Hotel apartment | 13 bedrooms | sleeps 26
Argyll House has been described as “probably the best party house in Scotland.” The dining hall seats 24 in style and comfort, and the rest of the house lends itself ideally to big groups for family celebrations, anniversaries, corporate bonding sessions, whatever!Argyll House is as luxurious as a boutique hotel, but at a fraction of the cost and without any of the formality you'll find in a hotel. There is also the option of being completely self catering if that's what you want or fully catered if you really want to kick back during your stay. It's not got the grandeur or intimidating historic atmosphere of a castle or a stately home proper, but as some of our first guests have said, that makes it a very comfortable place to be at home in - even with 30 people. A river runs through the grounds just 100 yards behind the main house, and shared facilities include the indoor swimming pool and a tennis court (although both of these can be privatised for certain hours in the day).With the two other renovations now complete, there is space for an even bigger party! The Mill sleeps 20 with a fabulous open plan living area of nearly 1,000 square feet. The old barn sleeps 16 in some style and comfort. All can be hired together for groups of up to 60. All properties are entirely independent of each other so you maintain utmost privacy.The house is available on a self-catering or fully-catered basis – or something in between.
|Size||Sleeps up to 26, 13 bedrooms|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Private indoor pool, Sauna, Staffed property|
|Pool||Private indoor pool|
|General||TV, Pool or snooker table, Table tennis, Games room|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer|
|Rooms||13 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms of which 5 En suites and 9 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (6), Double beds (10)|
|Outdoors||Private indoor pool, Private tennis court, Bicycles available, Trampoline|
The Central Scotland/Strathclyde region
Although just an hour and a half from Glasgow, the house sits in some of the loveliest scenery in Scotland. The Kyles of Bute are renowned amongst both walkers and sailors as amongst the most stunning bits of coast in Scotland. Whatever the weather in Argyll – and we do enjoy a remarkably mild micro-climate - this is great country for site seeing, with every corner revealing a new variation on the theme of mountain, loch, valley, sky, woodland, sea, rock, beach. The Cowal peninsula is a fabulous base for an active holiday with marvellous wildlife, numerous gardens and other tourist attractions to visit, and all sporting activities catered for.
The house has grounds of 23 acres, and sits about a mile above the head of Loch Riddon, enjoying complete privacy and lovely views down the glen to the river Ruel. The Island of Bute itself is as little as 15 minutes away from the house – accessed via a ferry from Colintraive – and was a “must visit” destination long before Stella McCartney got married there or former racing driver Johnnie Dumfries moved into Mount Stuart House as the new Marquess of Bute.
With 20 acres of grounds, fabulous views, and top class accommodation on site for over 60 people, we believe the estate must now be one of the most attractive venues for a wedding in Scotland. We've hosted some really lavish wedding parties here, with top of the range marquees, amazingly lit, vintage champagnes flowing and £60 per head breakfasts. But it can also be an incredibly cost-effective way to go about things – both for you and your guests.
Inverary with its famous Jail and Castle, seat of Clan Campbell for the last few hundred years, is only 45 minutes away, as is Loch Lomond. Dunoon is another tourist destination in its own right, and just under half an hour away. You can get to Glen Coe in an hour and a half, to Stirling, Oban or Fort William in under two. Loch Ness and Edinburgh are easy enough day trips – reachable in less than 2 and a half hours.
As well as general site-seeing and trips to the Island of Bute, Inverary and further afield, there are a host of other activities you can undertake around Glenaruel. It's fabulous walking country and we've also provided twelve mountain bikes for those who want to explore on two wheels rather than four. There are some really excellent and quite varied routes direct from the house, involving all sorts of terrain and levels of strain!
You can provide your own alcohol, charge guests less than they would pay for a B&B or hotel, and end up with a fantastic day, in a stunning, private, historic setting without breaking the bank. If that means you can spend more on the honeymoon and they can spend more on the wedding presents, everyone should be happy!
Golf – there's a lovely 9 hole pay and play course ten minutes away above Tighnabruaich. We've supplied five bags of golf clubs for the house and they probably won't be too fussed about the usual rules re golf shoes provided you don't arrive in jeans and carve the course up. The same applies to the almost equally spectacular nine hole course at Blairmore & Strone, half an hour away. Cowal Golf Club at Dunoon and Inellan are the 18 hole courses in the area that welcome visitors.
Fishing - too many options to go into here, but you can spend anything from £9 per day to over £1,000 for river fishing in the area. You can fish for trout in our own stream for nothing or in the Lochen at the head of the river. Mackerel on a line in a boat on the Kyles is a right of passage for hundreds of West of Scotland kids every year. They swim in shoals all around these waters – the mackerel, not the kids - and there's no permit payable.
It's a fabulous part of the world for water-sports of all sorts. Horse-riding, climbing, canoeing, caving, archery, quad biking, paint-balling, and clay pigeon shooting are also all available either on site or in the area. It's not our thing, and the house ain't full of antlers, but we can help you arrange a day's grouse or pheasant shooting, or stalking in season, if some of your party want to do that.
There is a wee shop selling all the basics at the camp-site in the Glendaruel valley, about a mile's walk away, beside the historic Kilmodan standing stones. You get a slightly bigger choice in the Spar at Tighnabruich five miles away, and all year round opening. Dunoon is 16 miles away and is a thriving market / harbour town with award-winning bakeries, cafes and butchers, as well as a big Co-Op and a big Somerfield supermarket.
Scotland isn't really well served by pubs in general; this area is definitely an exception. The Glendaruel Hotel is a lovely wee pub, a two mile drive away – or about a mile and a quarter as the crow staggers – and serves good pub grub or better. The Colintraive Hotel and Tighnabruich Hotel are each a tad busier and a tad more ambitious in terms of menu. Chatters in Dunoon is highly recommended, and the Whistlefield and Coylet Inns on Loch Eck are also worth a visit. Our favourite restaurant in the entire universe is on Loch Fyne, overlooking the old Castle Lachlan. (The view from the Inver Cottage terrace is one of the Robbie Innes pictures on our drawing room wall.) It's less than half an hour away from the house. The Benmore Gardens tea room is not half bad, either, and the Otterferry Inn and Loch Fyne Oyster Bar have good reputations (on which, it might be said, they trade slightly) All in all, though, there are few areas of Scotland where you can enjoy such a variety of excellent, reasonably priced menus.
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Oliver's Travels (Property Manager Oliver's Travels Ltd)
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