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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
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Thank martinesmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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

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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
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Thank Travel_Junkie063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Helen9865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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