Sunday, 8 February 2015

P'S TOP PICKS: FAVOURITE HOTELS IN THE UK...

I tend to love staying anywhere that isn't my own flat. It's generally warmer and tidier and has a better view if I stay in a hotel or guest house. So I do like going away on wee overnight jaunts and have spent a fair amount of nights staying in hotels! I thought it was time to share with you some of my favourites!

I would like to point out in advance that of the six I mention, only one is not in Scotland. I'd also like to add that  I've stayed in my fair share of Travelodges etc and I have loved most of them (apart from the one we stayed in near South Shields when my boyfriend was doing the Great North Run and we couldn't even get decent tv reception!)  - however, I wanted to try and highlight a couple of places that were maybe a bit more personal or with character. I have included an Ibis Styles because I was just there and loved it, but the rest you may not have heard of.

Ardtorna (Near Oban)

I visited this B&B near Oban last March and reviewed it here, so I'll not rave on about it again. As I say in my review, it ain't cheap (sadly I've never been able to afford to go back), but if you have a bit of money burning a hole unexpectedly in your pocket, I'd definitely recommend it! And you MUST help yourself to the whisky and whisky liqueur they supply in the corridor outside the rooms, and make sure you make it down for breakfast as there is an amazing breakfast menu (you order the night before) and I cannot recommend the bacon, poached egg and halloumi option more highly!


The Inn on Loch Lomond (Inverbeg)


In the bar . . .


The room . . .
Very nice little hotel in Inverbeg, on the edge of Loch Lomond. We had a lovely view of the loch and mountains, a spacious room and wonderful service. There wasn't a lot to do in the vicinity but we spent a lovely afternoon sitting down by the loch with a flask of hot ginger wine (we came prepared! followed by a drink at the cosy bar and a delicious dinner in the restaurant later on. (We both went for the haggis, neeps and tatties starter and fish & chips main and neither of us regretted it.) A lovely wee place to stay and I'd definitely go back.


Ibis Styles (Edinburgh)

View from the room . . .
 
Quirky cupboard . . .
This was my present for my boyfriend's birthday which we had an overnight stay in just last night. Our room was compact but used the space well and was beautifully decorated. Unbelievably comfy bed, quirky, very central (was only a five minute walk from Edinburgh Waverley), friendly staff and what looked like a lovely menu. I'd made plans to eat elsewhere but I think I would have been perfectly happy eating in the hotel. We missed out on breakfast as the bed was just too comfy but I'm sure it would have been delicious. You also get to check in from midday AND checkout at midday so you can definitely get a bit more bang for your buck in terms of enjoying the hotel room!


Sandaig Guest House
This was a little impulse overnight stay last May after my boyfriend had came to pick me up from a hen weekend in Edinburgh. After going for lunch in the Shore area he suggested we stay somewhere nearby, so we found this guest house on booking.com. It was unexpectedly lovely. We were greeted by our friendly host and headed up to our comfortable room which was very homely and warm... and we had a little alcoholic treat waiting for us when we got there (we think it might have been brandy but whatever it was I really enjoyed it)! Because we'd been out for lunch we actually just got some sandwiches from Tesco and wine and had a little picnic in the room so I'm not sure if our experience would have been different if we'd been planning to go somewhere for a wild night out, but it suited our purposes brilliantly. Even more amazingly, the following day when we wernt down for breakfast there was a menu to choose breakfast from as well as the continental option... AND you could have two courses. I opted for a cheese omelette which was delicious while the boyfriend opted for the full Scottish breakfast - we decided one course was enough, but it was nice to have the option!

North Ocean Hotel (Blackpool)
Me on the terrace... sadly the weather let us down and we couldn't sit out on it and enjoy a drink. :-(
Massive toad in the hole!
This is the only hotel I'm reviewing outside of Scotland, and it's where we stayed when we went down to Blackpool for the weekend last summer. I absolutely loved this hotel, and judging by the reviews on Trip Advisor I'm not the only one. It was small, friendly and although we were too late to bag a seaview room, we did get a lovely spacious room for just over 100 pounds for a Friday and Saturday night. They also had a good deal on where you could get a bottle of wine and two courses on their menu for a very reasonable price... and I ended up attempting to eat what could possibly have been the biggest (and most delicious) toad in the hole I've ever seen (although I can't see it on the menu now, sadly)! The breakfast was also awesome - we only made it down the first day (we seem to make a habit of that!) but it was served with a smile and brilliant attentive service.


The Bank (Anstruther)

Full Scottish . . .
We've been here twice now, last January for a night and again this January for a weekend. It's in Anstruther on the east coast of Scotland, and it's lovely.  There's only a handful (or two) of rooms and it has a nice little view down to the water. The rooms are lovely (we got the same one both times we stayed but I'm going to assume the others were just as nice). Dinner, if you choose to eat there (there is a pub/restaurant attached although they have separate doors) is delicious. I ended up eating three courses, and the main I went for (warm peppered mackerel and potato salad) was awesome. I had decided to go for something relatively healthy and was still thoroughly satiated. Breakfast is early (it only goes up to ten) and we didn't make it (I know, shocker, right???) on our first stay but made a point of making sure we went this time around. Standard continental fodder as well as a little menu to choose from in terms of hot food, including the full Scottish, pancakes, eggs, porridge... the full Scottish including haggis and black pudding (of course!) and I had the veggie breakfast the following day which had vegetarian sausage and a tatty scone. Great warm friendly service. I just want to keep going back!

Have you been to any of these hotels or have any you want to recommend to me? Please let me know if you do visit any of these places after reading my post - I'd love to know what you thought!

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