More about Stonefield Castle Hotel
My husband and I booked a tired and slightly shabby Stonefield Castle in February 2007 for our wedding in June 2008 on the basis that it was being refurbished. Having looked at trip advisor we were concerned about the reviews, but we needn't have been! The newly refurbished hotel is classy and chic, with good quality furnishings. The bedrooms have also been given a makeover and have fabulous views of either Loch Fyne or the beautiful hotel gardens. We had a wonderful wedding weekend, from Friday to Sunday. The food was even better than we anticipated and the staff friendly and extremely helpful - they couldn't do enough for us and catered for our every whim and indulgence. We were very sorry to leave but will definitely be back for our anniversary.
New Year Break
My husband and I along with our daughter and her partner booked our Hogmany break at the castle. After reading the Tripadvisor in early December we were a little concerned as to what we were letting ourselves in for!! However, we had a fabulous time. The staff couldn't have been more welcoming, the entertainment was excellent and the food very well presented and delicious. The hotel, which now has the newer block refurbished, is very comfortable and warm throughout. The rooms are large, beds comfortable and there is constant hot water. The gardens are lovely and I imagine look beautiful when the Rhodedendrons are in flower. Walking round 'the island', which is attached to the mainland by a causeway, was a treat for both us and our dogs - dogs are welcome and it is an ideal place for them with no roads to worry about. The cocktails were flowing freely on the 30th and were certainly well loaded! If I was to be critical about anything, and I hope this is constructive criticism, we did feel the New Years Eve gourmet dinner was a little disappointing, probably over ambitious. However, we would have no hestiation in recommending Stonefield Castle and hope to return in the near future.
some fab memories and some not so good ones!
having sat in the pub one rainy Monday evening in front of a log fire we thought to ourselves "what shall we do tomorrow?"
"i know, lets go to Scotland"......slighty impetuous at times!
so next morning off we went and ended up staying in Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond on the first night and then driving down the A82 towards Campbeltown as i wanted to take my girlfriend there as she had never been.
On the way i saw the sign for Stonefield and thought, "its coffee time, lets pop in"
coffee in the lounge was a fab taster of the hotel as it has some lovely public rooms in traditional decor with open fires to boot.
we enquired abour rooms and then moved on down the coast through the rain to Campbeltown, but still had no accomodation for the night so decided to call the hotel and book.
The receptionist was not the most helpful of people but we eventually got a room booked and motored back up the coast.
Receptionist was even more unhelpful on arrival, that was when we finally managed to find him!
Onto the rooms, which to be quite honest are poor and in need of some money spending on them. Firstly is the plumbing and heating. Being January you expect Scotland to be a little chilly and the heating didnt work properly so we swapped rooms to one upstairs facing the back garden. this room was clean but again, tired and fixtures and fittings needed updating. it got worse the next morning it got worse as after breakfast (more about the food in a minute) we went back to our room to discover the toilet was leaking so another room was found as we had booked for two nights. this room was further to the front of the hotel with a view looking down the loch through the mist and across the front of the hotel towards the small island at the front. the only thing that spoilt that room was the view also included most of the restaurant roof!
anyway onto more positive thoughts.
the public rooms are very comfortable and the open log fires add a touch of olde worlde charm to the hotel. we spent a few hours whiling away the time in the games room playing snooker and also relaxing in the bar which has an adequate supply of malts to choose from and nicely decorated.
The food is a definate plus to the hotel as is the view from the restaurant which overlooks Loch Fyne and across to Barmore Island, which is part of the hotel grounds.
We found the quality of the food to be very good with fresh local ingredients, superbly presented and with staff who were attentive whilst being inobtrusive at the same time.
