“ Address: South Lanarkshire / Scotland ML11 9DB / Telephone: +44 1555 667200 „
New Lanark Mill Hotel
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I spend a lot of time driving up and down the length of the country between Essex and Scotland. This often necessitates an overnight stay which we try to choose with care. The need for a good night's sleep is paramount as we often have to drive for many hours the following day. We also have the added delight of the company of our dog that travels with us, so pet friendly is vital. This excludes the Premier Inn chain and many others who are not able to accept dogs at all.
For many occasions we choose the Days Inn or Holiday Inn/Express groups as they offer reasonable accommodation for good prices, and have convenient locations along the motorways and main routes into Edinburgh and Glasgow. However staying in these repeatedly can be monotonous so in recent years we have discovered some new alternatives for overnight stays - so I will introduce you to one of my favourites- The New Lanark Mill Hotel. Here are the details you need if you would like to book or to find out more:
New Lanark Mill Hotel
Scotland ML11 9DB
tel: +44 1555 667200
Where Is It?
Driving to this hotel is a simple 25 minutes or so from the M74 junction 13 at Abington, and once there you are only an hour from Glasgow or Edinburgh, so it is an ideal spot if you want to tour this part of Scotland.
The Best Room Rates
I book with whoever can supply me with the cheapest room, and on recent occasions this has been Hotels.com. I have also clicked through from my favourite cash-back site at www.topcashback.co.uk where offers are frequent. The last room rate I enjoyed was £69 for two in a double room and this included a beautiful cooked breakfast. You can see why at this price it is certainly comparable with budget chains, and for reasons given below it is a good value option.
A Hotel With A History
The hotel itself is a restored 18th century cotton mill and is situated in New Lanark which is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1785 this mill village was well known at the time for offering decent homes and fair pay for the workers. This was under the management of a man called Robert Owen who was a social pioneer. Today the hotel is owned by The New Lanark Trust who is dedicated to the restoration and upkeep of the site, and all profits from the hotel are ploughed back into the trust which enables the conservation work to continue. For me this makes the hotel just that little bit special.
A Gorgeous Setting
Set in a stunning riverside location in a dramatic gorge close to the Falls Of Clyde the hotel affords stunning views from all its rooms. For this reason it is popular with weddings and parties so weekends in particular can be booked up. This certainly gives the hotel a contrasting lively feel compared to the serenity of the weekdays. This is important as we have experienced both; and the service is certainly more personal and the guest accommodation in terms of lounge and bar areas more enjoyable, for me anyway, at less peak times. This has something to do with the position of the reception area which is in the foyer, and it is here that wedding guests congregate for pre-dinner drinks and it can be noisy. Midweek you can hear a pin drop- it is so different. The reception staff are much more attentive at quieter times as a major celebration can make conversations difficult to engage in. This I feel is due to the fact that the large imposing building actually only has 38 rooms, and if you book a busy weekend you could be filling the one or two empty rooms, so you are not going to be a high priority.
This is a traditional Scottish hotel and the ambience reflects this. It does tend to attract a more mature guest, and the communal areas are traditional rather than modern and contemporary. They almost feel like they have a ferry lounge atmosphere and the ceilings are low. I am not overly keen on them myself, as although I do like the traditional style at times, this is certainly more towards the dated look. As we are usually staying only one night it is not especially important to us, but I would say that if you are planning to visit for longer, and to be hotel bound, then the ambience is not something I would rave about in the downstairs areas. The yellow walls and rusty orange curtains surround curve backed duck egg blue, red, and green upholstered chairs and the overall feel is of a corridor. I am not waxing lyrical about this, and in my view needs an overall. The reception area has some armchairs and settees, but these are very traditional indeed, and again questionable in my mind as to their attractiveness.
The bedrooms are something quite different and I am impressed by them, except for a couple of minor points. For a hotel where rooms can be purchased at the sort of rates I mentioned these are superb. They are very large indeed and many have an additional single bed. All have lovely pure white bed linen, lots of pillows, and a bathroom which is luxurious in every aspect. They have a power shower, luxury toiletries, fluffy white towels, and are beautifully fitted with spotlessly clean tiling and are in my opinion outstanding. The views from the window are breathtaking as you see the river directly beneath you in the valley below. Some of the rooms view the conservation village, but we have always been given the stunning river views
The room has a 32" flat screen TV, trouser press, hair dryer, kettle and lots of teas, coffees and biscuits to enjoy. The bed is so comfortable and spacious- I have slept so well every time I have visited. My only criticism would be that the décor in terms of tables and bedside cabinets is a little dated for my taste. I think the designer had a love affair with teak shades, and it does need looking at because the rest of the room is simply outstanding.
A Hearty Breakfast
Breakfast as I mentioned is served in the dining room and is beautiful. A self service array of everything you could wish for all beautifully presented and cooked. The restaurant also offers evening meals and lunches, and prides itself on using seasonal and local ingredients, but I have yet to sample any of these.
Dogs are welcome in the hotel, as long as you warn them first as they do reserve certain rooms for them. There are also a selection of waterhouses which are self-catering and these hug the river, but are only available to book for stays of 2 nights or more. Be careful if you book using an online agent, because on one occasion I secured a room for one night in these, and arrived to find that it was not available as it should not have been sold on a one night basis. I never did uncover who was responsible for the error, but they were obliging and apologetic to a degree, and gave us a room in the hotel and a free breakfast. This was on a night when the hotel was full due to a wedding, which is also why I say be a little bit careful if you enjoy peace and quiet. I feel this would have been dealt with more attentively if we had experienced this on a quieter evening.
