Ideally located at the eastern end of the Loch Rannoch this beautiful Victorian-style property retains its traditional stone exterior whilst offering modern, comfortable interior facilities with a great sense of space. Hills to the rear and river to the front the location is quite unique and inviting.
One of our deciding factors (as the EV tsunami continues) when considering where to visit, is the availability of electric charge points, helpful when hotels are located in more remote locations. The Dunalastair offers free electric vehicle charging to boot! Two are dedicated Tesla chargers which can be used by guests with other marques. Unfortunately, our MG ZS EV wasn’t compatible but we were offered free charging via our room!
Amazingly, for such a small village there are a further four chargers - two in the square on which the hotel stands and another two within 50 yards just off the main road. There is dedicated parking at the front and side of the hotel.
As we entered reception on arrival, the fragrance permeating throughout was fresh and inviting and this continued in corridors and public spaces.
Our two-bedroom apartment (No. 109 is a corner suite) hit all the right notes. Huge luxurious beds were complimented by a good sized central living space with a dining table, fridge, microwave and a full range of tea/coffee making facilities. There was a spacious, fully tiled large shower room and toilet with plenty of towels and quality toiletries. Most rooms in the hotel are now suites and worth the extra cost.
Booking direct with the hotel, as we normally prefer, this turned out to be one of our best short stay experiences so far this year.
The DHS (as we dubbed it) was completely and impressively refurbished some years ago. On a previous visit in the 90s on our Yamaha 900cc Diversion we spotted the Highland outfit worn by Liam Neeson in his role as Rob Roy MacGregor, The Hollywood ‘A’ lister stayed at the hotel while filming the historic epic. It hung on a wall on the grand staircase – it’s now in the entranceway to the dining room. More recent renovations and refurbishment have turn this place into a must visit gem.
Service in this hotel is of the highest standard (well done all and a big thanks to Denzil on reception) contributing to a warm and friendly atmosphere for guests.
Our dinner on the first night (delicious steaks) was only marred by a very poor desert… the poached pears turned out to be one pear which was cold and hard! Food prices are on the high side as are the drinks (wine in particular) and a review of this could make all the difference.
The building itself is a traditional stone built property dating back to the 19th century. The former barns are now a comfortable dining room with a lounge and bar attached. All look on to an open, fully tiled courtyard where guests can enjoy comfortable chairs with tables for taking afternoon tea and light snacks.
A drive down the south side of Loch Rannoch on an excellent single track road is a must when visiting this area. Once at the end of the loch the road continues for another few miles to a dead end at the famous Rannoch station on the edge of Rannoch Moor. There is a small tearoom in the (working) station – it is the main line to Fort William and the west coast fishing village of Mallaig. The views over the moor towards Glencoe are stunning!
The DHS is branded as a 5 star hotel – not quite, but a BIG 4 star+ is earned by an impressive refurbishment programme that has added style and finesse. Coupled with high standards of personal service and (smiling) staff, what more could you ask for.
All-in-all a most delightful two-night vacation in one of Scotland’s upmarket hospitality venues. Oh yes – and it’s very pet friendly!
Route to Dunalastair
There are various routes to Kinloch Rannoch. Travelling from North Ayrshire, we took the M8, M80 and on to the A9 towards Perth and on to Pitlochry (115 miles) where we stopped for lunch at one of the lovely cafes in the centre of the town. There are ample charge points in various areas of Pitlochry including the main large car park. We topped up on one of the Charge Place Scotland units just in case we took some detours before arriving in Loch Rannoch which is a further 27 miles on the B 847 via the stunning Queen’s View and Tummel Bridge.
Total distance: 142 miles.
Return (option) via the single track road opposite the hotel that goes over the Brae of Foss with the beautiful Schiehallion mountain towering above on the right. This route was one of many in the area used by ‘Drovers’ taking cattle to markets in Perth, Dundee and Edinburgh. The views are incredible as it heads towards Aberfeldy and then Crieff (42 mls) which makes a good alternative back south.