lamb which seemed passed its best.

A very comfortable night in the room then the farce which was breakfast. My wife ordered poached smoked haddock with a poached egg which took half an hour to arrive we were told by a rather dizzy young blond waitress that there was a problem with the egg poacher, “surely a pot of simmering water”. When it did arrive no smocked haddock but a piece of plain fish with a poached egg on top. Had to convince the waitress it wasn’t smoked! (Ordered scrambled egg with smoked salmon, the egg was over cooked). Excuse they had changed their supplier and they had got it wrong. When I spoke to the manager the same excuse was given. I pointed out that the chef must have had no sense of taste or smell I was told he was only 17 years old, “a minimum wage employee so why was he in the kitchen on his own without supervision on a busy bank holiday”?

What I believe happened was that we ordered something out of the ordinary they had no smocked haddock to hand so took some out the freezer which was the wrong pack and defrosted in the microwave never checked smelt or tasted. The owner denied this.

The other point I made to the owner was that I had been in the bar in the afternoon and ordered a glass of wine. It was measured by standing it next to another glass with a measure of water already poured in. I would have thought this illegal. The owner said its how they always do it because they pour a lot of wine “so that’s alright”.

A beautiful hotel worth a visit for the location and the room standard. However don’t follow the reviews on food and service which detracted from our otherwise very good weekend. When I brought all this up with the manager while I was paying the bill a simple act of good will would have been to have taken the bottle of wine or something off the bill. She did give us two biscuits for our journey!

I would recomend if they can get it right

Room Tip: great hotel if your lucky
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank stewartdick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CeeGee1, Owner at The Lovat, Loch Ness, responded to this review, May 2, 2011
Many thanks for your comments. As always we prefer to have feedback, which you kindly gave us during your stay, on departure & now on-line. Your comments are not foreign to me as I recall our conversation & have since chatted to other staff to get a fuller picture on the situation that arose at breakfast.

The fish is really a mystery as the supplier box quite clearly states ‘smoked haddock’ however it was from a new supplier. After your departure I did taste the haddock & admit that the flavour was pathetic/non-existent. Since your complaint we have resumed our normal supplier product which has a more distinct & authentic flavour. I have also spoken to Heather, who we refer to as young & bubbly, rather than a young dizzy blonde. She does admit that she panicked when bringing your breakfast to the table because she was aware of your long wait. The eggs are poached in boiling water & took a long time to master at this busy breakfast.

On your departure I didn’t want to get into a lengthy diatribe as I understood your annoyance over breakfast service, however I can inform you now that our 17 year old breakfast chef was not alone & he is not on the minimum wage. We are keen to build young talent as the hospitality industry is notorious for a lack of skilled workers - he is already involved in an SVQ so is undergoing educational training which we want to encourage. We have made some changes to breakfast since your departure & highlighted the need for soft scrambled eggs. Admittedly this should go without saying but all staff have to undergo training & on occasion make mistakes. We would prefer to encourage our guests to mention to the team if we haven’t go something right so we can rectify it then & there so at least the end experience is positive.

Since your comment about the wine, I have spoken with ‘Weights & Measures’ who have informed us of the correct procedure. Believe it or not, they even needed to discuss the situation & only managed to get back to us after 7 hours. None of our glasses carry a stamped measurement so we used our own measured glass due to pouring a lot of wine. From now on our wine will not be measured to a 175ml line on a glass but poured each time a guest requests a glass. ‘W&M’ are also coming to the hotel to give the team some additional training.

I am sorry that you feel that the situation warranted ‘money off’ – often it is hard to gauge what is the best compensation & in this instance I felt that an apology was acceptable but I obviously didn’t judge your complaint in the manner you wished compensated.

The team have reacted to your comments & we are all more vigilant in our actions. We have certainly taken the positive out of your feedback – the housekeeping department are delighted that you enjoyed the accommodation, found the hotel beautiful & we are all pleased you enjoyed the area. Your high scores of 5/5, with 3/5 for service are encouraging & we look forward to your recommendations so that we can prove we can get it right.

Kind regards,
Caroline
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,123 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2011

We enjoyed our 2 night stay from start to finish. The staff made us feel so welcome, with effortless service. The food was the best we have had in a long time and my daughter thought the children's fish and chips were the best she has ever tasted ( and she is fussy!!)

