West Highland Hotel, Mallaig, Scotland

It’s a brave hotel owner that allows a marauding army of Glaswegians to descend on their palace for a three-day holiday weekend masquerading as a wedding.

But fair play to those in charge at the West Highland Hotel in beautiful Mallaig for not only welcoming a group this big but for also going out of their way to make sure it was a weekend ─ and a wedding ─ that none of us will ever forget.

Arriving early on a Friday evening, a train load of us walked the short way up the hill to this attractive venue and immediately proceeded to sample the delights on offer at the bar. Service was friendly, fast and surprisingly well-priced and it remained that way throughout the three days.

The wedding reception itself stepped things up quite notably, with a three course meal that was flawless in every respect. If you want to try traditional Scottish grub, there is no better place to do it than in the Highlands and this hotel pulled out all the stops. The main dinner hall was transformed into a dancefloor for the evening festivities and it was more than big enough to accommodate a large guest-list intent on dancing up a storm and generally having a great time.

Sunday saw the hotel host a karaoke party in the main reception area and put on a hangover-friendly buffet that was the most welcome sight I’d ever laid eyes on.

The hotel has a traditional Highland vibe to it, without verging on kitsch too often. Sure, there’s tartan and a charming mix of mismatched chairs and sofas and even the odd stag’s head on the wall, but it never felt stuffy or false at all.

We stayed in a nearby B&B as all hotel rooms were fully booked out by other wedding guests, but feedback from those staying on site was 100% positive. Everyone spoke very highly of the staff who couldn’t have been more helpful or welcoming. Adults and kids alike had a great time throughout the weekend.

So if you’re venturing north for the party to end all parties, or simply want a nice Highland retreat for a visit to Mallaig ─ you’ll struggle to do better than the West Highland Hotel.

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