Thursday, 26 November 2009

Vroom at the Inn

World trials champion Dougie Lampkin discovered a whole host of new activities on a recent visit to Lochaber and was keen to experience them first hand. Dougie enjoyed an action packed couple of days Kayaking, indoor rock climbing, a fast boat tour, a trip to the local whisky distillery and a spot of ice walling and he now understands why the area is titled the Outdoor Capital of the UK.

Undoubtedly the highlight of his trip was a visit to Glencoe and we were delighted when he dropped into our Boots bar here at Clachaig.

“This is a proper pub, and is a much welcomed sight at the end of what has been one long adventure. Anyone wanting to experience real Scottish hospitality needs to make sure that they include a stop here on their tour.”

The SPEA FIM Trial World Championship series is due to hit Nevis Range in June 2010 and whilst the three-day event will deliver non-stop entertainment throughout what promises to be a weekend to remember, the region has so much more to offer for those who wish to extend their stay in the area.

Best of luck Dougie and look forward to welcoming you back next June, there’s a dram on the house for you....

.....if you win, of course!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Thanks for the Feedback

Feedback from our guests is tremendously useful. We receive feedback from our guests via a variety of avenues.

Firstly, we actively ask for it. We've now got over 600 completed feedback surveys from our 2009 guests at the inn, plus a lot more from our self catering guests. We read it on forums such as Tripadvisor. And sometimes it just comes to us because people want to tell us about their experience. Here's an example that hit the inbox yesterday.

Oak Lodge, Clachaig Chalets, Glencoe

In the last week of October we stayed with you in Oaktree Lodge, and have kept meaning to send an email to say what a wonderful stay we had with you, I am not sure that you have time to read any guest comments in the books you provide, but the staff were fabulous and so welcoming, I have a Scottish friend from Glasgow and she told me the place was magical but only if you were Scottish, well it was magical to us, my children haven't stopped talking about it, the lodge felt like a home from home and we certainly were sad to be going home. Keep on doing what you obviously have off to a fine art, it was a brilliant stay. And we will be back

Fantastic! Stuff like this just keeps us going. We really appreciate the fact that our guests take the time to contact us after their stay to tell us things like this. Thank you.

And now for a commercial break...

You too can book Oak Lodge at Clachaig Chalets.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Free Winter Safety Lectures 2010

Heading to the mountains this coming winter season? Then take note.

In association with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Clachaig is pleased to be able to present another series of the FREE Winter Mountain Safety Lectures.

Posters are now available. If you'd like one then contact us at Clachaig and we can email you a PDF version for your club/office/shop/community noticeboard. With a new Mountain Safety Advisor on board at the MC of S, this years' series has had a bit of a makeover. (Nice Poster for a start!)

However, the same mix of entertainment, important skills for the hills and quality beer in hand will be delivered FREE of charge. (Ok, the beer's not free!) All lectures start at approx 8pm in the Bidean Lounge Bar.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Eagle of the 9th

When I walked into reception today there was much giggling, fanning of brows and other such girlie nonsense. Nothing new there then. But on further investigation it seems that the common local phenomena known as 'film crew in Glencoe' seems to behind such behaviour.

Morgan & Channing

Maybe its because I'm the other side of 40, maybe its because I've seen it all before (have I told you that me and Harry Potter are best mates?) or maybe it's because I just a numb bloke, but I don't quite get it myself. But, who am I to criticise if our reception staff get all doey eyed and want a photo with Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and the gang. On the other hand, if Shakira was in town...

Eagle of the 9th sounds a bit like a golf result but a quick Google reveals that I'm probably not being stitched up with this story and it is in fact being filmed on location in Glencoe. Look out for a release some time in 2010.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

A Champion for Real!

Cottages4You is one of the larger operators out there, and they'll help you find a self catering cottage holiday across the UK and into parts of Europe too. (Though we must still recommend that you use Carefree Holidays if its Glencoe that you're planning to visit!)

Betty's delights - heaven is in North Yorkshire

As a reputable and forward thinking operator, they recently set about "Championing Real Britain". They have a point. There's so much that's really good out there, and chances are you'll find much of it in the rural areas. And what about that 'real' element? Haven't we heard that somewhere else recently? Yes, Clachaig adopted the 'real' stance 3 years ago as part of our customer promise to avoid the superficial, transient, over-marketed and faddish rubbish that tends to rule lives in the 21st century. So, Cottages4You asked their customers for some recommendations.

Have a guess who tops the Food & Drink section in Scotland.

Go on, have a guess! Bowled over yet again by the continuous support and encouragement we receive from or customers! Its absolutely fantastic.

Though I'm not sure which is the more stunning news; that Clachaig tops the list in Scotland, or that we come in a couple of places behind Betty's Tea Room in the nationwide listing. You have to understand that as a boy I spent my Saturday mornings heading into York to browse the latest releases at Red Rhino Records in Gillygate before heading across to St Helen's Square to drool longingly at the cakes in the windows at Betty's. A visit, invariably involving vanilla slice, was a treat indeed! So its a bit like winning an Oscar and being at the awards ceremony with Clint Eastwood!
Real People, Real Hospitality, Real Craic!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Team Moose, Doon Broon and other nonsense.

Just a thought, but does anyone remember our "Doon Broon" t-shirts? it was just one of many silly ideas, our little homage to climbing brand Think Pink and Clachaig, crossed with an education at Newcastle University and some Newcastle Brown Ale. Amazingly, the shirts were a big hit and we sold loads of them. The forerunner to our cheeky little homage to Carlsberg that we're retailing now (and we're on the 5th print run of these since we launched them earlier this year!) I couldn't find a shirt to show you but I'll keep looking.

Chances are that these guys remember the shirts. The photo appeared on my Facebook pages this last week - a blast from the past so to speak. And they too had their own little homage, and I do still have my Team Moose sweatshirt. (can anyone spot a young Proclaimer in that photo?)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Bonfire Night

About 300 folk gathered on the lawns at the Onich Hotel last night to enjoy the best of bonfire night celebrations. It was a cracking evening in a cracking location. I know its a terribly British thing to keep going on about the weather but the weather gods did at last take pity on us West coasters for once.

With a full moon and stars above and the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore, the setting was perfect. Add in a firework display, a decent sized bonfire, some mulled wine and a BBQ and you've got the recipe for a great event.

Many thanks to everyone at the Onich for laying it on. (And apologies for the quality of my photos).

If you're in the area next weekend (Saturday 14th November) then you might want to pop along to the Ballachulish Quarry for the annual firework display. The back drop of the cliffs make it another good venue.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Now that's something you don't see every day

Yes, not one but two computer screens in the front office at Clachaig! And yes, you would have said now that's something you don't see every day. But not any longer. All change. You'd better get used to it.

We've just spent the last 2 and a half days installing a brand new Property Management System here at Clachaig. Its been a fairly intensive couple of days. Firstly came the computer with all its settings and set up, plus network wiring. And then the software installation. But all of that was a doddle compared to actually working out how it works! My head now hurts. A lot! And so do my eyes.

We're busy transferring all the bookings currently held across from the oversized reservation books to the computerised system. I don't think we'll have it all done in time to throw the old books on the bonfire tonight, but maybe we'll still have a ceremonial burning of the books to mark the point at which we joined the 21st century.

And apart from 'computer says no' (cough) being a more common response to your enquiries, what else is there to expect from this quantum leap forward? Well, online booking is just a week or two away now. Give us a chance to get on top of things and we'll have real time online room booking before you can say, 'do you have any availability at Hogmanay, per chance'. (The answer is sorry, no.)