Some hotels, whilst lovely for couples to enjoy, somehow always have a family vibe to them. They are smart, they offer quality, but you also feel that your kids are welcome for a meal or an overnight stay. Banchory Lodge Hotel in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire is one of those places. It's currently running a rather tempting Mother's Day offer, which I'll share the details of below.
CHECK-IN – Banchory Lodge Hotel is centrally located in the small town of Banchory, yet turn up its tree-lined avenue and you could be in the middle of nowhere. Picture yourself arriving in a carriage if you wish.
This country house, based on the banks of the powerful River Dee, is grand and simultaneously welcoming. Once inside reception, where rows of brightly coloured Hunter wellies add character, we were swiftly checked in and led to our room
THE ROOM – Banchory Lodge Hotel in Deeside changed ownership around five years ago, and was reburbished from top to toe, whilst retaining many of its original features. Each room now has something definitive to say for itself. Our floral wallpaper made a bold statement, the maroon leather seating was stylish, the textiles colourful, and the travel chests a nice touch for those on the road. I loved the wee tin saying ‘Time for a Fly Cup’, a touch of Scots goes down well, and the fact it contained Tunnocks goodies went down even better. Many guests are attracted by the fishing, as the lodge is situated on the riverbank, so the notion of a ‘fly’ was also a clever touch. I like little details like this. Overall our room felt indulgent, it felt Scottish, but it was comfortable.
DINNER – Mealtimes is when a family-friendly vibe often shines through at a hotel. My son and I went for a pre-dinner drink at the bar (he’s got great bar chat). The black and white portrait wallpaper kept him amused and asking questions till his apple juice ran out, whilst the log fire appealed to my desire for cosiness. The bar has booths and seating areas for informal meals, but Mr Child and I headed through to the restaurant.
This is where I got a real sense of the local community viewing Banchory Lodge as their own, which I always think is a good sign. We dined around 6pm on a Tuesday evening and the restaurant was already busy. Families out for a meal, groups of ladies dining and catching up, as well as tourists visiting Royal Deeside perusing the menu. The children’s menu had lots of old favourites for tots, and Mr Child opted for sausages and mash. And from the seafood menu I ordered half a lobster! Service was friendly and swift.
The next morning the breakfast was a notably strong offering featuring lots of fresh produce, packed full of berries and fruit. Mr Child decided to try cranberry juice for the first time in his tiny life, so we both had a mini culinary adventure.
LOCATION – After breakfast we walked along the river in the sun. The hotel is situated in a truly picturesque spot. Banchory Lodge also has a decking area, with outdoor heaters, for those wishing to take it easy and curl up outdoors under a blanket or savour a summer’s day. Visitors don’t have to venture far to explore attractions such as Drum Castle or Crathes Castle. Banchory Lodge is a gentle escape to the country, offering a sense of community, belonging and family that is part of its charm.
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