From the sweets left on my daughter's bed, to the homemade cookies gifted to us for our journey home...It was the little touches which made our stay so special.

We will be back!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank martinesmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
79 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2011

This was our third time that we have stayed at the hotel and yet again we werent disappointed and had a lovely stay. Our room was lovely and comfortable with all those little creature comforts that just make your stay extra special. All of the staff were friendly, courteous and generally radiate a very warm welcome to you. We ate in the restaurant and although the menu has changed considerably since we last stayed, we still had a good meal. I cant not recommend this hotel enough. The team strive very hard to get it right and they have got it absolutely spot on. I am not sure when we will be visiting again but I hope it will be sooner rather than later.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Littlemurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CeeGee1, Owner at The Lovat, Loch Ness, responded to this review, April 9, 2011
Many thanks for your comments, they are much appreciated.

We have recently had a few harsh reviews which we take personally so it is lovely to have some repeat customers still supporting us & enjoying it! I know there have been some changes but we feel we are moving in the right direction - it just takes a little time to get it right.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

Many thanks,
Caroline
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2011

My wife booked us into the Lovat Arms hotel restaurant for a well earned evening out for dinner. I had heard about the food here and was interested to see if it met my expectations.

The welcome was lovely and we looked at the menus whilst our drinks were being prepared. We didn't choose a starter for the simple reason that nothing appealed. A little bit too "mincey" for my liking. So we decided to go straight for the main course from which there was lots to choose. I was torn between the chicken breast stuffed with haggis, the lamb or the pork. I adore haggis and therefore went for the chicken breast. My wife chose the mushroom risotto.

When my chicken arrived I was surprised that I couldn't see a chicken breast stuffed with haggis, I had to ask the waitress where it was. She pointed to two round shapes and then asked if there was anything else on my plate that she needed to explain, in a rather sarcastic voice which was not appreciated. The menu stated that the dish came with a chicken leg, it was a drumstick, not a full leg. There was 2 bits of carrot and some mushrooms and two bits of spring onion to accompany the chicken. No potatoes or rice and referring back to the menu there wasn't even a choice of side orders. The food was delicious but not enough and certainly didn't justify the price of £15.50 for such a small portion of chicken, the cheapest of meats on the market. I am sure the hotel will tell me it is all about the dining experience, the taste, the quality the atmosphere and surroundings, well it certainly isn't about the huge portions.

For dessert I had the cheeseboard which I was hoping would fill the hunger gap. a selection of 4 cheeses which the waitress kindly reeled off the names, none of which I understood. My wife had the "chocolate texture" which she reported was lovely.

We paid and left still hungry.

A friend of mine told me that the next time I go to the Lovat Arms for dinner to have a sandwich beforehand.

The staff were super despite the sarcasm from one member, the location delightful but I wouldn't bother having dinner there again. I am sure the chef is trying to introduce fine dining to the Highlands which some people will enthuse about but for me it left me hungry. My dish would have benefited from a few boiled new potatoes, or some fragrant rice, or some other form of carbohydrate to complete it. In UK, and especially in Scotland meat courses traditionally come with potatoes in some form or other. The hotel should make it clear on the menu that potatoes are not included.

I won't be going back, its not my thing , I prefer to feel that I have had value for money. I give it 4 out of 5 because of the location and surroundings. The food was high quality but not enough to satisfy.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cwgordon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CeeGee1, Owner at The Lovat, Loch Ness, responded to this review, April 6, 2011
The dreaded ...’BUT’...always a worry to see or even hear in a conversation because despite someone doing a hundred things right, the ‘BUT’ cuts through it all as it is this ‘BUT’ that has the over-riding final impression on someone’s experience. It doesn’t matter even if we did get 4 out of 5 because at the end of the day, you have still left dis-satisfied.

However, as always it is great to receive feedback because with this we can look to improve, make changes & address issues that need attention. This is exactly what we have done.

After reading this review we held a meeting & took a plan of action to that night’s service: portion sizes were increased, staff had additional training, complimentary vegetables are now offered to all our guests as we explain that the meal is not going to be a ‘mound of food’ that one may expect in a pub.

At the moment we have the Brasserie & by the end of April will have the Restaurant open too. Admittedly the ambience of the Brasserie is not conducive for the Restaurant-style service because the first impressions that a guest has when walking into this environment doesn’t match what is received on the plate...that is why team training is vitally important so we set the scene, inform out guests & make sure they get a fuller picture of what we are doing – not ‘trying’ to do.

