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A Perfect Getaway
Seamill Hydro Hotel (West Kilbride)
Seamill Hydro Hotel (West Kilbride)
Date: 23/01/01, updated on 18/11/02 (1258 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent hotel overall
Disadvantages: The Scottish weather :(
Seamill is located in the village of West Kilbride in Ayrshire. In case you don't know where West Kilbride is, it is situated midway between the famous holiday retreats of Ardrossan and Largs (what do you mean "err, where"??) on the west coast of Scotland. If you are of a Non-Scottish persuasion just grab a map and find Ayr, work your way up the coast, passing through Troon and Irvine - you can't miss it!
Anyway tour over - now that you have been enlightened to the whereabouts of Seamill we can get on with the opinion. Well, firstly I would like to mention that the hotel has a website at http://www.seamillhydro.co.uk/ where you can get a (visual) idea of what it looks like.
This was our second stay at Seamill, we first went for a weekend about three years ago. I suppose the fact that we went back speaks for itself really, although I didn't get any say in it this time :) But had I had a choice it would definitely have been very high up my list. To me that is always the most important thing someone can say about a hotel - that they would definitely go back.
The best way to tell you about the hotel is to take you through our visit chronologically (not *every* detail though!!!). So to start I will have to hand you over to hubby since it was he who booked it. OK, really I just asked him about it, you think I'd let him near MY keyboard!!
## Reservation ##
Reserving a room at the hotel was simply a matter of a quick 'phone call. Bearing in mind that we visited on a Thursday in mid-January, the hotel was relatively empty, so no problems with availability. The hotel can get quite busy at weekends and especially during the sum
mer months, so it would be advisable to book well in advance. The receptionist explained all the various prices and supplements as a matter of course, so hubby decided on bed, breakfast and evening dinner in a room with a sea view. The prices quoted were £30 b&b pp, £35 bb&d and £5 supplement per person per night for a sea view. Upon deciding to book he gave his credit card number, but this was only as a guarantee, the card wasn't actually charged. Like all hotels, the price varies and there are often special offers on, so I can only advise you check with the hotel (perhaps on the website) for the most recent prices.
## Arrival ##
On arrival the reception staff were excellent. I really hate it when you are left hanging around for ages trying to get checked in, but this was efficiency epitomised. The whole process took only two minutes. We were given a pre-printed card that held all our details (name, room number etc.), and all we had to do was fill in our car registration number. We were given the room key, told about times of meals, asked if we would like a wake-up call and/or newspaper, then directed to our room with an "enjoy your stay" and a smile :)
## The Room ##
The room was, in a word, superb! The first thing I noticed was how spacious it was. It was a square shape with a big bay widow in one corner. The room had all the usual things you may expect like an en-suite bathroom (big), satellite telly, tea/coffee facilities, telephone, hairdryer and trouser press (does anyone actually use them??). The bed itself was SO comfy, no lumps or dips in the mattress, and sheets tucked in very tight 'hospital style'. When we arrived it was dark, so we had to wait until morning to see the sea-view, our only let down since it was a bit foggy the next day and we couldn't see across to the isle of Arran. I did see that the last time I stayed though, and it is a wonderful view - well worth paying the extra fiver for :)
## Dinner ##
Dinner had been quoted as four-course when the reservation was made, so we expected the usual set menu, hotel restaurant thing. When we reached the dining room the waiter informed us that we had a choice of eating in there, with the formal settings and table linen etc., or eating in the newly refurbished bistro. We had a look at both menus and decided just to go for the bistro (we were well hungry by that time and the bistro looked the quicker option!). We were given the bistro menu and told we could choose any starter, main course and dessert. The menu was great, with a really wide choice. This is the point where the veggies can turn away!! As an example I will tell you what I had. Starter - Norwegian prawn platter (prawns, salad and separate sauce). Main Course - Rack of Lamb with a big side dish of veggies and the biggest portion of chips I've ever seen! And for dessert, a big slice of choccy cake (naughty girl!!). The meal was finished off with tea/coffee and I certainly couldn't fault any of it.
## Leisure Facilities ##
Unfortunately on this occasion we didn't have time to make full use of the leisure facilities (unless the bar is classed as such!!). I did have a good look around though and I was very impressed. Speaking to another couple in the bar confirmed that the leisure facilities were top-class. The swimming pool is quite large for a hotel pool, you can actually get a decent swim in it! They also have a gym, sauna and steam room, Jacuzzi, and some outdoor stuff like crazy golf and a kids adventure play area. these are all at no additional cost, although a small charge is made for sunbeds and beauty treatments. Overall the leisure facilities are above average for this type of hotel.
## Breakfast ##
Breakfast was in the main restaurant and I can honestly say it was the best breakfast I have ever had in a hotel. You can choose from loads of different cereals, fruit juices and fresh fruit. Or if you
are feeling naughty you can have the full cooked breakfast, making up your own choice from a rather tasty selection. Breakfast was really faultless and well tasty, just the job to get rid of the hangover.
## Check-out ##
Checking-out was every bit as efficient as checking-in. The bill was spot-on (the room rate plus a 'few' drinks), and the staff were again courteous and pleasant.
Overall I really really enjoyed my stay, and I would certainly go back yet again. As I said, the only real downer was the fact that the view over the Isle of Arran was obstructed by fog, but that is hardly the hotels fault! The service, meals and room were definitely first class, and I would have no hesitation in recommending this hotel to anyone. If you ever find yourself looking for a good hotel in Ayrshire this is certainly the place to go. One word of warning though - if you drive into West Kilbride across country from Dalry, especially in the dark, watch the bends in the road!! But hey, that's a separate story ;)
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