Spa & Golf Hotel Review: Cameron House, Loch Lomond, Scotland
Review: Jennifer Bonfield
At the southernmost tip of Loch Lomond this 18th century former stately home, now known as Cameron House Hotel, sits grandly overlooking the still loch waters shimmering with shades of deepest blue in the afternoon sunshine.
The views are quite simply breathtaking and make you feel you’ve travelled not just over the Scottish boarders, but to another magical world where one nights stay just isn’t enough to enjoy all that Cameron House has to offer with 4 restaurants, 2 golf courses, spa and a multitude of sporty activities available.
The hotel lobby leads to the reception area and concierge desk, with the unashamedly authentic Scottish furnishings of rich leather armchairs, low, darks oak tables and a smattering of taxidermy lining the wood paneled walls; a theme that runs throughout the hotel and in places feels like you’ve been transported back in time to a lavish, grand old gothic castle.
Our Colquhoun suite was lavished with heavy tartan and deep jewel toned fabrics and furnishings. The king size bed was scattered with plump feather pillows and wool throws.
Two grand armchairs were placed by the pretty sash windows, which had views overlooking the loch where you could see the seaplane bobbing about on the jetty waiting to pick up and taxi fellow hotel guests to and from Glasgow airport or take them on a sightseeing tour.
The marble bathroom had walk in shower, bath and non steam mirrors.
We headed to the Great Scots bar – where portraits of national icons lined the ample walls. A glorious setting to sip many a fine whiskey (with no less than 270 different offerings) on the sofas next to the huge windows boasting yet more beautiful views of Loch Lomand and the sprawling green grounds.
There was a surprising mix of guests staying at the hotel with families with children milling around enjoying the outdoor activities such as pony trekking, falconry and mountain biking. Weddings guests mingled in the bars, couples realaxed on mini break jaunts and groups of friends enjoyed reunions, all of which seamlessly integrated.
We couldn’t visit Cameron house without a trip to the Carrick Spa which is a 5 minute drive away by the hotel’s shuttle bus .Driven every half hour by the jolly concierge dressed in traditional tartan trousers, who, along the drive relished in sharing stories about the hotel and the area in their strong Scottish accents.
The Carrick Spa overlooks the Carrick Golf course; a championship course which is lush and almost emerald green. So breathtaking it actually made me consider taking up golf. After seeing this sight, my husband (a keen golfer) actually looked quite sickened he hadn’t booked in a game and walking into the spa whilst gazing over his shoulder at the green with a look that could only be described as ‘gutted’.
The Carrick Spa and Golf course are the newest addition to the Cameron House ‘complex’ build 10 years ago (fairly new considering how old the original buildings are). Upon arrival to the spa I wasn’t disappointed – it was fabulous. The thermal experience wing was far superior to all others I’ve seen featuring hammam stream room, aromatherapy room, infrared room, traditional stream room, coldarum along with the sauna and heated stone bed area, both of which had huge windows overlooking the glorious sunny day, the first sauna with such views I have to say.
Arriving at the spa reception for my treatment (Espa Aromatherapy Massage), I changed into my provided spa rob and flip flops and met my spa therapist Nicole. Nicole was wonderful, even speaking to her made me feel relaxed. Some people are born to do this type of job and she certainly was one of them. Using the glorious Espa Restorative aromatherapy oil, she delivered an amazing top to toe massage, I could have stayed in there all day, the relaxation therapy was so immense. Once the massage has finished she guided me (I say guided as in I was almost asleep) to the relaxation room. There are relaxation rooms in spas and there are relaxation rooms at The Carrick Spa, a world of its’ own with dimmed, sleep-inducing lighting and rows of relaxation beds draped in silky quilted throws, individually divided by sheer voile curtains. Soothing music was gently piped throughout the room and stations of fruit-infused, iced water were more than inviting.
After reluctantly dragging myself away from this peaceful sanctuary and joining my Husband, we headed into the spas’ Thermal experience. We then ventured upstairs onto the decked roof to the amazing rooftop infinity pool, which was over-looking the lush Carrick green (sorry hubby). Sipping on complementary bottles of water from the many fridges dotted around the spa, we turned on the Jacuzzi jets and bathed in the glorious sunshine. Having the pool all to ourselves (perk of a weekday stay) we momentarily basked in the talk that if we were millionaires an infinity Jacuzzi pool like this would be our very first purchase.
For dinner there were options to dine at The Boathouse where locally caught seafood was the specialty, The Claret Jug with hearty classic offerings, The Cameron Grill for steaks and seafood and Martin Wishhart if you fancy a spot of Michelin star fine dining. We opted to dine at The Cameron Grill with its pride of place mural wall by Gary Myatt which portrays a medieval Scottish banquet. We enjoyed the delicious Salmon Bar with 5 salmon versions ranging from honey-cured to soaked in Glengoyne whisky. My husband couldn’t wait to try the fresh juicy langoustines. For mains we simply had to go for Sirloin steak cooked in the theatre kitchen on the Josper grill and a melt in the mouth Fillet topped with lashings of Foie Gras.
After dinner and a nightcap of fine 15 year old whiskey, we then retired to our suite to get a good night’s sleep for the next day’s 5 hour journey home, but boy was the drive worth it.
Bed & Breakfast staying in a classic room from £139
Espa Aromatherapy Massage £89