There can’t be many hotels in Argyll with a better view than the Loch Melfort Hotel on the west coast of Scotland. Offering cosy 3- star rooms with fantastic views and a fine dining restaurant, the hotel also sits next to the stunning National Trust for Scotland Arduaine Gardens.
Only 30 minutes drive from Oban, the Loch Melfort Hotel sits in an idylic location raised up above a loch with only a couple of resident coos to distract you from watching the ever-changing sea. The view across Asknish Bay to the islands of Shuna, Scarba and the Sound of Jura, and the Atlantic beyond is one you will never get tired of.
Rooms at the Loch Melfort Hotel
Loch Melfort Hotel is a ‘country house by the sea’ with comfortable lounges, real fires, and photos and mementoes on the walls. Whether you take a room at the front of the main house, or in the modern and refurbished sea view loch rooms, you are guaranteed comfortable 3-star accommodation. If you have a dog, they are also welcome in the ground floor loch view rooms. Our junior suite had an incredible view from the bed – I must admit we slept with the curtains open – it was perfect bliss to watch the dawn break over the bay.
Asknish Bay – an alternative to the Oban restaurants
The Loch Melfort Hotel has two restaurants, the informal Chartroom II bistro which offers a menu focused on local produce and the two AA Rosette Asknish Bay Restaurant. The bistro is a popular spot, drawing in customers from the Oban restaurants, the stunning Arduaine Gardens next door, sailors from boats which can moor up in the bay (they also have a drying room and showers) and for their twice-monthly music nights.
The restaurant focuses on a 4-course Table D’hote menu and a changing a la carte menu – try the a smoked langoustine ‘cocktail’, duck with peppery crowdie, juicy lamb with beetroot and a perfectly cooked fillet steak, paired with a Pinot Noir from the a good value and well-chosen wine list. The Loch Melfort Hotel restaurant knows how to let the actual ingredients be the star on the plate; the cooking was assured and deceptively simple and deserves its two AA Rosettes.
Things to do in Argyll
If you can drag yourself away from the view, there is plenty to do around the Loch Melfort Hotel. The hotel’s location 18 miles south of Oban is perfect to explore this mostly undiscovered part of Argyll.
Next door to the hotel is Arduaine Gardens, which is managed by the National Trust for Scotland, entry can be purchased through the hotel or is free to NTS members. Arduaine Point upon which the Loch Melfort Hotel sits, has had a garden since 1898, and it now is home to an international rhododendron collection, beautiful woodlands, and ponds; truly living up to the areas name as the ‘green point’.
More things to do in Argyll
- Oban is just 30 minutes away from the hotel and is a popular seaside town, with multiple seafood restaurants. From Oban take a ferry to Isle of Mull, and the Inner Hebrides. On the way to Oban visit the pretty Slate Islands and the Bridge Over the Atlantic.
- To the south of the hotel lies the pretty seaside harbour villages of Craobh Haven and Crinan with its incredible canal, as well as further afield drives to Loch Awe, Loch Fyne, and Inverary with its castle and jail – are great for a day trip.
- Hikers and hillwalkers can climb local Munro Ben Cruachan. If you don’t fancy climbing up the hill, the mountain is hollow – it contains a power station – which you can visit.
- For archaeology buffs (and Outlander/standing stone fans) Kilmartin Museum and Glen is filled to the brim with cairns, monuments, and standing stones, and a great little museum.
However, you might find that you won’t want to move very far from the Loch Melfort Hotel, and instead find yourself happily ensconced with a local gin and tonic in front of the fire, with your eyes firmly affixed on the view. You won’t be the only one, you hopefully find I’ll be back to join you very soon…
Love, from Scotland x
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*We were guests of the Loch Melfort Hotel.