Scotland on Sunday, Do Not Disturb
We don’t own a car, and were a little apprehensive about our passage from Edinburgh to the village of Luss where the Lodge is situated.
We needn’t have worried. A train through to Glasgow Queen Street, followed by a change to either Helensburgh or Balloch and then a short taxi or bus journey to Luss was simple enough and not too punishing on the wallet.
Budget or boutique?
The Lodge on Loch Lomond is a four-star hotel with five-star views. It benefits from its sublime position on the western shore of one of Scotland’s premier natural destinations. The hotel, while not quite living up to the “luxury” tag claimed on its website, has plenty of charm going for it and a plethora of facilities and on-site activities.
The bar, lounge and dining areas are tartan-clad, warm and inviting, and the staff most helpful and hospitable. We loved the fact the Lodge has its own private stretch of beach and a jetty for boat trips.
Wining and dining
My wife, young daughter and I very much enjoyed the food. The dinner menu was packed with hearty options. The mains were a classic Brit-appeasing affair and included fish and chips, curry and burgers – which was just fine, though I was a little surprised to see few Scottish options considering the location and shortbread tin décor of the establishment. Nonetheless, we had little to grumble about, and again, the staff were superb throughout.
Our room was everything we could have hoped for and more: comfortable, spacious and inviting, with views to die for. From the Lodge’s 48 guest rooms, the vast majority enjoy astonishing panoramic views of the loch and its landmarks, while the remainder look out towards the sleepy village of Luss.
I was glad to randomly wake up just as the sun rose over the horizon. Nestled into my warm jumper, I sat out on the veranda to immerse myself in the sheer beauty of it all before heading back to bed again. A novelty was the en-suite sauna – which we never used, though appreciated all the same.
Worth getting out of bed for
The local area is one giant picture postcard and it can be enjoyed on board a boat from The Lodge’s jetty or simply by foot. The shore of Loch Lomond is stunning, but the village of Luss is every bit as delightful and a morning stroll through its cottage-lined streets is highly recommended.
There are plenty of hills to explore too, including Conic Hill, The Cobbler and Scotland’s most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond, so make sure to pack a good pair of walking boots.
If you prefer to stay at ground level and closer to the bonnie banks, take a cruise up the loch to admire the views. Back at the hotel, a 16-metre heated pool, a laconium, a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi should keep you occupied if the weather lets you down.
Travelling with a four-year-old – no matter the distance – can be a challenge, but the staff at the Lodge were great from the moment we arrived. We’d been in the building a matter of minutes when a young waitress headed over to our table with a batch of crayons and a few sheets of paper for our wee one to occupy herself with while we enjoyed a drink.
With a beach on its doorstep and a team who know how to cater for children, this is a wonderful family destination.
Complete tranquillity and worth every penny.
Prices start at £164 including breakfast. Largest suites can sleep up to four adults and two children; additional travel cots can be requested. The Lodge on Loch Lomond, Luss, Argyll G83 8PA (01436 860201, www.loch-lomond.co.uk).