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“Great rooms, food and service, but odd branding”

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The Lovat, Loch Ness
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Fort Augustus
Certificate of Excellence
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
122 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Great rooms, food and service, but odd branding”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

We didn't quite know what to make of The Lovat as, on its website, it looks like a historic hotel, and yet its branding is very modern - as other reviewers have said, it has an identity problem. In reality, it feels as though it is a traditional hotel in a convenient, if not terribly picturesque, location which has recently had a makeover which has resulted in luxurious rooms and bathrooms, has preserved the character of the public spaces, but has a bolted on bistro in a style which jars with the rest of the building and which looks out over the car park. And the pink and black logo is just strange. However, none of this really detracts from the pleasure of staying at The Lovat. The focus on comfort, service, food and the environment were excellent. Our room was large, spacious and comfortable with lots of nice touches. The food was particularly good, very inspiring, creative, technically impressive, fresh and delicious - by far the best meal that we ate while we toured Scotland. I would have loved to have tried many of the meals on the menu but sadly we were only there for one night. I would happily make a detour here in future for the food. Service wasn't always slick, but was all the better for that. Our waiters and waitresses were diligent, polite and friendly and made the evening a real pleasure. We were also hugely impressed with their commitment to minimising their impact on the environment - very admirable, and I only wish other hotels went to such trouble. Overall, we had a lovely stay and I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank cambersberg
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, August 12, 2013
Many thanks for taking the time to write on TripAdvisor, it is greatly appreciated and your comments now have pride of place on our staff notice board!

The Brasserie – yes, I agree this bolted on building does jar with the rest of the hotel – it has been shoddily put together – with awful PVC non functional windows; it is too low set from the car park; it is difficult to illuminate properly; and it doesn’t have a great view. BUT what can you do? This is something we inherited when bought the property in 2005 and it is a structure that we cannot just remove (although I would love to!). It has dramatically changed for the better and continues to be revamped as finances dictate but like any business that is your own – money takes time to accumulate and we have to prioritise accordingly.

Despite you not liking our branding, it is great that we obviously hit the mark (5 out of 5) – thank you for recognising our green ethos and I am so pleased that you enjoyed our food.

Best wishes,
Caroline
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,133 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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Storrs, Connecticut, United States
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

Comfortable, clean rooms with great bathrooms. Friendly staff. Nice location behind the locks – easy minute-long walk to town (Fort Augustus). Not much in the way of window views from the two rooms we rented. My only quibble: The Lovat seems to have an identity problem. While the Lovat Hotel is historic (Victorian), the historic charm sometimes gets overshadowed by kitsch. In some places the hotel feels like an American roadside motel. The recently built motel-like units (six) in the parking lot that you can stay in instead of the “main” building seem incongruous – just don’t fit well with a historic hotel (and never show up in photos of the hotel). The amply reproduced “Lovin’ it at the Lovat” slogan and logo is another example of incongruity. So you have the motel units, and the hot pink heart/Lovat the Lochness sign, and a $$$ restaurant trying to be very refined and upscale (menu & price). Did I mention that it is an eco friendly hotel? Nice place, with an identity crisis. By the way, I am one of the few reviewers that did not like the restaurant – while the food looked the part, presentation was elegant, it was disappointingly unflavorful. But the rooms are top notch.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank DanielML
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, August 12, 2013
Many thanks for taking the time to write on TripAdvisor.

The hotel has been under this management since 2005, and despite it being in its adolescence you have no need to worry because we don’t have an identity crisis!

LovAT Loch Ness is a play on words...we needed to differentiate ourselves from the other 2 Lovat Hotels in Scotland – one in Beauly & one in Perth...We want to be different and we have had the exact reaction we desire – you are talking about us – I would much rather stand out from the crowd than our logo and our customer mission statement ‘Loving it at the Lovat’ being meaningless, non descript & boring drivel...

The hotel does mix traditional & contemporary but we feel that this is well balanced throughout – the motel like units are our studio bedrooms that were built to remove the original derelict building inherited when the building was purchased – if you had seen this, it would certainly have been more offensive than this newly built building.

