Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The St. Columba Hotel

I can't talk about the retreat week and not mention the hotel because it was such a big part of the experience.

The St. Columba Hotel is a wonderful place to stay and get away from it all.  It felt like a home instead of just a hotel. If we were hanging out in the lounge late at night we'd simply be asked to shut off the lights when we were through...and we could line up our wet shoes on the hearth to dry after a day of walking through wet grass.

The rooms were very comfortable with adjustable heat and hot showers! The first trip I made to Scotland, I stayed in hostels and would rate them well depending on whether or not there were hot showers.  :) 

NO TVs! A definite plus since when I vacation, I want to get away from TV too... Free WiFi and internet access for guests was a really nice bonus. Thankfully, I was able to post some blogs! Pretty much everything I needed, such as laundry service, was there so I never felt stressed out about anything. Sigh.

There was also a level of  trust in the hotel that I've not experienced before, because although they gave out keys, we never locked our doors.  Something unheard of where I come from!

Oh, and the food...THE FOOD!  I saved most of our menus...being the cooking blogger that I am. Some personal favorites were cullen skink, grilled salmon, honey and cider roast loin of pork, garden beetroot & orange soup (the hotel has its own organic garden...swoon), the bread, Scones, breakfast Fry-Ups...Nom Nom Nom...

And last but not least, the management and staff were excellent. They were very friendly and helpful.  The whole place has a youthful, peaceful, laid back feel and the efforts at being green and using local produce and products was so nice to see (right down to the soap and shampoo in the bathrooms).

So, thanks for everything guys!


(There are more photos of the hotel and grounds in an earlier post "Wednesday on Iona")

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