I suppose that having breakfast in the restaurant sat overlooking the loch is a memory that i shall hold for a very long time.
the grounds of the hotel need a bit of a spruce up too, but they have some wonderful examples of plants including the second biggest collection of rhodedenrons outside of Kew Gardens.
the walk down to the island and across the sand bar is nice apart from the rubbish washed up on the beach. i would recommend a wander round the island to see the different plants and rocks although it can be a little steep in places.
overall impression is of a tired hotel with much much to give, it has some wonderful staff, who often get forgotten in reviews, a fab restaurant and walks but the whole experience is let down by the bedrooms.
Neil 'n' JJ
Great food shame about the rooms. Valentine weekend ruined
My girlfriend had boooked a romantic weekend away as a Valentine's gift. The drive from Glasgow is a spectacular one passing some of Scotland's most beatiful scenery.
A stop at Inverary broke the journey up. The hotel itself is nestled off the road to Tarbert. A short drive up a single track tree surrounded avenue opens out in to the hotel itself. It's gothic architecure is both impressive and daunting.
The staff at the reception were friendly and courteous. We were shown to our room and left the splendour of the main castle behind to traverse up a tight narrow corridor. The door to our room was opened and the 'Wow 'factor you sometimes have when you enter a hotel room quickly became 'How!' How can this be a double room when it has two miss matching single beds put together? As I was to discover later there was a big hole between the two beds.
We were fortunate enough to share our room with some Scottish wildlife. A spider in the bath and beastie above the bed was a nice touch. The Tv set was hidden inside a cupboard and attached to a strange metal arm. The usual channels plus a few extra ones.
On being thouroughly underwhelmed with our room. We decided a romantic walk in the castles world reknowned grounds was in order. I wonder which world they are reknowned in because it certainly not his one. We followed the muddy path through splendid trees and followed some signs that were on the grounds but they led to nowhere, A walk to the jetty to take in the spectacular views was ruined by the amount of rubbish that was around. Cans of beer that were slowly rusting so had obviously been there for some time.
The grounds could be fantastic. The plants and trees are all there but it is all very unloved looking and doesn't have the charm to be a lost garden so to speak.
A trip to Tarbert finished the day. Be aware though if you travel off season many shops will not be open.
We were both looking forward to the evening meal and put our glad rags on. The dining room is in a clumsy looking extension that has built on to the castle. A vast open space with a sea of tables. We were shown to our seats and chose from the menu. It's motly traditional Scots and local fayre, The food was well presented and delicious. The service was excellent. To set the mood a pianist played in the background although there was a degree of akwardness as the diners didn't know if they should clap after every song. The romatic evening was spoiled by the aforementioned bed and plumbing that sounded like somebody was hitting pipes with a hammer. A trip to the bathroom resulted in a symphony of metallic clanging. Not good if you need a midnight comfort break.
This hotel has potential but everything seems very lazy. The garden left to ruin, The rooms that are not tired looking they are postivly sleeping.
Plus points ..the food and staff but it's not enough Im afraid to have prevented this guests Valentine's weekend from being ruined.
What has everyone got against this place???
We decided we wanted to stay in a castle for a romantic couple of days and came across this castle on an internet site. We booked it and THEN read the reviews and to be truthful, after reading them i thought about seeing if we could change it as everyone seemed really negative and was dreading going but fortunately i never told my other half this and thought i would see what it was like when we got there. When we got there in the evening we were really surprised as the trip down the driveway was lovely and the castle quite impressive. We got greeted by a lovely receptionist and got shown to our rooms which were lovely and spacious and NO clanging pipes etc...The next morning we had a great scottish breakfast and the staff could not do enough to help as they were always pleasant and helpful. We stayed for three nights and four days! There is some fantastic walks around the grounds and down towards the lake and NO floating beer cans like someone else stated. The views from the restaurant were amazing. I admit some things did need a lick of paint here and there BUT this is not the Hilton or the Holiday Inn this IS a nineteenth century castle after all!! If you want that kind of luxury maybe look at the 'fake' £400 a night castles!! This castle hotel was lovely and excellent value for money!! The only thing that did dissapoint us was that there was no ghost - well if there is it never appeared for us!
