We booked Gruinyards based on the view it offered of Loch Ness, so we were expecting to be blown away. But even on a grey rainy March day the sight out of the living room window exceeded all our expectations. Utterly, utterly amazing.
The apartment is also wonderful. The master bedroom is massive and comfortably furnished, with a luxurious en-suite - you can practically go for a swim in the claw-footed bathtub. The twin room was fairly compact but well laid out and extremely comfortable. The shower in the bathroom was hot and strong - what more do you need?
This apartment doesn't feel "posh". My friend and I are pretty down to earth and would have felt worried about breaking things if it had been too luxurious here, but in fact it was like staying at someone's nice home. The furniture was sturdy and practical, everything was nice quality. There's a very slight shabbiness round the edges which we thought added to the charm of the place. It's cosy and comfortable, a lovely place to just chill over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. And all the time that view is waiting for you.
One of the nice things about Gruinyards is the obvious thought and effort that's gone into making your stay pleasant. By this I mean shelves and bookcases with books, games, DVDs, for your entertainment; washing up liquid, kitchen roll and foil in the cupboards since they'r the sort of thing you forget to bring; even a pint of milk in the fridge and teabags & biscuits on the table. These little touches added up to make us feel like welcomed guests rather than just paying customers.
Fort Augustus itself is a lovely little town and the locals seemed pretty friendly.
We were both sorry to leave this apartment this morning. If I get the opportunity to come back again I'll grab it with both hands. I really can't recommend it highly enough. After four nights here my soul is soothed and my batteries are recharged. I just loved it.
We had a very happy week in the Gruinyards flat. It really does have the best view of the loch. It was wonderful to sit on the sofa and gaze down Loch Ness, watching the changing weather. It was very quiet at night and the main bedroom has a comfortable bed. There is also a large modern tv and a well-equipped kitchen. The ensuite bathroom only has a bath with a hand-held shower attachment, but it was good to have the time to enjoy taking a bath. The second bedroom is quite small and its window is too high to see out of. Bear in mind there are 75 steps up to the flat, but we are in our 60s and had no problem at all.
Many shops were closed in January, but the three pubs and general store provided everything we needed. There are plenty of good walks to explore and a couple of lovely scenic drives too. The weather was surprisingly warmer than London. We were hoping for snow but only got a good frost now and then.
We enjoyed a magnificent Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) celebration at the Lovat Hotel with superb food, but it closed for a month the following day. I would certainly recommend a meal at one of its two restaurants if they are open.
We spent 4 days in this well furbished apartment in the converted abbey. At the southern tip of Loch Ness, adjacent to the Caledonian canal, the situation couldn't be better for fabulous views of the loch and surrounding mountains and access to the small town of Fort Augustus.
The abbey building is beautiful and atmospheric, with the conversion to apartments done sympathetically. The grounds are well kept and make for a lovely stroll. Gruinyards itself is very comfortable and furnished to a high 'spec'.
Fort Augustus has plenty of eateries and drinking holes and is well placed for access to the surrounding mountains, water falls,walks and other attractions.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
A fantastic location! Really atmospheric ex monastery built amongst the remains of the Georgian fort so it has lots of style and character with cloisters, and Gothic towers, as well as extensive grounds, and use of the lovely swimming pool, sauna and steam room all within a converted old chapel. There are a few apartments within the monastery but apartment 18, called Gruinyards, is up at the top so it really does get breathtaking views right along Loch Ness with a dual aspect living/dining/kitchen. Being on the third floor was therefore a definite advantage. It was a very relaxing place to stay in and explore the historic setting and felt very private and not over run with other visitors or residents as it is so big. The facilities were all well presented and well furnished and proved the perfect base to explore this area with its amazing landscapes and historic buildings. I did worry that it was a reasonable way from Inverness where I got the plane to, but actually the drive along Loch Ness was so lovely it didn't seem very far at all. I think I could have got the train to Fort William which is not so far either so there are plenty of options for getting there, and for shopping if you want more specialist things than the good local shops can offer. I really want to go again and explore this area more, and Gruinyards is the perfect base to do this from so will definitely go again.