Review of the Tomich Hotel near Beauly and Drumnadrochit
Travelling from Steall Falls near Fort William, my wife and I made our way north to Drumnadrochit and then on west to the Tomich Hotel. It was a bit further than I had expected, taking a full two hours!
As part of my 40th birthday tour of central Scotland, I wanted to stay somewhere off the beaten track in an area I had never visited before; the Tomich Hotel near Glen Affric seemed ideal. From my research online, it seemed to be within beautiful countryside and near Plodda Falls, another waterfall I wanted to visit. Guest reviews were excellent too. Also of interest was the ruin of Guisachan House, the estate where the Golden Retriever dog was first bred.
Travelling to Tomich Hotel
Travelling along the A831, the countryside here is exceptionally beautiful. The road soon branched off to a single-track road, marked "Tomich 3 1/2 miles" there was also a purple sign here for the Tomich Hotel. Relieved we were on the right route; we followed the single-track road.
Again this was an idyllic drive, with fantastic countryside views in every direction. Although a single-track road, it was wider than normal and had frequent passing places, so oncoming traffic wasn't too much of a problem.
A herd of cows had made their way onto the road as we approached the hotel, it slowed us down a little, but they eventually made their way into a nearby field, just all part of the fun!
Arriving at Tomich Hotel
We parked at the small car park just to the front of the hotel. The hotel itself is very rustic and full of character; the green paint on the roof soffits and window frames looked the part.
Grabbing our luggage, we went to the front door, only to find a closed sign, and the door seemed to be locked. A little worried we had booked the wrong day, we made our way around to the Black Pennell Bar towards the right of the entrance.
Black Pennell Bar
The small bar here at the hotel is lovely, full of character and obviously well loved by the locals. We trudged in with our bags, unsure of where to go, but a nice lady welcomed us at the bar. It seems the wind had blown the closed sign over the door, and it was just a heavy door and not locked! She apologised for this, and we followed her to the reception desk.
Corridors at the Tomich Hotel were quite small and maze-like, we were beginning to wonder what we had let ourselves in for, but we needn't have worried.
The two ladies that dealt with us seemed to be from Thailand; they were friendly and attentive and couldn't do more to make sure we had a great stay at the Tomich Hotel. They checked our booking and gave us our room keys.
Our room at the Tomich Hotel
We had booked a "Superior Luxury super king – Jacuzzi style bath with shower over" room, and it didn't disappoint. The room was very spacious and had a large and very comfy bed.
The Jacuzzi bath was just a standard-size bath with water jets, but still very nice and felt awesome after our day of hiking at Steall Falls in the Glen Nevis Valley.
There were plenty of storage areas in the room for longer stays, tea and coffee-making facilities and a flat-screen tv (with satellite channels). Wifi passwords were available in the folder on the desk, along with things to see and do in the area. The free wifi signal was a bit sporadic in our room but useable.
My wife was delighted to see complementary Highland Soap Company soaps available; we had visited the main outlet in Fort William earlier in the day and purchased two lovely hand soaps.
The room definitely had an air of history about it, it wasn't old or dilapidated, but the feeling of it being an older hunting lodge from Victorian times was prevalent.
Tomich Hotel Information
The hotel is actually a Victorian hunting lodge built in the 1800s as part of Lord Tweedmouth's Guisachan Estate. It currently holds a 3-star rating and contains eight bedrooms.
Tomich Hotel Room Types
The room types are:
Standard double ensuite @ £120 per night.
Silver standard super king/twin ensuite @ £130 per night.
Luxury super king/twin ensuite @ £140 per night.
Our costs and check-out times
We stayed at the Tomich Hotel for a single night stay in mid-June and paid £160 for a bed and breakfast. Check-in was after 4 pm until 10 pm, and check-out was before 10.30 am.
I booked our room quickly and easily on the Tomich Hotel website.
After relaxing in our room for an hour or so, we decided to have our evening meal in the hotel. I wasn't sure what to expect if it was a restaurant or just bar food. We were seated just next to the bar by our Thai hosts, and drinks orders were taken. We were supplied with the menu as seen below; sorry for the poor photograph.
I ordered the goat's cheese with tomato relish, black olive tapenade, candied walnuts and basil oil starter, and my wife Janette chose the haggis clapshot with whisky sauce.
WOW, the food was excellent and beautifully laid out on our plates; it was some of the best food I've had in Scotland. The flavours were just perfect.
For our main courses, I, of course, had the burger (I'm a simple man), and Janette chose the balmoral chicken from the specials board. Both main courses were so good, 10/10 from both of us.
The locals seemed to come in periodically for a drink and chatted with the Thai ladies and another man with a limp; I'm not sure if he was the owner. Many of the visitors seemed to be older English gentlemen; maybe the area around the Tomich Hotel is a favourite spot for retirees; I can see why; it's a lovely location. The bar had a warm atmosphere, and the kind Thai ladies added to the excellence of the place.
The bill came to £52.35, money well spent.
Exploring Tomich Hotel
After our excellent meal, we took a slow walk back to our room, reading some of the interesting framed items on the walls. Many seemed to be from the post office directly opposite the hotel.
The hotel grounds have a nice picnic/drinks area out the back.
We took advantage of the jacuzzi bath before bed; it was so nice after a long day walking around Glen Nevis. The bed was big and comfy; no complaints here; we had a fantastic night's sleep.
Our room price included breakfast, so we headed down at about 8.30 am to see what delights they had on offer. We were expecting big things after our amazing meal the day before.
The breakfast area layout is slightly odd, over two smaller rooms. The first room had cereals and fruit juice available; the second room had additional seating. So we continued through to the 2nd. We both ordered a cooked breakfast; it was OK but not on par with yesterday's meal; perhaps they have a different chef on breakfast duty. It wasn't a bad breakfast but could have been better. We forgot to take pictures, but here's one of the lovely dining areas.
The Coach House Cafe
Across from the Tomich Hotel is the Coach House Cafe, it didn't look open during our stay, but we did arrive after 5 pm and left before 10 am, so likely outwith their opening hours. It gets excellent reviews online and could be worth a look if passing through the area.
What is there to see around the Tomich Hotel area?
The countryside in this area is just beautiful, walks aside, there are also some great local attractions:
The ruin of Guisachan House
Glen Cannich and Glen Strathfarrar
Loch Ness / Jacobite cruise
Brown and Rainbow Trout fishing
How to get to Tomich Hotel
From Inverness: take the A82 towards Fort William, taking the A831 at Drumnadrochit towards Cannich. On the A831 just before Cannich, you will find yourself driving down into a small valley.
The road curves round to the right; a small road leads to the left with a Tomich Hotel sign. Follow this road to the end, and you will come to another road to the left with another Tomich Hotel sign - follow this road into Tomich village, and the hotel is on the right opposite the post office as you enter the village.
Twenty minutes from Loch Ness and Drumnadrochit.
Forty-five minutes from Inverness.
Fifty-five minutes from Inverness Airport (the nearest airport).
The Tomich Hotel was a brilliant place to stay on my 40th birthday; it felt very remote and had much more character than a chain hotel. The food was fantastic and the room extremely comfortable; I think we will return in the future.
I was officially 40 years old; we continued our trip to stunning Plodda Falls and Guisachan House and estate.
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