I can only assume that you associate our Main Restaurant with $$$ - we feel that £45.00 per person (or £40.00 if pre-book at least 24hrs prior) is a fabulous price for a 5 course set meal that is bordering on 3 rosettes. As you are talking in dollars, then at the moment $45 converts to £29.00 – wow...a bargain...!

I can assure you that we are not gearing for the American market – but then maybe you are likening us to ‘off the wall’ entrepreneurs. Take South West Airlines for example, I am more than happy to be in the same pot as these guys – they show passion, creativity and dynamism – all that we are and will continue to be as we develop.

Despite you not liking our branding, it is great that we obviously hit the mark (4 out of 5) – so thank you for scratching the surface and understanding what we are all about, albeit with a hint of pink around the edges.
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Lovat Hotel for 2 nights in mid March. The weekend away was given to us as a Christmas gift. We stayed in a superior room and we were very happy with the hotel.

We arrived on 15 March and were greeted with a very warm welcome and were shown to our room which had a nice view out to Loch Ness. The room itself was large and very clean - it had the biggest bathroom that we'd ever seen - but it was still very cozy. It had everything that one would need and more - a fitted hair dryer, a nail file, sewing kit, shower cap, a large golf-style umbrella (which came in very handy on Saturday night), lovely bath/shower products, iron, ironing board and tea/coffee facilities as well as freeview tv and basic sky channels.

We had dinner in the Brasserie on Friday night and we would highly restaurant. Unfortunately, we didn't take any photographs of the meals, but they were fantastic and beautifully presented. We also had breakfast each morning and there were no complaints there either. We both enjoyed a lovely full cooked Scottish breakfast and the was a nice selection of cereals, fruits, yogurts etc. too. The Brasserie had a nice feel to it and, again, lovely views.

We spent Saturday afternoon in front the the roaring open fire with a refreshing holiday pint each:-)

The little touches and the little extra are what makes it for me, for example, they had love heart chewy sweets at the reception and we were given cookies as a thank for staying at the hotel upon checking out.

The nice feature about the hotel is that they try very hard to reduce their carbon footprint and this is something that my husband and I also try to do at home.

For anyone who is thinking about getting away to the Loch Ness area, we would recommend the Lovat Hotel without question and we would definitely stay there again if in the area.

A big thank you to all the lovely staff at the hotel (also the behind the scene staff who are often seldom given the recognition that they also deserve) - keep up the good work!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank grdnblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Siegen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2013

We stayed at the Lovat for ne night during holiday in England and Scotland.
Additional booking of the 5 course dining experience war a very good decision.
The outstanding dinner was arranged fancifully and the tremendous work of the girl of the waiting staff who went along with us that evening topped the evening off.

We were also lucky to attend the gig of the caledonian ceilidh trail in the wonderfully styled bar.

The only drop of bitterness: a little old-fashioned room (studio) that did not match the remaining impression

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Doreen-Michael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kinross, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
73 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2013

Stayed for 3 nights on a B & B basis.
Just wanted to say that there is really nothing at all that anyone could find a fault with this hotel. It was clean & very well presented. The food was excellent and the ALL staff we encountered were friendly and clearly trained to a high standard. I would definetly go back to this hotel if I return to Fort Augustus.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank fraserwil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed four nights at this hotel and I have nothing but praise for it. The staff were so helpful and welcoming, the restaurant a complete treat. Our rooms were spacious with fab views and every amenity. The beds were amazingly comfortable. Recommended.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Amber-chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

We stayed one night. The food was very good. The staff was super friendly and very professionnel. We were pleasently surprised to receive a complimentary room upgrade when we arrived. The next morning however at checkout we did have to remind the front desk that we had been told the upgrade was complimentary, as this did not seem to be in their computer system and they wanted to charge us the more expensive rate. They did appologize for this and we were given our original booking rate with no arguments.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Orangekate2005
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, July 26, 2013
Many thanks for taking the time to write on TripAdvisor, it is greatly appreciated.

I am so pleased you enjoyed your room upgrade it is just a shame that we spoiled it by forgetting to amend the rate - an honest mistake that we need to rectify internally with admin discipline to make sure similar niceties don't fall flat again.

Yes, we have an excellent team who are a credit to the hotel - I shall add your comments to our staff noticeboard!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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