Child friendly hotel, Ayrshire – Auchrannie Road, Brodick, Isle of Arran
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About Auchrannie Resort
Auchrannie Resort comprises two 4 star hotels with 64 rooms, thirty 5 star self-catering luxury lodges, three restaurants, a shop and two leisure clubs with pools. Their latest addition is a 300sqm farmyard themed playbarn catering for children of all ages. .
Reviewed by Gary
Auchrannie is a mile north of Brodick pier and if you've brought your car with you (and why wouldn't you with such a fantastic island to explore) is a five minute drive from the ferry. If you've chosen to cross as a foot passenger then it's still within easy walking distance. If you let Auchrannie know when you book they'll provide courtesy transport from the ferry for you or just your luggage if you fancy exploring Brodick as you stroll towards the resort.
Auchrannie comprises of two 4 star hotels with 64 rooms, thirty 5 star self-catering luxury lodges, three restaurants, a shop, two leisure clubs with pools and a newly opened children's 'Playbarn'. The main House Hotel does welcome families but the spa resort is definitely the better choice, especially for younger families. With the lodges you have a choice of two or three bedroom deluxe or executive lodges. All are 5 star and gorgeous although the executive lodges offer extras like integrated music systems and TV's in all rooms. Each lodge is positioned to ensure privacy, are set close to the hotels and have their own private balcony or patio. Lodge guests have access to all the resorts dining and spa facilities.
The spa rooms are spacious and modern and we had ample room even with the two extra beds set up for the girls. All have digital TV and CD/radios with DVD players available to rent per night. There's complimentary toiletries from local companies supplied in the bathrooms. In fact Auchrannie source as much local produce as they can to support and promote local suppliers. I flexed some plastic at Arran Aromatics as a result!
The leisure facilities comprise of swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms in both the hotel and spa where you can also treat yourself to a choice of relaxing beauty treatments and alternative therapies. The house pool is graded in depth whilst the spa is a constant depth and both long enough to provide a good swimming length. Both have gym facilities with the spa gym the larger and better equipped. The spa also has a sports hall where you can play tennis, badminton and whole range of other sports. They have various activities throughout the week from family games sessions to water aerobics and there's a weekly sheet available from reception detailing what's on, when and costs.
There are three restaurants on site. The 1869 is a fine dining restaurant whilst Brambles is a fish and grill restaurant. Both are located in the main house and you need to book in advance. Cruize is located in the spa resort and there's no need to book and whilst they all welcome children, Cruize is by far the best choice for families with its relaxed atmosphere, extensive kids menu, soft play area and glorious views up Glen Cloy. Alongside the evening menu they also run a kids buffet which was great; our girls just helped themselves and the selection changes each night. The adult menu is extensive and delicious (you must try the ‘freshly caught' Haggis pizza and the sticky toffee pudding will add pounds to you just looking at it but oh so good!) Breakfast is also served in Cruize buffet style from 7.30 to 11.00 and the choice and quality superb; from fruits, cereals and yogurts to a full cooked breakfast. Set's you up for the day ahead for sure.
With regards to activities you are spoiled for choice. The play barn is a separate building at the back of the spa which boasts a three level softplay inside for 0-10 year olds, external play and picnic area, teen zone, internet PC's, free wifi and a snack bar. As hotel guests you have up to 2 hours access to the barn per day included which can be used in one go or spread throughout the day. This is a parent / guardian supervised area so you cannot drop the kids off and leave them....yet. They are looking at this as a possible option going forward which would be a good thing as it would allow mum and dad a chance to get pampered etc or just get a little break which they cannot do a present. Watch this space.
Opposite the playbarn sits Arran Adventure company where you can indulge in a vast number of outdoor pursuits including sea kayaking, gorge walking, climbing and abseiling, archery and mountain biking. Across the island there's a huge choice of things to do and see - far too many to mention here. Some of them attract discounts if you are staying at Auchrannie so make sure you pick up a leaflet about this before you head out.
Auchrannie is a superb base to relax at as well as explore Arran from. We found all the staff welcoming, friendly and eager to help whenever they could. From the rooms to the spa the resort was clean, well maintained and the facilities excellent. It's no wonder it's won a plethora of awards including this year alone - Scottish Thistle Awards - Tourism Entrepreneur Award Central South Scotland, Top Family Hotels in the UK & Top Relaxation & Spa Hotels in the UK from Trip Advisor, Scottish Restaurant Awards - Best Family Friendly Restaurant winner for Cruize and many many more.
Oh and now the seal approval from Away with the Kids as a destination we love.
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