Newest Review: ... added to over the years. This gives the hotel at strange feel to it. In some places it is modern and fresh, but in others dated or tired an... more
See the Hydro, then move on
Seamill Hydro Hotel (West Kilbride)
Member Name: buzzard_cad
Seamill Hydro Hotel (West Kilbride)
Advantages: Modern spa and restaurant
Disadvantages: Small room with faded decor, rabbit warren corridors, expensive
The Seamill Hydro hotel is located near the village of West Kilbride, on the Ayrshire coast between Largs and Ardrossan. Its closest metropolitan centre is Glasgow and hence it is better known by Scots going on holiday rather than invading Sassenach's.
So how do you get to Seamill Hydro, well for me it was a drive up the M74, then I struck out across the windy A71 towards Kilmarnock and continued in the A71 towards Irvine, once on the coastal A78 road you head for Largs, bypass Saltcoats and Ardrossan and pitch up in West Kilbride. To help you out the local council now have a village sign stating 'West Kilbride incorporating Seamill Hydro'. The hotel is on the coastal side of the road and the hotel has views across the sea to Arran. My route may not be the quickest, but after seven hours on a motorway it is nice to get off onto slower roads. Bizarrely a quicker route is to head up to Glasgow, get on the M8 head west, then turn south on the M77 to Kilmarnock turn on to the A71 to Irvine and pick up the coastal A78 road to Largs. On the map you think that the zigzag north/south route is crazy, but it helps you get to the west coast a little more quickly.
The hotel is a two story building that has a classic West Scottish stone finish, however a quick look with my engineer eye and I can see that it has been extended and added to over the years. This gives the hotel at strange feel to it. In some places it is modern and fresh, but in others dated or tired and even somewhere in the middle.
The entrance and reception area is on the south side of the hotel and has an airy feel to it. From here it got confusing as there are stairs to the right of the reception, yet the lift is to the left and behind it. First we couldn't find the lift and had to save face and go up the stairs. Eventually when we did find the lift we discovered that it could also be reached by walking out the entrance, back into the restaurant entrance on our left, past the restaurant and there it was. Confused? We certainly were.
The Aura restaurant we used for our breakfast was on the ground floor between the car park and the reception. It was very modern and new and probably the best part of the hotel. Seating was good and the high chairs available were clean and new. The items available at breakfast included, cereals, fruits, juices, yoghurts, bread, and cooked items all as part of a serve buffet. Cooked foods on offer included, eggs (scrambled and poached), bacon, square sausage, tomatoes, beans, potato scones and black pudding. The coffee and teas were served by the waiting staff and breakfast was very efficient. As for the evening meals in the restaurant I cannot comment as we didn't have any meals at that time.
The bedroom was quite small for our needs. The cot which was free had replaced a table in our room. The table instead of being taken away was left outside our room as if we had dragged it out ourselves and that didn't please me. The double bed mattress was a little on the soft side and the wardrobe concertina doors had a habit of sticking when shut, so we left them open. The TV on a drawer unit was okay, but the reception was not great. The tea making facilities were on a drawer unit near the door and just a little bit too low for our liking and with reach of our crawling one year old. The bathroom was relatively clean, but the décor was fading and after a shower the damp air took a long time to clear, despite the presence of a fan. In short our room was not the greatest so we spent a lot of the time in the hotel at the spa or in the lounge bar.
The spa was new and modern, with a large pool, steam room and sauna. There was also a separate gym and beauty parlour. The changing facilities were good and the showers were okay. We liked the spa and this was a place where we were able to take BC2 for a swim and relax. The Pladda lounge looked out across the sea to the island of Arran and on a good day you could see it clearly. The lounge itself has two levels, with a lower level that was clear of tables were we could let BC2 burn off some energy without having to pick her up all the time. The only down side to the bar area for us was that of the three high chairs available only one was suitable for a one year old. Even then it was a bit dirty, the other chairs were for older children and made out of wood, they didn't have a food tray and one had a broken lap strap.
Our room for bed and breakfast in 2008 was £44 per person per night. Which for the three nights we stayed cost us £264 and we didn't even get a sea view with that. Just as well that they gave us the cot for free.
In short the Seamill Hydro Hotel was only good for one thing and that was getting us a room as close to our family as possible. As for everything else we felt that the hotel was not great value. The room would have been adequate for a couple, but for us it was too small. The layout of the hotel takes some getting use to, the latest additions to this sprawling hotel namely the restaurant and spa are modern and clean, but the rest of the hotel needs a bit of an overhaul to match up with these newer parts. I cannot recommend this hotel to anyone unless you want to pay for the privilege of staying in a hotel that has seen better days. It is not a terrible hotel, but it not the best either.
This review may be found on other review sites under the same username and is also written by me.
Summary: A miss-matched hotel that has modern and tardy elements in equal measures
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