Troutbeck Hotel was opened way back in 1951 as a fine country hotel set high up in the mountains overlooking a beautiful lake
full to the brim with large Trout fish. The initial thinking, by founder Major MacIlwaine, was to emulate similar establishments
that he had stayed in, back in his Scottish homelands. There was a large board in the hotel where guests could record
(and obviously brag about!) their catch of the day whilst sitting around the large fireplace sipping a glass of the finest
Glen Fiddich Malt whisky.
Our Nzira Travel team were invited up there last week to check out the extensive refurbishments that have been
implemented over the past 6 months. We stayed in a couple of rooms in the lower Lake wing where one can sit with a
stunning view of the calm, clear Troutbeck dam. On the one day I took a swim across to the other side in surprisingly
warm water (26 degrees).
Our hosts proudly gave us a thorough inspection of their new look rooms in the 5 different sections of the hotel finishing off with
their new executive suite at the end of the west wing. Each room has been completely made over with new bedding, carpeting
and chairs. Most rooms have rebuilt cupboards and each room now has a suitably sized work desk for guys like myself who
can’t stay away from their computer or the internet. The verandah lounge has new tiling with brand new cane furniture inviting
one to sit down to partake of their traditional tea and scones with cream and jam.
New activities have been added to their offerings including quad biking around the estate and a cruise over the lake on a
very quiet, solar powered pontoon. Being an exercise junky, I couldn’t resist taking one of the double Paddle kayaks out for
a ‘spin’ – have you ever tried one of these? – you have to coordinate with your partner so that you don’t use a lot of
energy just paddling around in circles 2 metres from the shoreline!
The golf course is looking well-maintained and very playable and they had a 50 player competition on the 3rd of December.
On the one afternoon I took a short run around a few of the holes before setting off through thick, overgrown foliage to climb
the hill surrounding the very scenic Lindy Falls that one can’t help but admire whilst eating breakfast.
Overall we were very impressed with the changes that African Sun have made to this mountainside hotel and urge you to make
a plan to visit the eastern highlands in the not too distant future. Christmas and New Year are, as usual, fully booked but they
do have quite a few rooms either side of those dates that you might be able to stay in for a discounted rate. Make sure you
take a few extra dollars to sample a wee dram of the 15 year-old Glen Fiddich!
Ciao for now.