Opened in April 2012 by HRH Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, It sits on the edge of the 2000 acre estate that is Dumfries House, the 18th-century Palladian manor home of the 5th Earl of Dumfries.
The Lodge is now an exclusive Scottish Tourist Board 5 -star country guest house offering luxury accommodation. Built in 1750 and in use a few years prior to the completion of the main house, the ‘Garden Cottage’ as it was known in the 18th century, became the Factor’s house and remained so for over 200 years.
There is ample parking onsite for guests and the layout is such that level access is afforded from the car park to most of the rooms. The lodge does advertise one fully accessible disabled room with a wet-floor system.
While some of the rooms are located in the main lodge itself, others are formed around the central courtyard overlooking a grassed area, a doocot building and the riverbank which has some gravelled walking paths.
The lodge and the external rooms are all within a ten-minute stroll to the main house itself.
On arrival, we were given a brief tour of the lodge itself which has been refurbished to an incredibly high standard with antique furniture, paintings and memorabilia throughout. It contains two small lounges, both of which has open fires and given we visited early February 2017 these were a welcome sight indeed. It’s been designed in such a way that it resembles an old country farmhouse, warm and welcoming, all that was missing was an elderly grandmother standing in the door in her pinny. However, Kathleen, the manager will provide the same type of welcome.
While the lodge does provide breakfasts for its guests, dinner is not available, although the Woodlands restaurant in the estate is open on Thursday’s, Friday and Saturday evenings, and for Sunday lunches. There is also a very fine café onsite which can provide a huge range of home-baked goodies, snacks and drinks.
Our accommodation for the duration of our stay was room number 16. This is one of the rooms which faced onto the courtyard gardens and lacks nothing. Every single thing you could ask for has been included – even down to the shaving kit and toothbrush in the bathroom. If you get peckish, fear not, the supplied crisps, biscuits and peanuts will keep you topped up until dinner, and the supplied water along with tea and coffee making facilities ensure you won’t be thirsty either.
On entering the room, we were met by a plethora of dark wood antique furniture, which helps lend an air of a different era. A time when the pace of life was so much slower, less stressful, more gentle. There was no doubt the furniture and furnishings were chosen to complement the location’s historic background, which worked perfectly. The spacious suite was fitted with a double bed an overhead canopy with those carefully chosen fabrics to match, making the room bright and spacious with an air of grandeur and luxury. Completing the space was a settee, an armchair, 2 high-backed chairs, a chest of drawers, a bookcase with a fine selection of tomes and local information, and the only bit that jarred – that ubiquitous TV screen that most places feel they have to provide these days. In this particular case, it could easily have been dispensed with. The room also has free wifi connection with reasonable speeds. Completing the space was a spacious bathroom complete with roll top style bath and handheld shower, as well as a separate shower cubicle. There were ample free toiletries provided from Arran Aromatics premium range as well as a shaving kit, toothbrushes, sewing kit, shower cap. In fact, you name it, then it was probably provided here somewhere. We even found the wind-up torch in a drawer with the hairdryer!
There are 22 rooms in total and two self-catering cottages on site, all of which are furnished individually and to the same high standards.
Rates range from £90 per night to £160 with the self-catering cottages £225 and £325 respectively.
This is the type of place you’ll come to in order to completely unwind and forget all about life, to chill and relax, to escape the hustle and bustle of normal day-to-day living. Is it worth it I hear you ask – every penny I say!