As you might have seen from my Instagram stories lately, Terry and I spent this weekend exploring the beautiful island of Arran, off the west coast of Scotland.
We were on Arran as guests of the equally-beautiful Auchrannie Resort… which turned out to be so amazing that we ended up spending our entire first day there, without even setting foot out of the grounds: whoops! In our defence, as you can probably see from the photos of our ferry ride from Ardrossan (The ferry was actually really busy, but the rain kept most people safely indoors: it’s just us bloggers that are willing to do anything for the sake of a quick photo opp…) that first day was pretty cold and wet, so it wasn’t ideal for exploring – and when you have a spa hotel at your disposal on a rainy day, well, you can’t really blame us for wanting to make the most of it, can you? I mean, look at what we had in our room:
As soon as I laid eyes on this, I was all, “Hey, Terry, I’ve just had a great idea for the house…!”
Ours was an executive suite, so, as well as this very Instagrammable relaxation pod, it also had all of this:
Not pictured here (Because I was apparently too busy running around shrieking with excitement to remember to take photos…) is the separate room containing a cute little bunk bed (with TV set at the end of each bed!), and the “I am SO not going to be able to live without this now,” rainfall shower in the huge bathroom. Luckily, Terry was a little more on the ball about all of this, so you’ll see footage of the whole suite in the video at the end of this post, but it’s safe to say that this was one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed, and they’d really thought of everything – right down to the little laundry room opposite our suite, which had a washing machine, dryer, and everything else your clothes might need. (There was also an iron and ironing board in the room itself, and yes, I used them both as soon as I arrived…)
At the end of our corridor, meanwhile, our keycard gave us access to a little lounge area, which was always fully stocked up with (free) soft drinks, plus snacks like crisps, nuts, jelly beans etc. It led out to a private balcony, with a hot tub and a selection of some pretty cool chairs (Which I ALSO now want for the house, needless to say…):
(We didn’t actually get to use this, unfortunately, because, despite our best efforts, we kept rocking up once it was closed for the night: still, it’s as good a reason as any to go back, I guess!)
Once we’d unpacked, run around shrieking with excitement (me) and done a quick spot of ironing (Er, also me…), we headed down for some lunch. Auchrannie has three separate restaurants on the resort, and we sampled them all over the course of the weekend, with the first being the Cruize bar and brasserie:
Although Arran is a small island (the population is just over 5,000), it’s given the world a surprisingly large amount of produce – the most famous being whisky and cheese. Auchrannie prides itself on using as many local-sourced and produced produce as possible, so, as well as the Arran Aromatics toiletries in our bathroom, our haggis nachos (Yes, it’s a thing, and yes, it’s delicious) were smothered in Arran cheese, and I almost had to be dragged away from them, knowing I’d have to find space for dinner later. We also shared a garlic and herb flatbread and some rustic fries, all of which we ate while looking out at the gorgeous grounds of the hotel, which are filled with palm trees, despite being on the West coast of Scotland:
The large hill in the background (It’s a Corbett, not a mountain, although it looked pretty mountainous to me…) is Goat Fell, and Terry has informed me that we’re going to climb it some day. What he doesn’t know, of course, is that I’m planning to just stay in the spa while he does that…
Speaking of the spa, after lunch we had a quick tour of Auchrannie’s ASPA, footage of which is in the video, as the relaxing low lighting wasn’t conducive to photography, unfortunately. (SPOILER ALERT: There are more relaxation pods. And even although we were only there for twenty minutes or so, I could very easily have fallen asleep listening to the woodland sounds soundtrack – bliss!) It looked absolutely beautiful, though, and I can totally imagine just wanting to spend the entire day there, so if you’re looking for a relaxing few days, it’s well worth checking out. Once we’d had a good look round, meanwhile, we headed over to Auchrannie House, which is one of the other buildings on the resort, to use the pool there. (There’s also a pool at the ASPA, by the way, so we needn’t even have left the building, but we wanted to see as much as possible!)
Although Auchrannie is a large resort, it’s still family owned, and I think that really shines through in the attention to detail you’ll find throughout the place. Auchrannie House was the original hotel, and is still a beautiful building. The pool, meanwhile, is a nice size, and was a good opportunity for us to try to burn off a few calories, before…
Yeah, it’s more food. We were on holiday, though, and we all know calories consumed while you’re on holiday don’t actually count, right?
(Aside: I’m writing this post right before dinner, and even although these photos don’t even come close to doing the food justice, I’m absolutely STARVING just from looking at them, seriously…)
This time we ate in Eighteen69, which is also in the Auchrannie House part of the resort. This is a Scottish tapas restaurant, which we were really excited about, because when we go out to dinner, we love being able to order a bunch of different dishes and then share them – which is exactly what you do in Eighteen69. Again, there’s a big emphasis on Scottish cuisine, and locally sourced ingredients, so we ate things like Arran cheese scones, artisan breads containing Arran whisky, and – my absolute favourite – the Mac and Arran Black, which was mac n’cheese (Er, can you tell I liked the Arran cheese? I REALLY liked the Arran cheese: so much so that I had to bring some home with me…), black pudding and bacon. And now I’m REALLY hungry, so I’m going to wind up this post on that note, and leave you with a quick look at Terry’s video. Oh, and seeing as I’ve gotten through an entire post without actually showing you the island itself, I’ll have another one up soon, with photos from Day 2 of our trip, when we DID actually manage to drag ourselves away from the hotel!
[Disclosure: we stayed at Auchrannie compliments of the resort.]