The Garth HotelIt’s unusual for me to be in Scotland as a tourist, so the past few days have been an absolute delight. In the Highlands almost every bend in the road reveals another breathtaking vista, and we had the perfect weather for touring – strong winds that produced roiling clouds, localized showers and startling sunshine. We stayed on the edge of the Cairngorms, in the Trossachs and finally in Edinburgh and we received some wonderful hospitality.

The Garth Hotel, Grantown on Spey

Our Coutt’s World concierge suggested this small hotel in Grantown, as it’s recognized as having a rather good little restaurant.  We turned up unannounced and managed to grab the last of the 18 bedrooms, and although we were right above reception meaning a little bit of noise first thing in the morning, we had the strongest wifi signal in the building.

Rooms

The rooms were unexpectedly well appointed if I’m honest. Newly refurbed, they were cosy, nicely styled and had bright bathrooms with heated towel rails (important in somewhere like Scotland). The double beds were just standard double-sized so pretty small, but there were comfortable.

Service

The front of house staff were delightful.

Food

A mix of cuisines at dinner, but a lot of solid Scottish fare with quality local ingredients. The smoked salmon was real good, but it was the melt-in-the-mouth smoked mackerel that was truly delicious. We had beef and game hotpot, steak and some great cheese too.

Breakfast was the star of the show though. Once you’ve started off the day with a full Scottish of that standard you’ll want to do it every morning.

Drink

A good selection of Speyside whiskeys as you would expect, some local beers and a modest wine list.

Price

We paid a very reasonable GBP45 per person for bed and breakfast. It was the last room they had and gave us a bit of a discount, which was a nice and unnecessary touch.

Location

Castle Road, Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire, Scotland, PH26 3HN. Tel: 01479 872 836, email: reception@garthhotel.com

Summary

If I was ever in Grantown again, I wouldn’t bother looking for another hotel, I’d definitely go straight to the Garth – it’s homely, comfortable and delightfully styled.
We poked our noses in at another couple of hotels and were not tempted. The Craiglynne Hotel was full of coach parties, and whilst I do love old-people, I don’t want to feel like I’m staying in a care home. The other was the Grant Arms, which was rather more outwardly striking than the Garth, but the rooms weren’t up to much.