One night stop at The Perle Hotel, Oban, Scotland.
We finally arrived at Oban station after over 16 hours on the road, one cancelled train and too much motorway service station food and coffee. It was dark when we arrived and hauled our suitcases off of the last train from Glasgow to Oban. As we stepped out of the station we were greeted by the loveliest little harbour town with a really lovely vibe to it even at 9.30pm on a Thursday evening, with plenty of people coming out of enticing looking restaurants and bars and wandering around the prettily lit harbour. Rich was busy trying to capture the feel of the place with his camera so it was down to me to work out where we needed to go for the hotel I had booked us into for our one night stay. Low and behold we didn't need to look far, the Perle Hotel is conveniently situated directly opposite the train station so no taxi needed this time.
We headed across the road to check in and were not disappointed with the look of the hotel from the outside. It is a beautiful building built in traditional Scottish stone with pretty turrets and amazing views over the near perfect horseshoe shaped harbour. Originally built as a stopover for Victorian travellers coming off of the newly built railway line on their way to the Hebrides Islands, the hotel underwent a major refurbishment in May 2017 when it opened its door for the first time as the Perle Hotel Oban.
The entrance to the hotel is grand with a cosy little seating area just to the side of the reception desk and a welcoming looking bar beyond. We were warmly greeted by the hotel receptionist and although she offered to find out if a table could be made available in the adjoining restaurant (even though it was less than half an hour until it closed), we were too tired to eat so she showed us directly to our room on the first floor.
The room was well appointed with a Bose sound system, Nespresso coffee machine and large flatscreen TV. It would be difficult to describe the room as anything other than snug with a bathroom to match but they had done a very good job of making the most of the space they had. The high ceilings gave the room an added dimension and there were plenty of lighting options depending on your mood. There was adequate hanging space with a decent hairdryer, iron and ironing board in our room. The bathroom was compact but very well appointed with a lovely shower, some fluffy towels and bathrobes.
Whilst we had decided it was too late for us to eat at the hotel they had ensured that we had a lovely bottle of prosecco on ice in our room as promised when we booked. And so our long day of travelling was nicely rounded off with a quick shower, and a couple of glasses of fizz each, before falling into the very comfortable bed and a well needed sleep.
The next morning we woke early as we wanted to have time to wander round Oban before we had to check out. We were both disappointed that we hadn't had a chance to try the hotels Greek/Turkish restaurant, BAAB, the night before as we both love Greek meze style food, so we were looking forward to our breakfast in there. The restaurant was modern and comfortable with authentic decor and lovely views over the harbour. The breakfast buffet was plentiful and was accompanied by a hot food menu offering the likes of a full Scottish breakfast, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, and french toast. Rich went for the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs while I choose the vegetarian breakfast, including vegetarian haggis, a first for me and hopefully not a last, it was delicious.
After a delicious and filling breakfast, accompanied by a couple of cafetierres of coffee, we hastened back to our room to collect our coats and begin our whistle stop tour of Oban, starting with a tour of the local whisky distillery - and, yes they do still offer you the shots of whisky at the end of the tour, even if it is not yet 10am! Checkout time was 11am so we didn't have too much time to explore Oban itself, which is a real pity, as we would have loved to have climbed to McCaigs tower to have enjoyed the view down to the harbour, as well as exploring some of the surrounding area. Oban is often referred to as the ‘gatewayto the islands’ with the ferry terminal (conveniently situated opposite the train station) offering regular ferry to the Isles of Mull, Lismore and Iona, with tours to these islands organised by the hotel for guests who would like to visit them.
So, after less then 14 hours after we had arrived we unfortunately had to check out of this friendly, boutique style hotel to continue our journey. Although our stay was short and sweet the hotel had not let us down with its comfortable rooms, luxurious furnishings, friendly staff, cosy little bar and stunning harbour views. We will be back Perle Oban!