Venues and hotels often fail when they try to be all things to all people. I first visited Cameron House in 2009 after a £17M refurbishment that took it into the top five best hotels in Scotland. The complex is wearing well and in many parts looks like the reworking was done only a few years ago. Having visited the complex relatively recently (in the grand scheme of things – the building has been here for over 200 years) many things were the same. However one thing – a proper five star service – that was missing on my last trip was here in abundance. The Cameron House 2014 edition offers exceptional service.

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This new found exacting attention to their visitors allow the amazing rooms, bars and restaurants to shine. Two concierges patrol the entrance and three reception staff are on hand at the front desk. In the Great Scots Bar several staff buzz around the few clients quietly and contently taking in the atmosphere. Not having to look out for a server or spend too much time at the bar offers you the time to focus on the pictures of Great Scots on the wall, the selection of whiskeys on offer and of course the view across the Loch. This is how it was supposed to be: a five star unique venue with five star service.

However with a five star venue you expect five star service so this shouldn’t be anything unique but there is a uniqueness at Cameron House that really sets it apart from its contemporary hotels: it really does have something exceptional for everyone.

Cameron House is the perfect place for a romantic weekend getaway. It’s a place the girls head to for a spa weekend. Offering the fantastic Carrick course as its base and it’s the location of choice for the lads who love golf.

Cameron House is also a foodies dream location with four great restaurants owned by Cameron House plus the Michelin starred restaurant located in the hotel. There is also a whisky bar and regular wine and whisky tastings.

The hotel is a family desitination too with walks, a leisure facility and swimming pool that includes those big swirly things that little and big kids love. To top it off there is a very welcoming and informal atmosphere.

But back to business. The hotel is an incentive organisers dream with falconry, boat rides and a sea plane offering a wonderful choice of activities. For the event organiser the meeting rooms are flexible and in great condition. They can cope with 300 attendees but sit very well as a location for an intimate board meeting. We can also highlight the location as a fantastic destination for a staff conference or staff away day location. Few venues across the world do so many things to well as Cameron House.

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With so much on offer we crammed as much as possible in during our 24hr stay. From the Great Scots Bar we grabbed a sandwich packed with roast beef and creamy horseradish sauce before heading to check out the Carrick Spa and Golf Complex. We will cover both in detail next year but suffice to say the experience and excellence of Cameron House actually increases once you arrive at their purpose built Spa and Golf complex.
After some time (as much as we could manage) in the Spa experience and a coffee in the Claret Jug restaurant it was back to Cameron House to sample their simply stunning Boathouse restaurant.

In the Boathouse – their Hampton’s themed restaurant – a swarm of brightly coloured waiters and waitresses are exceptionally attentive.

Not only does it look this good but again the service is excellent. I really wanted to show a picture of the menu to see, if like me, you would have happily eaten everything on offer. I also wanted to highlight that it is exceptionally good value.

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We opted for the scallops and the seafood chowder. Scallops, with pea shoots, pea puree and bacon seems to make an appearance on almost every menu we sample these days and in the Boathouse it was great. The chowder however was the star of the starters. With so much going on in a chowder it’s very easy for one thing to overpower everything else. This chowder however was as well balanced as an Olympic gymnast. Creamy to the extreme and packed with locally sourced seafood. Our lamb and pork ribs were beautiful. The sticky toffee pudding and the toffee cheesecake were ordered, served and eaten in less than five minutes! A testament to the speed of service and the sweetness of both deserts and perhaps a comment on our obvious impatience to sample them.

We finish where we started. The Loch facing bedrooms offer a view you would never tire of. Knowing that most of the guests time would be spend looking out at the view of recovering in bed from the food, alcohol and the activities would make you think there would be no need for attention to detail in the bedrooms but you would be mistaken. Everything in Cameron House is now about attention to detail.

If you don’t have a reason to visit Cameron House I would recommend you find one.

Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at Cameron House.  Our opinions are entirely our own.  Advertised minimum rate per night is £149 (November 2014).

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