This is the third time we have stayed at Portavadie, over a 3 year period. We had been very much looking forward to this trip, particularly as (thanks to covid) it was my first full break from work since last year. It is hard to tell if the atmosphere and general 'feel' of the place has changed due to covid or from the changes on site. When in the spa/leisure for our 1 hour we were treated to needing to avoid the infinity pool so that a young family could enjoy splashing around and jumping in... and our evening meal in the marina restaurant was punctuated by children wandering around in football kit, football in hand, shouting over our table across to their new pals on a neighboring table.
Portavadie used to feel like a special location for a plush hotel room and spa experience... It certainly doesn't now... but it has kept the luxury price tag for hotel residents. Probably represents great value for money for those camping or caravanning. Will think very carefully before returning unless on a day pass for the spa.
We stayed in Lodge 1 from 19th-20th May 2021. Drove 2.5 hours for what we’d hoped would be a really special spa break after working throughout the whole pandemic. I really wish we hadn’t bothered. I paid extra for a superior suite; there was nothing superior about Lodge 1. Noticed a really strong smell of air freshener as soon as we stepped in the room. Outside seating area looked out on to a car park and bus stop with workers coming and going moving furniture - not exactly private or peaceful. Still we were ready to make the most of it and the room appeared very clean and comfortable. We didn’t have much time before our spa treatments so quickly started getting ready. A random man who appeared to be doing some work for the facility then walked straight into our room. He apologised, but we were quite shocked as we had been undressed a moment before. We checked the door and there was no obvious way of locking it. My partner became quite worried by this so we tried calling reception and no one answered. My partner then had to go out the door and walk around the entire building to climb our balcony (ground floor) to ensure we could lock our door and no one was going to burst in on us.
We quickly went down to the leisure facilities as it was time for our booked hour in the pool. Infinity pool was nice and warm as were the outdoor hot tubs. The indoor pools really smell like feet though… both me and my partner commented on this at the same time as we were taking a swim… not very nice.
We headed back and by this time the reception staff had finished for the night so we decided to quickly head back to the room to get ready for dinner. Everything went without hiccup until we noticed that the reason our room had been doused in air freshener for our arrival was that there is a toilet right next to our room and this had begun to smell really strongly. We closed our room door and the smell didn’t appear to permeate so we left it at that and headed for dinner.
Waiting staff were great and friendly, however we felt we paid a lot for what we got really… tiny portions that you expect to taste amazing for the price but were sadly just average and no better than we have had in some gastro pubs etc.
Our night’s sleep was truly dreadful. We were awoken by someone upstairs flushing a toilet and then having a shower which was so loud it was really quite shocking. Especially when paying £184 per night for a nice peaceful night’s rest. Once we were awake we could no longer sleep as the smell from the toilet outside had now made it’s way into our room and was truly awful. It was like sleeping next to a festival portaloo!
The ‘king size’ bed was in fact two separate beds pushed together so we couldn’t even lie right next to one another or have a wee cuddle during the night without falling down the middle.
In the morning our breakfast slot wasn’t until 10am but we got ready first thing in the morning (after being awake since around 5am) and went straight to reception to complain. We aren’t normally the type to complain about things and are generally happy with our lot, however as I had paid extra for a superior suite and it was our first night away together in over a year we were so bitterly disappointed and loathe to spend £184 on what appeared no better than a low budget hotel you could get for £50 a night.
The receptionist (young lady with red/blonde hair) who spoke with us was very understanding and really great with us. She advised she would speak to the duty manager on site whilst we went for our breakfast. When we returned the manager had offered us 10% off our stay and 10% off our next stay (needless to say we will never, ever be back). The receptionist advised the manager was still on site if we felt we still hadn’t been satisfied, however by this point we had read many other reviews stating the exact same issues we had had and that management had not been helpful at all. So we declined. In hindsight I really wish we had spoken with him if only to highlight how truly disappointing and upsetting our stay was for them to attempt to improve this for future patrons. In our opinion Lodge 1 should not be listed as a superior room in any way shape or form and given the smell from the toilet - probably shouldn’t be used at all.
This was a nice relaxing trip away for 2 nights as a last chance to spend time together just the two of us, before our baby arrives in the next couple of weeks! The location of the hotel is quite secluded but this is exactly what we wanted, and the surrounding scenery is stunning. The outdoor pool was heated and so peaceful and set right on the loch, so we spent a lot of time floating in there. We also both had a massage in the Spa which we could highly recommend - I had a ‘baby on board’ treatment and my partner had a deep tissue massage.
The accommodation types are well spread out so you don’t ever feel like there are a lot of people at the resort, and there was parking directly outside our room (Studio apartment). Very pleased overall and would definitely recommend to friends and family.
- because it is so remote, there are no local shops so if you’re wanting to take your own snacks/food/drinks for your room, I would buy this to take with you before you arrive in the local area
- you had to prebook the spa/restaurant facilities prior to arrival due to COVID restrictions, and due to our late booking we were unable to eat at the hotel on the Saturday night due to a lack of availability - I suggest booking your slot in as soon as possible!
Went for the day. Such a lovely place in a beautiful part of the world! Really thinks about the family which is great- lovely wee play park, and small things like a play pen in the pool changing room to make life easier! LOVED the pool. So relaxing, gorgeous views. The outdoor hot tub is just incredible! Will definitely be back! Thank you!
Just returned from a lovely 2 night break staying in a premier lodge room which was really nice.The room was large with a king size bed 2 seater settee hanging space dressing table & outdoor seating on a private balcony.Portavadie was quiet but that was the idea a chill couple of days in our own tier before xmas chaos but it ticked all the boxes staff friendly,great food in a cozy enviroment all in all a great wee break & will defo return.