Lovely setting, hotel looks better in the evening - in a less forgiving light the place is a bit shabby, but not dreadful. However, the cooked Scottish breakfast was inedible, and smelt appalling. Overall, despite breakfast, the location, gardens and the impressive public rooms make the visit memorable, . Don;t know if beds are new but are now very comfortable in rooms 2 and 3. Receptionist had bit of an attitude but could be just that she is foreign. I am writing this review for her, as she didn't ask if we enjoyed our stay. The answer is yes, pretty much .
no hot water....
Stayed one night . looks great on the outside, run down on the inside, good polish staff, food was ok...but £125 each for the room, dinner and breakfast an then no hot water!! .....what a joke
Wait until it is refurbished!
I booked this via the laterooms website and then checked tripadvisor - so was somewhat apprehensive. The hotel is being refurbished but should really be closed whilst they sort it out. Rooms 26 & 27 have views of the dining room roof, and disgusting black mouldy baths & showers with no hot water. The dust on the table and mirror was incredible. Given that the hotel only had a handful of guests I didn't quite understand why they had allocated me such a horrid room when other better ones were empty. I complained and was moved to a suite on the third floor which was much better but still needed a good clean. The bed was great though. I had dinner at the hotel, which I thought was fine, until I woke at 1am with stomach pains and then suffered horribly for the next 12 hours. I am not sure if it was the scallops or the water, or dirty cups/glasses in the rooms. It will be beautiful but what good is new decor if the cleanliness standards are not upheld? Breakfast was awful. Lukewarm tea and burned toast. On my second night I bought some food ifrom the local Coop and didn't bother with breakfast. The staff were very friendly and agreed with me about the rooms, but like lots of hotels in rural UK areas, they don't have a permanent team of people who really care about their jobs/the hotel and are only there for money. Oxford Hotels, who own this, need to sort it fast.
wonderfully relaxing enjoyable winter break
I had always wanted to stay at this hotel, and after reading some of the reviews wasn't sure what to expect. However I have to honestly say that we had a wonderfully relaxing winter break at this historical hotel. We entered the hotel and were immediately met with a warm welcome, both from the General Manager at reception and from the lovely fire burning in the entrance hall and the furnishings in the public rooms are superb. From then on everything was fine. The room we stayed in had been upgraded to a high standard, huge bed, and we looked out onto magnificent gardens and Loch Fyne, our room was comfortable, spacious and warm , we had constant hot water and the shower was superb. The bedlinen was of high quality and the room was scrupulously clean .Pre-dinner drinks were enjoyed in the bar as we savoured the excellent choices on the menu. Our meal was excellent both from the point of view of the food and of the service, the staff were professional, friendly and dedicated. Next morning before breakfast we had a little walk in the gardens to the jetty and we intend returning in the spring when the gardens will be at their best with rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom. The views from the dining room are panoramic, and guests not only enjoyed a delicious breakfast ( the local kippers were the best we've tasted) but sat there relaxing, enjoying and marvelling at the views. We drove down to Carradale for a round of golf and visited Campbeltown and looked forward to returning to the comfort of the hotel at the end of the day. Dinner that evening was again superb with local seafood on the menu and again came with excellent service from the staff. Sunday morning after breakfast we relaxed in the extremely comfortable lounge, reading our newspapers (which were delivered before 8am, pretty good considering Tarbert is a bit out of the way) before leaving on the Tarbert/Portavadie ferry for our trip home. We will certainly return to this excellent hotel.
The Cinderella Factor
WOW!! What a makeover.It certainly is not tired looking now.All new carpets,furnishings and decor have been well chosen.I loved my bedroom--a touch of class.The dining room is now a mixture of heather and oatmeal trully Scottish colours to compliment the fantastic view.The curtains throughout are top quality,I wanted to touch them.The food is excellent especially the fish,so fresh.All the staff were welcoming and friendly.I have to return as I did not see the public rooms finished,imagine choosing the week when the bar was being refurbished but we were served in front of the log fire in the hall.Stonefield is really worth seeing.