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“We stayed one night in Stranraer, prior to travelling...”

Written on: 21/02/2007 by joyse (12 reviews written)

Good Points
The North West Castle Hotel is right opposite the ferry terminal for crossings to Belfast.
Lovely restaurant, which serves excellent food.
Comfortable and intimate atmosphere, like an old country house.
Curling rink and the bar overlooks the ice.

Bad Points
Swimming pool and changing area are a bit dated and could do with a face-lift.
Pricey, not a cheap option for an overnight stay.

General Comments
We stayed one night in Stranraer, prior to travelling on the morning ferry crossing to Belfast. It is located just opposite the ferry terminal, so was extremely convenient. There is also plenty of parking in the hotel grounds.

The hotel is now part of the McMillan Group but in the 1800's it was a private residence. The original owner was a sailor and has an interesting history, see the hotel website for more details. The hotel still has the faded grandeur and atmosphere of an old residence and this adds to the experience. It is not smart, glossy and pristine like many modern hotels but for us, this was a benefit and made it different.

Our room was large, airy, spacious and clean, with two single beds and a camp-bed for our 3 year old, it was a last minute booking and they were very busy. The room was comfortable and warm, it had an old television set without satellite channels, tea and coffee making facilities with delicious biscuits supplied and a modern, white bathroom. We had a very good night's sleep.

The hotel has a swimming pool and a leisure area. This was the only disappointing part of the stay. The pool is a bit dark, gloomy and dated and the water temperature was chilly to say the least. The changing rooms are also dark, cramped and could really do with a face-lift. Not enough towels were provided in the pool area. When we tried to call through to reception to request more, the phone didn't work. The laundry bin in the ladies changing area was also full of damp, dirty towels.

The bar area, where we had pre-dinner drinks is very nice, decorated like a ship's cabin. We ate in the hotel restaurant and very much enjoyed the meal. It was 5 courses, each course had about 3 choices, service was good and the food was delicious. They had a children's menu, which was 3 courses with a few choices per course. Our son also enjoyed the food. There was a piano in the restaurant but no pianist while we were there. After dinner, tea/coffee and melt in your mouth fudge was served in the lounge area where they had a big table with lots of board games for all ages.

The hotel has its own curling rink and a lovely little bar with a large viewing area. While we were there a curling match was going on, so we had a drink and watched it, it was very interesting.

Breakfast next morning was served in the restaurant, it was quite good, they had a number of choices and again the staff were helpful and attentive.

We paid £84.50 per person for dinner, bed and breakfast. They charged £5.00 for our 3 year old, this included his food. The price for a child is very reasonable but generally the hotel is not a cheap option. However, we enjoyed our stay, would stay again and would definitely recommend it to friends and family.

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