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“Great if your dog likes swimming!”

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Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Strontian
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Great if your dog likes swimming!”
Reviewed April 22, 2007

The hotel is located on the shore of Loch Sunart in a stunningly beautiful area of the Highlands convenient for Isle of Mull, Glencoe, the Nevis range and much, much more.

But the hotel is located right on the edge of the village so it’s not isolated or remote which somewhat disappointed my expectations after looking at the photos on the hotel website but on the plus side at least means you have a post office and village store handy. On the down side it does mean that some rooms will inevitably overlook the (sorry - unattractive) village and ugly buildings in the hotel grounds. From one window in our room we had a stunning view of the loch and from the other window an unattractive view of a bungalow which was so close we had to draw the curtains for privacy.

But our room (8) was large, comfortable and beautifully decorated with lovely high ceilings and a small but perfectly formed bathroom with double ended roll top bath and separate shower enclosure.

The shower wasn’t up to much; hardly any water pressure and it kept cutting out unless you had it on one particular setting – might have been handy to have been told about this when shown our room on checking in. Likewise we had a problem with some of the lights which unbeknown to us only worked when a central switch was on at the door – always a good idea to go over these details when showing guests the room. Don’t be surprised at the colour of the water when you draw your bath – sort of a murky yellow but quite harmless!

The hotel has a comfortable, cosy country house feel with log fires, squashy sofas, board games, books and magazines. Very welcoming atmosphere and not at all stuffy or formal.

I agree with one previous reviewer that for such a small hotel the owners were noticeable only by their absence. Yes, of course you could ring a bell and someone would always come to help you immediately but I would have welcomed a more visible presence at breakfast and at dinner especially.

Ah….. dinner. Had we paid the full rack rate of £175 per night for our room and breakfast and then paid £45 a head for dinner I would have been bitterly disappointed with the exorbitant cost of the food whose quality certainly did not justify such elevated rates. But we were staying on a special offer rate of £85 per person per night for dinner, room and breakfast which meant a considerable saving.

The restaurant has enjoyed quite a reputation but the chefs that won those three AA rosettes have now left and the hotel has new chefs and staff.

The restaurant itself was (very) dimly lit by candlelight in the evenings. All very pretty but just too dark. The atmosphere was a bit library like - hushed and sombre. I'd have enjoyed a more convivial atmosphere and no background music....the hotel played a limited selection of background music constantly which I knew by heart by the time we left.

To be quite frank the food wasn’t up to our high expectations. The breakfasts were huge and well presented but the quality of the fish, bacon, sausage and black pudding weren’t great. We were presented with burnt toast and croissants one morning and the ping of the microwave (which disconcertingly continued during dinner …) and the burning hot plates didn’t quite match our expectation for everything to be cooked fresh, from scratch, to order.

The food at dinner was again very well presented but the flavours didn’t excite or have the ‘wow!’ factor. I didn’t even finish any of my puddings (unheard of...) because they just didn’t taste that great. But the venison we had one evening was fantastic quality although the accompanying chocolate and red wine sauce was very much a ‘Marmite’ moment – love it or hate it. One odd thing was that there wasn’t a vegetable to be seen. The portions were enormous, too enormous. I’d cut the portions, cut those exorbitant prices, bring in some fresh vegetables and add a bit of zing to the bland flavours.

Would I stay again? In the balance, probably not. The food just didn’t live up to the gourmet experience we’d hoped for and for such a small hotel it lacked the personal touch and presence of the owner/s or a manager to make it really special. But if you’re a dog owner the good thing going for this hotel is that they welcome dogs so your hound can stay with you and benefit from the wonderful doggie swimming pool on the doorstep – the loch!

  • Liked — Real log fires in the bar and library
  • Disliked — The deathly hush in the dining room every evening and the plink plonk of the background music
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank travelbug2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kilcambfoxs, General Manager at Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant, responded to this review, July 3, 2007
Like all good Hoteliers, we welcome guest critiques and comments; they are a stimulus as well as a reminder that there is always room for improvement. However when the critique is so factually inaccurate and misleading, namely, the critique from “London April 23rd”, we feel compelled to respond.

Kilcamb Lodge Hotel is situated in a stunning position on the shore of Loch Sunart and overlooking the mountains of Ardnamurchan. We are half a mile from the village of Strontian and the village cannot be seen from the hotel.
The 22 acres of grounds and woodland in which the hotel stands create a very tranquil, quiet and private setting which guests have specifically been coming to enjoy for the past 30 years, together with the lovely loch and mountain views from our 10 bedrooms.
We are not aware that our Hotel has ever been described as "Isolated" however, we cannot be responsible for the many articles written about Kilcamb that we have had no hand in creating.

The hotel grounds do not have ugly buildings within them. The only building within the hotel grounds is a small cottage, which is situated at the rear of the Hotel. This cannot be seen from any of the hotel bedrooms.

“Noticeable by their absence” is a comment often directed at hotels like Kilcamb. However, owners do need to take time off occasionally and whilst this can impact on a particular guests stay this does not imply that they are not regularly on duty in the hotel looking after guests needs.

