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      04.02.2003 01:49
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      The KENMORE HOTEL, Scotland's oldest inn, was established in November 1572, at an important crossing point on the River Tay at the eastern end of Loch Tay. Straddling the banks of the river, the hotel is situated in Perthshire in the Scottish Highlands. The planned village of Kenmore, which is now a conservation area, was built around the hotel in 1760. The hotel, part of the Best Western chain, is in a beautiful and historical location and all the rooms, restaurants and bars have great views of the mountains and river. Rabbie Burns, while visiting in 1782, was so struck by the area, that he composed a poem whilst sitting on the bridge over the Tay. He wrote it in pencil on the chimney breast of the fireplace in the Poet's bar of the hotel where it can still be seen. • Check-in • The reception area was very welcoming, with oak panelling, pastel shades and a liberal collection of paintings and photographs - all with a local connection - adorning the walls. Off to the side is a lounge area with easy-chairs around a large log fire. The various bars and restaurants lead off from here. Check-in was very friendly and efficient and in no time at all we were in the elevator and on our way to our 3rd floor room. • The Room • The hotel has 42 bedrooms: double rooms, twin rooms, or executive suites, all of which have been fully refurbished. Our room was a good-sized twin room and was furnished in a modern style. The room was equipped with two firm and comfortable beds with bed-side cabinets, desk, lamps, occasional table and a couple of comfortable chairs. We had satellite TV, clock/radio, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and air/conditioning. (We were there in March so air conditioning was not something high on the list of priorities - I don't even know if it worked or not!) All the carpets and furnishings were brand new an d everything was spotlessly clean. Our bathroom was spacious and well appointed and the room was completely tiled with soft lighting and spotlights at the vanity area. On the heated rails were plenty of brilliant-white, soft and fluffy towels - and a nice selection of toiletries were placed in baskets. We had a deep bath and a very welcoming power shower. • Amenities • THE TAYMOUTH Restaurant is an informal conservatory style restaurant looking out over the river. Here they serve breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. It's open all day, seven days a week serving international and Scottish cuisine. The River View restaurant is used for receptions, functions and weddings and it also hosts Scottish Cabaret evenings. THE POET"S BAR is a traditional old Highlands bar with a roaring log fire. With low, comfy chairs and a cozy atmosphere it's very relaxing. They have a variety of fine malt whisky's (over 50) and a nice selection of Scottish ales. This has been a popular bar for over 400 years. The BOAR'S HEAD bar has a large verandah running its full length onto a patio overlooking the river and on to the majestic Ben Lawyers in the background. It's an absolute beezer of a view. The hotel also has an indoor pool, spa and sauna. • Activities • Kenmore has two good golf courses and there are numerous others close by. Residents of the hotel can play at special rates. The hotel has a long history of fishing as the many photographs and memorabillia in the Boars Head bar show. Being located on the banks of River Tay, the hotel controls fishing rights to two and a half miles of both banks of the river. Hotel residents get preferential rates. Loch Tay is just across the road and boats can be hired locally. Loch Tay and the River Tay are the center of a wide range of water sports. Canoeing, boat rental, white water rafting, jet skies, water-skiing and sailing are all available. We paid £75 for a twin-bedded room with breakfast. This was in March 2001, but I don't think the price will have changed that much. ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ Apart from golf, fishing, watersports, walking and cycling, the area is rich in things to see and do. The Scottish Highlands are packed with historical and other attractions, especially whisky and castles. Here is a list of some of them that are within traveling distance of the hotel. DALWHINNIE DISTILLERY is, at 1073 feet above sea level, the highest distillery in Scotland. It's open to visitors all year round. website: www.dalwhinnie.com The GLENTURRETR DISTILLERY in Crieff, is Scotland's oldest distillery. They have guided tours and an audiovisual presentation and exhibitions. There are several restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. website: www.glenturret.com A visit to BLAIR ATHOL, in the town of Pitlochry, is a visit to one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. Here you can see the distillers utilising the most valuable of local resources, the crystal clear waters of the Allt Dour, the burn of the Otter. website: www.blairathol.com Starting in 1846 from a modest merchant's shop in Perth, John Dewar built his company into one of Scotland's most famous names. At DEWAR'S WORLD of WHISKY you can discover the secrets of their famous White Label blend. website: www.dewars.com/worldofwhisky A visited to TAYMOUTH CASTLE from the hotel couldn't be easier, because the hotel is located just outside the estate gates. A 10 minutes walk brings you to the doorstep of the castle. BLAIR CASTLE is Scotland's most visited private home. You can walk through 30 fully furnished rooms of displaying beautiful furniture, fine art collections, arms and armour, all of which present picture of Scottish life from the 16th century to the present day. website: www.great-houses-scotland.co.uk SCONE PALACE is the family home The Earl and Countess of Mansfield. There are lovely gardens and exhibits collected over the last 400 years. website: www.scone-palace.co.uk ROB ROY & TROSSACHS VISITOR CENTRE, is in Callander, at the gateway to the beautiful Trossachs. Here you can learn of the exploits which made him a hero to his own folk - and Scotland's most notorious outlaw. website: www.robroy/visitscotland.com As you can see, this is an area with a lot of leisure opportunities. It is quite a popular tourist area in itself but is also well situated for touring the central highlands of Scotland and is only around 90 minutes drive from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Thanks for reading ©proxam2003

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