Chrissy's Collection: The Torridon Hotel, Wester Ross, Scotland
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What is Chrissy’s Collection?With her lengthy travel background, Chrissy has years of experience assessing accommodation with quality and customer satisfaction firmly in mind. She was also a hands-on Director of an upmarket Kensington apartment-hotel for five years
As our own Silver Travel Advisor we are delighted that Chrissy brings her experience and eye for stylish detail when she reviews Boutique and Country house hotels. Chrissy’s Collection are her personal recommendations of hotels with something extra that makes them stand out from the rest: discreet and exceptional levels of personal service; stylish, contemporary and comfortable interiors where relaxation is key; smaller, quirky or character properties; luxury hotels with super spa facilities, exquisite dining or amazing locations. In short, very special places.
The Torridon Hotel sits on the shores of Upper Loch Torridon, a beautiful sea loch surrounded by the Torridon Mountains and national park. Built originally as a shooting lodge the Victorian building has been refurbished to a very high standard and the hotel has won a whole host of awards for outstanding service, including Scottish Hotel of the year 2011.
I have stayed at the hotel many times, including special occasions with family and large groups of friends. The service and food has always been excellent but the owners, Daniel and Rohaise, have refurbished the hotel over the last few years and the result is now a truly upmarket highland hotel. On this visit I was very impressed by the standard of the rooms. If you are looking for a luxury, stylish, character room, then the hotel have plenty to choose from. If you want to push the boat out for a special occasion try a deluxe room - Room 14 (Liathach) has a bath in the bedroom and a shower in a round turret with views of the loch. However, all the rooms are different and individually furnished to a very high standard, with nice touches such as books and sherry with homemade shortbread.
The whisky bar at the hotel is fantastic with over 300 varieties of malts to choose from. Whisky is not my tipple of choice but my husband loves to try a different specialist malt every time we visit, especially as the lovely Colleen, the hotel’s award-winning ‘whisky specialist’, is on hand to offer advice.
The hotel has its own kitchen garden and grows as much produce as the West Coast weather will allow, which, surprisingly, is quite a lot. Certainly, the fresh garden salad leaves are a joy. As for the rest of the produce it is mostly locally sourced, so quality and freshness guaranteed. As you would expect from a hotel of this calibre the food is outstanding fine dining with an excellent wine list. Dinner was a gourmet delight: appetiser of celery and garden lovage veloute, pan roasted bass with tomato and red pepper foam, roast saddle of Applecross venison or pan fried fillet of hake (excellent) followed by garden blackcurrant fool pre-desert taster before moving on to apple tarte tatin (fab) or selection of Scottish cheeses. And still room for peppermint tea and petit fours – just.
If you don’t want to eat gourmet food every night you can opt to eat next door in the Torridon Inn. The pub, also award winning, is run by the hotel and offers real ales and bar food as well as an excellent restaurant serving hearty staples such as fish pie, pasta, steak and ale pie as well as excellent seafood and salmon. I can fully recommend the scallops on a bed of crushed peas and rocket followed by fish pie. Sadly no room for pudding, but Eton Mess, Crumble, Sticky Toffee Puddings were all excellent I am reliably informed.
The hotel have a wide range of activities on offer including, kayaking, archery, clay-pigeon shooting, climbing, abseiling and, for the less adventurous, low-level guided walks. Although I didn’t partake on this occasion, previously our family have enjoyed the shooting and archery. But if you just want to go at your own pace and walk around the loch to Torridon village or through the grounds of the hotel (68 acres of unspoilt highland terrain), this is a wonderful place to relax, take in the magnificent scenery and enjoy nature at its best.
For a relaxing gastronomic experience in spectacular surroundings the Torridon would be extremely hard to beat.
The Torridon Hotel
Wester Ross, Scotland
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