Mr & Mrs Ruthven-Fox are in the hotel business because they love meeting people and have built their business up based on the care and personal attention they offer all their guests. At Kilcamb Lodge we have a highly qualified team of staff who take charge on the occasions when Mr & Mrs Ruthven-Fox are not on duty. Our manager Cheryl Frith has been with Kilcamb for 12 years and our guests are always delighted and happy to be cared for by Mrs Frith. Assistant Manager Elizabeth Beecham (9 years service) is also an extremely competent and welcoming host with many years experience in the hotel business. Mrs Beecham and Mrs Frith are always on duty when the owners are off duty.
To ensure that guests receive personal as well as professional attention.

We would also like to correct trip advisor London 23rd April, regarding our restaurant’s accolades. The restaurant at Kilcamb Lodge does not have 3 AA Rosettes, nor have we ever claimed to have 3 AA Rosettes.

We do in fact have 2 AA Rosettes, which we have won year on year for the past 4 years. In March This year, we were given a Silver Award for fine food by Eat Scotland, to be presented in Edinburgh on 14th May 2007

In May 2006 we did achieve a third Red Star for the Hotel after a total refurbishment of our 3 luxury suites (room 8 included) and room 8 has also been awarded a Gold Medal for Scottish Hotel Bedroom design 2007 by Hotel Review Scotland

Fresh Vegetables make up on average 30% of a main course dish in our restaurant. and are a pre-requisite of a balance and professionally prepared dish. However, if a guest requires extra portions of any item on our menu - more vegetables for example - they will have their needs most graciously fulfilled. At fine dining level however there is a different approach to the provision of vegetables on the plate which can make the dish appear to consist of less vegetables with more emphasis on the dish as a complete entity. If “London April 23rd” was used to bistro or pub style of cuisine, I can appreciate that his fine dining experience at Kilcamb might have been outside his level of expectation. We make no apology for the truly classical combination of Venison with a Red Wine and Chocolate jus. We would also question that any guest has ever been given burnt toast in our restaurant, or indeed that any guest at our level of hospitality would be happy to accept it. We buy in the best dry cured bacon, Stornoway black pudding and our local butchers pork sausage is also of the finest quality. We specifically source all our produce from local suppliers who produce renowned products of the finest quality.
All our dishes at 2-rosette level are prepared from fresh ingredients daily.

We take enormous pride at Kilcamb to provide an ambiance of relaxation in our restaurant with the ability to have a romantic or private conversation over dinner. To facilitate this, we go to great lengths to select appropriate music for our guests and to ensure that it is unobtrusive. We play only classical, Piano, Guitar or jazz and all supplied via a 10CD racking system changed daily to ensure no repetition. We would classify our ambiance as romantic and cosy with crystal glasses, crisp white table linen, fresh roses on every table and soft candlelight, which creates a delightful dining ambiance.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2006

What a fantastic place! Like the previous reviewer, we travelled a long way to get to Kilcamb but it was absolutely worth it.

The location cannot be described as anything other than stunning as the hotel sits on the edge of the loch. We received a very warm welcome on our arrival and found the staff to be very efficient and friendly. Our room was beautifully appointed - the complimentary sherry was a nice touch! The hotel has a lovely relaxed atmosphere. On the days when the weather was too wet to venture out for long, it was great to curl up in front of one of the fires with a good book.

The food was delicious - breakfasts that set you up for the day and evening cuisine that was certainly worth its accolades.

We shall definitely go back to Kilcamb and recommend it highly particularly if you're looking for a peaceful haven.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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6 Thank Immelda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 14, 2005

I would entirely agree with the last reviewer, we had a very similar experience. It has a nice location but so do many other hotels in this area of Scotland, we found Kilcamb Lodge overpriced for what was on offer and not particularly good value for money at all. Whatsmore for such a small establishment the proprietors were noticeable by their absence.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
33 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 10, 2005

Stayed here 5 years ago, but has changed hands, not for the better. Excellent site by the loch, very quiet and peaceful, but the prices are astronomical for a small hotel in Scotland. The food was very imaginative and beautifully presented, but the fish was overcooked. We were charged £7 for a pot of tea for 2 and shortbread on arrival - not a welcoming gesture. A glass of sherry plus canapes was £4 per head. Room 2 was very badly lit, making it difficult to read in bed. Service in the restaurant was good but on our last night there were problems in the kitchen, so that dinner was extremely slow. The proprietors were not seen after our first night - when I rang to book, I was asked to ring back later as they were having lunch!!! In all, it appeared that the new owners were intent on making as much money as possible in as short a time as possible.

34 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 24, 2003

Great food, beautiful accomodation, very peaceful. We enjoyed our weekend very much.

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant

Property: Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant
Address: Strontian PH36 4HY, Scotland
Location: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Lochaber > Strontian
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Strontian
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winner of Romantic Hotel of the year, and one of the Daily Telegraph's top 10 most cosy Highland Hotels; Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant is a small luxury 4 star hotel, perfectly situated on the tranquil shores of Loch Sunart in the Highlands of Scotland. The hotel now has two restaurants; the new and less formal Driftwood Brasserie, or the renowned Restaurant, both offering friendly yet professional service and 2AA Rosette award winning food. This newly appointed 4 star hotel is perfectly situated in its 22 acres of loch side meadow, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery which adds to to the sense of peace and tranquility, hard to find in today's modern world. Local wildlife on the door-step such as otters, eagles red squirrels and pine martens only add to the sense of remote Highland serenity. Kilcamb Lodge Hotel is also pet friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kilcamb Hotel Strontian
Kilcamb Lodge Hotel & Restaurant Strontian, Scotland

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