“ Address: Market Place / Langholm / Dumfries & Galloway / DG13 0JH „
A year ago we travelled up to Langholm in the Scottish borders to see a friend's band performing there and stayed at one of the local hotels for the night. A year on and we found ourselves booking up again to see his band perform once more in Langholm and so needed to book a hotel room.
I tuned to LateRooms.com as I knew they featured the hotels in Langholm having used them last year and the bonus is you don't have to pay for your hotel room until you arrive or check out. The website only takes your card details when booking incase you don't show up etc. Another bonus is that cashback site Topcashback.co.uk of which I am a member, offer a decent cashback rate for LateRooms too and so you can get a little cash back on your booking too.
We didn't stay at The Eskale hotel last year. The hotel we did stay at was fine but had no car park which caused us a little stress at the time and so we decided to look at the others. The Eskdale was the only one offering car parking and seemed the most appealing when checking out the hotel amenities, reviews and prices.
I booked a double room for 2 people with breakfast at the rate of £79. My friend booked a single room with breakfast at the same hotel for £53.
The Eskdale Hotel sits in the centre of Langholm and is easy to find as on driving into Langholm the main street takes you through the centre of this small town and you pass by the hotels.
The inclusion of a car park was quite important to me following our visit last year when it proved difficult to park the car. Our previous hotel had no car park, just a lay-by opposite the hotel which was full when we arrived and so we were then directed to a public car park down by the river, which we quickly decided there was no way we were leaving the car there as it was quite a hike from the hotel and pitch dark. Fortunately we managed to get a space in the lay-by eventually, but didn't want the worry of car parking again this year and so chose The Eskdale Hotel.
The Eskdale Hotel is rated 3 stars by the Scottish Tourist Board and we could recall driving past it last year and thinking it looked nice and so had no hesitation about choosing this one, especially after reading some good reviews about it.
We arrived about 3pm and pulled up outside whilst I went in to ask how to access the car park as could not see any sign posts. We were directed around the back of the hotel where there was a small car park. There were four cars parked there already and due to bad parking by a couple of them, we did think we would not be able to park our car. We managed eventually, although I had to climb over the passenger seat to get in and out as we had to park right up against a wall in order to squeeze in!
So although this hotel has a car park, it isn't big enough to accomodate all the guests should they all have cars and all it takes it one or two to not park considerately and the space is limited even more.
Parking stress over with, we checked in. It seems the hotel is run by two guys and one of them checked us in quickly, taking a few details and then issuing us with a room key. We were asked what time we would like breakfast and told the last serving would be 9.30am and so we opted for that.
Our rooms were up on the first floor and we were given a key for the room and one for the front door which we advised would be locked later on that night.
I didn't notice any lift at this hotel, so if stairs are an issue then it could be a problem.
On entering our room, I was impressed by the little hallway we had, complete with large window, with a door leading off to the bathroom and another door leading into the bedroom. There was also another door, which I realised linked to another bedroom and so must be used as a family room at times.
The bedroom was small but big enough for our needs and spotlessly clean and warm enough. The only issue I had was there was a chair placed in front of the wardrobe which you had to drag out of the way to access the wardrobe, which was awkward as there was little room to move it to and so it just got in the way. By the end of our stay it was annoying me.
There was a small flatscreen TV but we could not get any reception. Langholm is a poor area for mobile signals etc and my mobile would only work outside, but I did expect the TV to work. We weren't bothered as weren't planning on watching any TV, but this could be an issue for some.
We also had some problems unlocking and locking the door when leaving the room as this was done via a button on the door knob and we struggled with this. It wouldn't lock with the key and there was an art to doing it with the button! We weren't the only ones struggling with this and I also struggled to get out of the room the next morning. It seems the key is only needed to access your room from outside. Once in and when you leave the room you use this button but it proved very difficult.
Niggles aside, there were some nice touches, such as an umberella in the wardrobe for guests to use, which came in handy as it was chucking it down! There was a kettle and cups and saucers in the room too with plenty tea/coffee/ hot chocolate sachets and a small packet of Highland Shortbread. In the bathroom there were complimentary Highland Aromatics toiletries to use, consisting of body wash, shampoo and soap.
Speaking of the bathroom, it was quite spacious with a powerful shower over the bath and was spotlessly clean with white fluffy towels. There was plenty of hot water throughout our stay.
There was a folder with guest information and it was possible to order room service with reasonably priced meals served to your room with a tray service of £3. There was wi-fi but it appeared there was a charge for this when I tried to login and so I didn't bother.
There were guests in the adjacent room and although I couldn't hear them when in our bedroom, if I was in the hallway or bathroom I could hear every word they were saying through the adjoining door.
As the hotel had a couple of bars and a restaurant we decided we would eat downstairs and have a couple of drinks before going to the gig and so we met our friend who had settled into another room along the corridor and set off downstairs. Despite our friend having booked a single room she was very happy to have been given a double room and paying the single room rate.
Apart from a couple of people sitting in one of the bar areas downstairs, we couldn't see any staff and so wandered off to find someone to find out about having a meal. A young male member of staff appeared and we asked about having a meal to which he replied they were fully booked in the restaurant. I pointed out we were guests at the hotel and he just shrugged his shoulders and said people were having their Christmas nights out etc and they were booked up.
I was a little annoyed by this as had not been informed at check in and thought it odd that residents could not be guaranteed a meal in the hotel.
We decided to look elsewhere and if all else failed we would go back and order room service!
We ended up at the hotel we had stayed at last year, where we were were recognised and welcomed back and got a table no problem, so we were able to eat at last but still felt irked that we could not do this at the hotel we were staying at.
After a good night out we returned to the hotel. A large Christmas tree was lit up just across the road from the hotel and it looked very pretty.
We slept well and the bed was very comfortable. The next morning we went down for breakfast at 9.30am which was served in the restaurant. There was a large table set out with various cereals croissants and jams. We helped ourselves to fruit juice from large jugs and sat down at a table. A woman appeared and asked if we wanted tea or coffee and would we like toast. The hot choices she pointed out were in dishes on a hot plate at the end of the large table and we were to help ourselves. There was sausage, bacon, grilled tomatoes, scrambled egg, mushrooms, black pudding and half slices of toast with fried eggs on top. We helped ourselves and my friend pointed out she was disappointed there were no baked beans which I had to agree with.
The breakfast was nice enough but I have had better if I am honest. I don't think you can beat a freshly cooked breakfast to order and the fact this had been sitting a while caused it to feel a little dry. The eggs especially were somewhat disappointing.
As we were finishing off the woman appeared to take our plates. They seemed in a hurry to clear away, so much so that she stood over the table waiting for me to finish eating my toast so she could take my plate!
We went back to our rooms to pack up as checkout is at 11am. I could hear the guests again next door talking about their plans for the day and discussing the locks on the doors, whilst I was getting ready in our bathroom.
Overall I had mixed views about the Eskdale hotel, I thought the overall breakfast experience was a bit of a let down and the fact we could not get a meal the evening before was disappointing, especially as we had not been told about this on check in.
There are plenty areas to sit around in the hotel and two bars and the decor is clean and comfortable throughout.
The room itself was nice enough too apart from the chair being in the way, as was the bathroom and we spent a very comfortable night overall. Plus the fact there is a car park despite nearly not being able to park in it, was a bonus. I just felt that for the money paid, the breakfast and service could have been better and we should have been able to get an evening meal at the hotel. It's a shame as this was a nice hotel but service could be better.
The Eskdale Hotel
Dumfries & Galloway
Tel: 01387 380 357 or book online at www.eskdalehotel.co.uk or via LateRooms.com