The hotel has four rooms which are specially fitted out for disabled guests and there is designated parking very close to reception.There is also a pool and spa and a gym as you would expect for a modern hotel.
The joy for me in staying at this hotel is that the riverside walks from the hotel are just beautiful, and I feel the site has more atmosphere than almost any other hotel I have stayed in around the lowlands, with the possible exception of the De Vere's Barony Castle near Peebles, which also has an impressive location.
The hotel has a picturesque site and stunning bathrooms and the rooms are very spacious indeed. The breakfast is superb, and the price is a bargain if you can secure a good rate with an online agent. The negatives for me are a resemblance in the lounge areas to the rather ferry like passenger accommodation you see on Hebridean ferries as they ply across The Minch. The low ceilings and the classical chairs need upgrading, and the point I made about choosing your dates carefully if you want to avoid gate crashing a wedding in full swing is important. Apart from this I can't rate the hotel highly enough- on a mid week night you can be assured of a beautiful room overlooking a stunning setting, and the delicious breakfast sets you up for the day ahead however far you have to travel.
This review is also posted on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
The New Lanark Mill Hotel is an unusual hotel, once a working mill, now restored to a fully functioning hotel and located right in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hotel itself is part of New Lanark an 18th Century cotton mill & village built on the banks of the River Clyde and surrounded by woodlands. The hotel has 38 en-suite bedrooms, eight river side cottages, a restaurant, a function room, a bar and a pool/spa area. The visitor centre part of the world heritage site is part of the same trust, but is not reviewed here as we did not visit that area.
So how do you find New Lanark, well from the South (I don't know of the northern way) it is best to come up the M74 and hang a right at junction 12 to Lanark on the A70/A73 and follow the brown tourist signs saying 'New Lanark' with a Scottish thistle emblem next to the words. It takes about 15 minutes from the motorway to get to Lanark 'old' town and then less than five to New Lanark. At New Lanark ignore the signs directing cars to the car park above the village. As a hotel guest you can turn right and drive down to the village. In the village you will need to drive carefully for there are speed bumps and wandering pedestrians as you turn right into the visitor centre area. Turning almost 180 degrees drive down past a man-made waterway over sharper speed bumps, the hotel is the eastern most of the large mill buildings and car parking is in front and to the right rear of the hotel.
The hotel has been modernised to meet today's comforts without losing any of its original structure or charm. It has six floors, which are long and narrow, the rooms are mostly on the top two floors facing the river with the function room in the middle and the restaurant on floor 2, the ground floor has the reception, bar and spa.
The reception is to the right of the doors with a lounge area, there are lifts and stairs to the upper floors with a set near the reception and another to the left behind the bar area. The Falls bar is open from 11am to 11pm every day it is small and a little on the dark side. The spa which can be found behind the bar area is new and quite modern. There is a gym, a steam room, sauna, a pool and a spa pool. Changing facilities are good and the whole spa is free for hotel guests. Things to note are that the spa also has non-hotel paying members and programmed things like aqua-fit in the pool. Also there is a restriction on times that children (even accompanied ones) are allowed in the pool. I cannot remember the times or the age limits, but they were not unreasonable restrictions and we were able to use the pool twice during our stay with our one year old daughter.
The Mill restaurant on the second floor is where we went for breakfast, it is open from 6.30am to 9.30am on week days and 8am to 10.30am at the weekends. The items available at breakfast included, cereals, fruits, juices, bread, and cooked items all as part of a serve yourself counter, with only coffee and teas provided by the waiting staff. Cooked foods on offer included, eggs (scrambled and fried), bacon, sausages, square sausage, tomatoes, beans, potato scones, black pudding and some sliced haggis. It was a good eat up for me in the morning and I didn't need much at lunch to keep me going in the daytime. As for the evening meals in the restaurant I cannot comment as we didn't have any meals then.
The bedroom was probably one of the most spacious rooms we've had in a while and this was thanks to the original design of the building as a long thin cotton mill. Too narrow to have rooms either side of the building the hotel builders placed the corridor on the land side and the rooms facing the River Clyde. The rooms are very large for two people, but perfect for a young family of three such as us. Our room (no.20)had a walk-in wardrobe area to the left of the door, a bathroom to the right and a good sized area with king size bed, chairs and drawers for TV, kettle and mirror overlooking the river.
The room was very well laid out and even with the inclusion of a cot for little BC2 it is massively oversized. The bathroom with toilet, sink and bath/shower all in white and clad in timber was nice and clean. Only thing that concerned us was the towel rail, which reached a low level and didn't have any user controls, hence we had to be careful when BC2 was being dried after a bath. Those hot white bars just attract those little hands in reaching over to grab it, despite all the 'No's' one can muster.
Now for the price, our room for bed and breakfast in 2008 was £59.60 per person, per night. For the cot we had to pay an additional £5 per stay so for two adults and a one year old it cost us £243.40 for the two nights we stayed. Other costs that a guest may have to pay for include a £20 single person supplement, Z-beds at £10 per stay, or well behaved pets at £5 per pet, per night. The prices for the one or two bedroom riverside cottages are variable depending on the time of year, so it is best to contact the hotel for prices if you wish to stay there.
In short the New Lanark Mill Hotel was ideal for us, it was quiet, well away from the masses and the room was spacious for our needs. Sure we probably paid a little extra for staying in a UNESCO world heritage site, but Lanark is not that well stocked with hotels and we needed to be nearby to visit family. Overall I can recommend the hotels as it clean, tidy and the staff are very helpful.
This review may be found on other review sites under the same username and is also written by me.
New Lanark Mill Hotel,
Post Code: ML11 9DB
Experience the unique design of what was once an 18th century cotton mill.