Monday, 17 June 2013


The Strathpeffer Hotel, Strathpeffer
Scottish Highlands! The scenery just takes your breath away and the area is one of the most beautiful I have ever visited. Our driver worked very hard to make this trip an enjoyable four days. We visited Inverness, Isle of Skye, and surrounding areas.
The Strathpeffer hotel is a fine old building set in a picturesque spa village Strathpeffer about 30 minutes from Inverness. I and my husband arrived here for four nights on an organised tour.
Very quirky hotel, the building is old but has some character. Very good trip up and arrival was pleasant.
Mimi got on the bus, gave us the general and charming welcome, lifted everyone’s spirits with her hearty comments and distributed room keys. We went straight to our rooms. You will either love the decor or walk back out the door.

We found the decor very interesting but quite dated; our room was clean, pristine sheets on the bed, bathroom with a decent looks shower,  had poor water pressure and wouldn't sit between scalding hot and very cold.. The heating worked really well the room was very warm inside after five minutes of turning the radiator up.  
Oh dear! Can you imagine - a remote control tied to a bedside cabinet with wool!
Food was as expected – simple and honest.  We paid about £170 each for an all inclusive stay, including our excellent bus and driver.
All the staff worked hard and were first class, all very smiley and eager to please, very attentive and friendly!  This entire village and hotel is tired and worn in places, but that adds to its charm and you couldn't find a friendlier welcome.
We enjoyed a drink in the conservatory and were amused by the decorations.
The exterior of the hotel has quite lost its character due to the garden created in front of it with mesh-mash of styles with the focus on East meets West (!) - garden furniture, dolphins, a stag and any number of hanging baskets and pots full of withered and fresh plants.
The hotel although it was built many years ago, still retains some of the charm of yesteryear. Strathpeffer village is a charming and relaxing place to stay with some wonderful history. Strathpeffer is a Victorian Spa resort where one would have partaken of the waters as prescribed by a doctor in the Victorian Era when this village was in its heyday. The majority of the original buildings are still here including a few hotels, more than you would expect from a small village community. One of the original pump rooms for the spa water has been restored and now serves as the tourist information centre, a very useful place to start exploring Strathpeffer and districts.
The Strathpeffer Hotel is family run by a very hardworking team who if asked will go out of their way to try and help.
The dining room was fine with the tartan curtains and typical highland prints. The style of decor is right out of the 1970s and manages to incorporate every Scottish Highland cliché in the book. To suggest that this has been achieved with a great deal of kitsch would be to imply that this had all been done deliberately. Instead I think it’s just down to years of neglect. Not sure those Chinese fans, Chinese silk tapestries sit comfortably with the stags head trophy, tartan carpet and Robert Louis Stevenson, but it was cute, in a strange sort of way!
The floor did squeak and groan, but it is an old building, and this adds to the charm!
The little garden in front of the ancillary building, where we were housed includes a rotten picnic table was a shabby and neglected but anyway very touching and peaceful. This house and garden, we learned was once a charming B&B. Strathpeffer was a Victorian Spa town - so don't be expecting everything to be all hotels chain-like.
Lyn, Mimi and Peter the barman looked after us very well. This is a family run hotel the way they looked after us. Take no notice of negative comments as some people expect the Ritz for the price they are paying.
Evening entertainment was ok, not ‘top dollar’ but it was good old fashioned sing along stuff. Our ‘national’ driver was great, had good knowledge of the area, and very helpful.
On our optional trip, the local driver Danny was a real fountain of information, he knew everything about the area and really good.
It is a very old fashioned and mysterious place which would be amazing if it was bought over and upgraded/refurbished...but a ton of money would need to be spent that’s for sure.
All in all it was a pleasant stay in a very pretty village.
Mimi was exceptional in her welcome and constantly throughout our trip, even going to the extra effort of coming onto the coach before we set off home to wish us all a safe journey home, which was a nice personal touch, and very much appreciated by all.

Mimi and her hats

pictures from Mimi's website

Mimi's website