I personally feel that the team at the hotel is exceptionally strong so am disappointed that one person within that team let us down. I am investigating who the individual could have been so we can develop training on how to deal with certain situations.

The chicken meal you ordered was described as so:

chicken breast stuffed with haggis 15.50
braised chicken leg, spring vegetables, mushrooms
Rather than having the chicken pointed out to you on the plate, the normal procedure would be to actually explain the meal to you so you weren’t made to feel stupid. The food that goes out on each plate is labour intensive so to the untrained eye it possibly looks as if there is not much to it.

The chicken is provided by the local butcher. Preparation-wise, the chicken is stuffed with haggis then rolled & vac packed. Cooking-wise, it is poached for about 20 mins at around 62 degrees, it is then pan fried to finish. The chicken leg is in fact a drumstick, cut off at the thigh. It is braised for about an hour, cooled down then trimmed so the top part of the bone is clean. This is then reheated to order in the jus & glazed accordingly. The conical carrots take about 90 seconds to prepare each...so you can imagine how long it takes to do a whole sack! As you enthuse, the quality & taste is there so the preparation & cooking did their job...I would be worried if we didn’t get this right.

The food we are serving at the moment has had comments from both ends of the spectrum. ‘Value for money’ is always a hard issue because what you value & what someone else values can be very different.
We are addressing the comments like yours – producing some simpler dishes, improving service time, increasing the portions & above all communicating.

We love & are excited about the food that we are producing – it is different, innovative & characteristic of the hotel. We are not like all other establishments in the area & we never have been. We are not pub grub & we are offering a different dining experience. Yes, it does take time to get things right & I am sorry that you & some others have had to bear the brunt of our experimenting but we need to learn, we need to develop & we need your feedback to improve.

Initially your review was taken as very distressing but on re-reading it, you are actually very complimentary & positive about your experience. To still get 4 out of 5 I believe is a real achievement & one we should be exceptionally proud of...if we had only managed to get a little more on the plate...

Honestly, your comments have changed us – we have proactively used them to make a difference so thank you.

I understand if you would rather not return...BUT...(there it is again, this time more positive) – I believe that everyone deserves a 2nd chance. It will not be necessary to have a sandwich before dinner – maybe then we could get 5 out of 5...or is that pushing it?

Best wishes,
Caroline
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirby Hill, North Yorks
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2011

Stayed for just one night having previously had a meal here back in Oct 2010 when holidaying in Fort Augustus.

The Lovat is a fabulous hotel with wonderful, clean, modern, spacious rooms in an idyllic location in Fort Augustus on the southern end of Loch Ness.

The food in the restaurant is superb and breakfast was a rare treat.The staff very knowledgable in all things from the food to the extensive whisky collection.

The staff couldn't have been more helpful and the Lovat's aim to 'Never say no' was more than demonstrated when a member of staff gave us a lift to nearby Invermoriston to catch a bus when none of the local taxi firms were available to take us.

Fort Augustus itself is a beatiful little town on the Great Glen Way and if you can stay for a while, I'd urge you to do so, and if possible, stay at the Lovat!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Travel_Junkie063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inverness, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2011

We stayed at the Lovat for a work meeting. We booked the meeting room and Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for a group of us. All of the staff were very friendly, attentive and helpful. The hotel was comfortable & spotless throughout and the food was good too. During the meetings the staff were very attentive with refreshments regularly brought through to us. My room was the envy of my colleagues with a lovely big bed, corner bath, tv on the wall and a separate shower room! Could have stayed longer......

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Helen9865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crieff, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2011

Third or fourth visit to Lovat - continues to live up to its reputation for impeccable service and great ambience. A thoroughly relaxing place to stay

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cjajs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lovat, Loch Ness

Property: The Lovat, Loch Ness
Address: Loch Ness, Fort Augustus PH32 4DU, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Loch Ness > Fort Augustus
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fort Augustus
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Lovat, Loch Ness 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Victorian property that delicately balances tradition & contemporary. The dedicated team has a drive & passion to deliver an outstanding visitor experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lovat, Loch Ness Hotel Fort Augustus
The Lovat, Loch Ness Fort Augustus, Scotland

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