Our beautiful new Hilltop Catering Lodges are now open for business.
It seems an age since I was knee deep in January mud surveying the foundations of our new Hilltop Reserves. More akin to hosting our lovely guests and pouring champagne, here I was waiting for a cement delivery and chatting with weather hardened builders in the horizontal rain. Such are the challenges that underscore progress.
With the New Year celebrations behind us and having waived off our merry guests, we set about crafting our vision of the luxury stay-cation; four new Five Star self catering lodges complete with hot tubs, state of the art kitchens, deep eclectic luxury, wide screen TV's and everything the modern discerning traveller would ever need. The ultimate juxtaposition of indulgent privacy bang smack in the wilderness of the Scottish west coast.
Progress initailly was slow. The stormy winter weather conspired against us, as did the spring drought that stunted all attempts to heal the wounds in the landscape. But eventually we saw green shoots. The unpredicatble mix of sunshine and showers in May allowed nature to restablish her authority to the extent you'd think we'd have dropped the lodges in by laser guided parachute.
The end of May saw us go through the testing phase and for this the Hotel Managers at Eriska were your guinea pigs. The hot tubs proved a popular venue from which to gaze at golden sunsets that stretched the width of the horizon. All of the gadgets and toys were put through their paces and we also did a bit of baking to make sure the ovens were up to the task.
Now boasting 6 HIlltop Reserves we decided to explore some of the luxury options many of our guests had been asking for. So new for 2017 expect spa treatments within the privacy of your outdoor deck, whilst diners seeking something super special can put away their marigolds and enjoy a Michelin-star chef and waiter for the evening, complete with crisp linen and 5 Star service. Why wouldn't you?
Sales options remain the same this year with the 70 night membership proving as popular as the 3 night stay. Perhaps the challenge for those seeking luxury this year is which of the six lodges is your favourite. Each have a their own stunning location, total privacy, and uniquely their own memorable take on the loch and mountains view.
The stay-cation has matured beyond the random vacation choice. It's becoming a movement for discerning travellers who rather than take a chance on an experience untested , are quick to invest in a lifestyle choice, an intuitive certainty.