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“not the best experience”

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Rowardennan Lodge SYHA
Certificate of Excellence
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“not the best experience”
Reviewed 22 May 2012

Lovely location, lovely building from the outside, but am afraid our experience was not so lovely.
As you enter the reception/boot room you are greeted with a sign in large letter BOOTS OFF! please would not go amiss. Then it was boots on again as we were told that our bags had been delivered and were in the shed outside.
the receptionist while not rude seemed to have a rather "can`t be bothered attitude" .
The rest of the building whilst reasonably clean is rather dated. I thought YHs were being updated. This one is is need of at least a lick of paint.
My room had bunk beds in it which would not have been out of place in "Porridge". Again while reasonably clean it smelled musty, possibley because it was next to a shower which at some time looked as if it had leaked causing the skirting in the room to rot. It had been covered in a bit of gloss paint though??
In a hostel you get basic, that is expected and is not a problem. But we would have expected a slightly warmer welcome at least and better information. At £31.50 for the night it was not a lot to pay although later in our WHW walk we stayed in a B andB for £29 and had a totally different experience, and another hostel, with a postive experience.
In short it needs a bit of an upgrade in the internal appearance and attitude.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Phil C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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193 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2012

Friendly staff and great location. Ideal place to stay if walking the WHW or climbing Ben Lomand.
The 4 bed dorm was very small and quite a bit away from the shared shower facilities. The beds are squeaky but the showers were great. They have an excellent drying room. The location is fantastic as you are right on the banks of Loch Lomand and the veiws are great.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank sadr63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Iconic location right on the 'bonnie banks' of Loch Lomond, Rowardennan Lodge youth hostel is a lovely place to stay. You can book a bed in a dorm, a family room or hire the whole hostel from the SYHA website. We hired the hostel for the weekend through SYHA Renta-Hostel scheme for our wedding and filled the place with our guests. The staff were all helpful and friendly throughout the weekend and we didn't have any negative feedback from our guests. The manager is also the chef and, aside from a fantastic wedding supper, food and a small bar are also available on request. It's a youth hostel so Rowardennan offers simple, but clean and comfortable accommodation with a mix of dorms and family rooms and the new showers were good. There is a large communal relaxing area and self catering kitchen and dinning areas. The best thing about Rowardennan has to be its location, which is lovely even when the sun's not shining.

Room Tip: Try and get a room facing the loch.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kirsty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Renfrewshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Booked and stayed in a luxury lodge for my 30th birthday weekend with 5 friends. Had an absolutely amazing time!. Can't fault the lodge in anyway, rooms were stunning and great sizes. Bathrooms were gorgoeus and again great size. Power shower in each really topped it off (never wanted to get out)!!!

Open plan living room/dining room and kitchen was fab as we could always see and speak to each other when someone was cooking. Walls are pretty thick so dont need to worry about travelling noise from livingroom to rest of the lodge.

Food in the bar was outstanding! Compliments to the chefs. Portions are healthy size and well worth the money. Unfortunately, it was pretty busy and only 2 staff on that night behind the bar so when you went to order drinks in, you had to buy 2 rounds so you wouldn't die of thirst. May have had better service if restaurant had been open or more staff serving. Chefs were extremely accomodating to our various tastes/requests (true assets to the hotel). Just needed to take a couple of torches with us when out a night as there are no lights showing you the way from hotel to lodges.

The receptionist (Sarah) was extremely helpful also, as we had a few problems finding the lodge when we first arrived (not well sign posted) and i thank her very much for kindly offering to walk us round and show us where it was. Very polite, friendly and helpful, another true asset to the hotel :-)

Look forward to another holiday at Rowardennan after the new year!!!

Room Tip: If you are looking for a fun filled time with friends or a romantic getaway, i'd recommend hirin...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank J01981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2011

Nevermind that in Rowardennan (especially when doing the WHW in prime season August), you are rather limited in your options for accommodation. All the same, given what the lodge is -- a hostel -- we had a decent stay there.

If staying during any of the peak-season summer months, it's necessary to book ahead as they really do sell out and have to turn away weary stragglers despite all manner of creative begging and bribery :-)

I haven't stayed in all too many hostels, mainly because of a few shady and less than noble experiences, so I admit to walking up to this one with some hesitation and doubt. My inner skeptic was on alert despite walking up to the beautiful building, which must be situated on one of the more prime locations on Loch Lomond. Literally lochside and with an extremely well-kept lawn fronting the lodge (is this really a hostel! I don't believe it!), even my stalwart skepticism started to break down. It also helped to see pockets of guests lazing about on the lawn, drinking ciders, some having gone for a dip in the loch, and sunning themselves.

Not too shabby for a hostel!

Oh... but then you go inside and realize that when all is said and done (on the beautiful exterior), it's still a hostel. The receptionist, while quietly friendly and patient, if not a little on the lethargic side, was not entirely on the expedient side in checking us all in. And when you've just spent a long day walking from Drymen to Rowardennan, sitting in a small cramped lobby waiting to be checked in doesn't do too many wonders for the mood. (Alert to all WHW-walkers: day two IS a doozie! despite the relaxed descriptions in all the literature. oh my poor aching knees and ankles - that last stretch, all those ups and downs, while beautiful, was killer!).

All guests are required to leave muddy and otherwise well-worn outdoor shoes in the lobby, which leaves everyone to tramp about inside the hostel in their socks or slippers. I didn't like the idea of leaving my boots in the giant pile, but when in rome... However it does make for a much cleaner hostel. And clean it was. There I cannot complain. My friend went to the boys' side and I was placed in a room with five other ladies, so I can only speak for the female portion of the hostel (my room was on the first floor with a lovely view of the aforementioned sprawling lawn). The restrooms and showers were all clean, and hot water seemed aplenty. A fellow roomie mentioned having to wait a long while for the shower water to warm up.

We decided to head to the hotel for dinner (which for auto-less walkers is more or less the only option for food unless you order a dinner at the hostel, and thus not one of our better dining experiences - typical spiritless pub grub) so I couldn't speak for the food at the lodge. Breakfast was nothing special but adequatly filled the stomach. You do have to pay extra for it - the hot breakfast costing a tiny bit more than the cold, but again, as options were slim to none in Rowardennan, it was either that or going super hungry for the day.

If you lower your expectations and mostly stay outdoors to enjoy the loch, the lawn, and the views of the rather beautiful building, it'll be a nice enough stopover.

Three stars/dots because it's a hostel, but if this were a review site for hostels, I'd definitely give it five!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank heyburdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rowardennan Lodge SYHA

Property: Rowardennan Lodge SYHA
Address: Rowardennan Youth Hostel Rowardennan Youth Hostel On the Banks of Loch Lomond | By Drymen, Rowardennan, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park G63 0AR, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park > Rowardennan
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Rowardennan
Price range (per night): $42 - $126
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rowardennan Lodge is set on the banks of Loch Lomond at the base of Ben Lomond. The West Highland Way passes directly past its front door making it an ideal stop along the way. The youth hostel is accessible by car and on foot as well as via the Loch Lomond Waterbus which operates direct from the hostel. Wi-Fi during your stay: We do our best to deliver a free Wi-Fi service but apologise that connectivity, particularly in our rural locations, can be intermittent due to the level of our current broadband provision along with high usage when the youth hostel is busy. Please be assured we are endeavouring to improve where we can. We thank you for your patience and understanding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rowardennan Hotel Rowardennan
Rowardennan Lodge SYHA Scotland

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