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Free From The Monotony Of The Budget Hotels!
New Lanark Mill Hotel (Scotland)
Member Name: Machair1
New Lanark Mill Hotel (Scotland)
Advantages: Beautiful bathrooms and stunning views.
Disadvantages: I would change the decor in the communal areas.
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I spend a lot of time driving up and down the length of the country between Essex and Scotland. This often necessitates an overnight stay which we try to choose with care. The need for a good night's sleep is paramount as we often have to drive for many hours the following day. We also have the added delight of the company of our dog that travels with us, so pet friendly is vital. This excludes the Premier Inn chain and many others who are not able to accept dogs at all.
For many occasions we choose the Days Inn or Holiday Inn/Express groups as they offer reasonable accommodation for good prices, and have convenient locations along the motorways and main routes into Edinburgh and Glasgow. However staying in these repeatedly can be monotonous so in recent years we have discovered some new alternatives for overnight stays - so I will introduce you to one of my favourites- The New Lanark Mill Hotel. Here are the details you need if you would like to book or to find out more:
New Lanark Mill Hotel
Scotland ML11 9DB
tel: +44 1555 667200
Where Is It?
Driving to this hotel is a simple 25 minutes or so from the M74 junction 13 at Abington, and once there you are only an hour from Glasgow or Edinburgh, so it is an ideal spot if you want to tour this part of Scotland.
The Best Room Rates
I book with whoever can supply me with the cheapest room, and on recent occasions this has been Hotels.com. I have also clicked through from my favourite cash-back site at www.topcashback.co.uk where offers are frequent. The last room rate I enjoyed was £69 for two in a double room and this included a beautiful cooked breakfast. You can see why at this price it is certainly comparable with budget chains, and for reasons given below it is a good value option.
A Hotel With A History
The hotel itself is a restored 18th century cotton mill and is situated in New Lanark which is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1785 this mill village was well known at the time for offering decent homes and fair pay for the workers. This was under the management of a man called Robert Owen who was a social pioneer. Today the hotel is owned by The New Lanark Trust who is dedicated to the restoration and upkeep of the site, and all profits from the hotel are ploughed back into the trust which enables the conservation work to continue. For me this makes the hotel just that little bit special.
A Gorgeous Setting
Set in a stunning riverside location in a dramatic gorge close to the Falls Of Clyde the hotel affords stunning views from all its rooms. For this reason it is popular with weddings and parties so weekends in particular can be booked up. This certainly gives the hotel a contrasting lively feel compared to the serenity of the weekdays. This is important as we have experienced both; and the service is certainly more personal and the guest accommodation in terms of lounge and bar areas more enjoyable, for me anyway, at less peak times. This has something to do with the position of the reception area which is in the foyer, and it is here that wedding guests congregate for pre-dinner drinks and it can be noisy. Midweek you can hear a pin drop- it is so different. The reception staff are much more attentive at quieter times as a major celebration can make conversations difficult to engage in. This I feel is due to the fact that the large imposing building actually only has 38 rooms, and if you book a busy weekend you could be filling the one or two empty rooms, so you are not going to be a high priority.
This is a traditional Scottish hotel and the ambience reflects this. It does tend to attract a more mature guest, and the communal areas are traditional rather than modern and contemporary. They almost feel like they have a ferry lounge atmosphere and the ceilings are low. I am not overly keen on them myself, as although I do like the traditional style at times, this is certainly more towards the dated look. As we are usually staying only one night it is not especially important to us, but I would say that if you are planning to visit for longer, and to be hotel bound, then the ambience is not something I would rave about in the downstairs areas. The yellow walls and rusty orange curtains surround curve backed duck egg blue, red, and green upholstered chairs and the overall feel is of a corridor. I am not waxing lyrical about this, and in my view needs an overall. The reception area has some armchairs and settees, but these are very traditional indeed, and again questionable in my mind as to their attractiveness.
The bedrooms are something quite different and I am impressed by them, except for a couple of minor points. For a hotel where rooms can be purchased at the sort of rates I mentioned these are superb. They are very large indeed and many have an additional single bed. All have lovely pure white bed linen, lots of pillows, and a bathroom which is luxurious in every aspect. They have a power shower, luxury toiletries, fluffy white towels, and are beautifully fitted with spotlessly clean tiling and are in my opinion outstanding. The views from the window are breathtaking as you see the river directly beneath you in the valley below. Some of the rooms view the conservation village, but we have always been given the stunning river views
The room has a 32" flat screen TV, trouser press, hair dryer, kettle and lots of teas, coffees and biscuits to enjoy. The bed is so comfortable and spacious- I have slept so well every time I have visited. My only criticism would be that the décor in terms of tables and bedside cabinets is a little dated for my taste. I think the designer had a love affair with teak shades, and it does need looking at because the rest of the room is simply outstanding.
A Hearty Breakfast
Breakfast as I mentioned is served in the dining room and is beautiful. A self service array of everything you could wish for all beautifully presented and cooked. The restaurant also offers evening meals and lunches, and prides itself on using seasonal and local ingredients, but I have yet to sample any of these.
Dogs are welcome in the hotel, as long as you warn them first as they do reserve certain rooms for them. There are also a selection of waterhouses which are self-catering and these hug the river, but are only available to book for stays of 2 nights or more. Be careful if you book using an online agent, because on one occasion I secured a room for one night in these, and arrived to find that it was not available as it should not have been sold on a one night basis. I never did uncover who was responsible for the error, but they were obliging and apologetic to a degree, and gave us a room in the hotel and a free breakfast. This was on a night when the hotel was full due to a wedding, which is also why I say be a little bit careful if you enjoy peace and quiet. I feel this would have been dealt with more attentively if we had experienced this on a quieter evening.
The hotel has four rooms which are specially fitted out for disabled guests and there is designated parking very close to reception.There is also a pool and spa and a gym as you would expect for a modern hotel.
The joy for me in staying at this hotel is that the riverside walks from the hotel are just beautiful, and I feel the site has more atmosphere than almost any other hotel I have stayed in around the lowlands, with the possible exception of the De Vere's Barony Castle near Peebles, which also has an impressive location.
The hotel has a picturesque site and stunning bathrooms and the rooms are very spacious indeed. The breakfast is superb, and the price is a bargain if you can secure a good rate with an online agent. The negatives for me are a resemblance in the lounge areas to the rather ferry like passenger accommodation you see on Hebridean ferries as they ply across The Minch. The low ceilings and the classical chairs need upgrading, and the point I made about choosing your dates carefully if you want to avoid gate crashing a wedding in full swing is important. Apart from this I can't rate the hotel highly enough- on a mid week night you can be assured of a beautiful room overlooking a stunning setting, and the delicious breakfast sets you up for the day ahead however far you have to travel.
This review is also posted on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
Summary: Well worth staying here and easy access to Edinburgh and Glasgow.