Our Northern Scotland trip – Part 6: The Aberdeen Altens

In this last part of my travelogue, dear friends, I’ll show you how to really enjoy the last day of your holidays, especially an eventful and strenuous round trip like ours: find a hotel that offers a bit of luxury – and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s got to be expensive; the hotel I found in Aberdeen was just over £60 for the night! But all the things it offered: restaurant, bar, breakfast buffet, swimming pool with sauna, fitness room…

More of that anon, though, because actually our bit of luxury already started the night before: on the ferry from Lerwick, Shetland back to Aberdeen on the mainland. Again, we’d booked a cabin, but this time, since the boat sailed at 7pm, we also had ample opportunity to enjoy the high life aboard a night ferry, everything from food and drink to souvenir shops and gaming arcades!

So, we arrived relaxed in Aberdeen the next morning – only to find the first taste of rain of our entire holidays in the old Granite City. Aberdeen’s a charming place with impressive buildings, but this certainly wasn’t the time for a big sightseeing tour, so we took a taxi straight away to our hotel 3 miles out of town – anyway, we’d read about all the treats we were going to get there, so we’d simply spend all day there enjoying a bit of luxury…

And yes, we really got everything the website had promised – for a start, the most beautiful interior design, very helpful and friendly staff at the reception, a lift to our room on the third floor (what a relief after having had to walk two or three flights of stairs at each of our previous hotels…), and a spacious room with a big TV set, a comfy bed and a bathtub.

Next, we looked around for something to eat and drink, which we were provided with in the bar-restaurant immediately: a pint of cider with real fruits in it, and a giant club sandwich!

That was by far not all, though: the Aberdeen Altens offers a swimming pool and a fitness room for free for all its guests – one of the main reasons we’d chosen it! Since we’d had more than enough exercise during our holidays, I skipped the fitness room, but I spent the loveliest time in the swimming pool, complete with whirlpools, sauna and steam room – no spa could offer anything better… Of course, taking photos in the pool isn’t allowed, so I took the lovely photos of the pool from the Aberdeen Altens website – what a touch of luxury, eh, dear friends…

My darling husband had enjoyed a relaxing bath in the bathtub in our room, in the meantime, so we were both in a perfect end-of-holiday mood, ready to enjoy our last evening before we’d go on the train back home to Holyhead the next day. We prettified ourselves and went down to the restaurant-bar again, for a few drinks in that elegant atmosphere first while we were recapitulating our trip, looking at all the marvellous photos again and remembering the stunning places we’d visited and all the nice people we’d met. I was proudly wearing the Celtic pendant that I’d got at the souvenir shop at Skara Brae!

Then we ordered our dinner: I had lasagne, and my darling Ian tikka masala, and it was absolutely great! And afterwards we treated ourselves to a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream, too; what a lot of fun we had, and what a romantic evening, just the two of us, in this beautiful ambience…

In the morning, we were able to have a nice lie-in, because breakfast at the Altens is served until 10.30; a big buffet with everything you could possibly want for breakfast, from toast, eggs, marmalade, fruit, cereals and yoghurt to bacon, sausages and even haggis!

After that, we packed our bags and had a last whisky in the bar, absorbing the elegant atmosphere once more…

… before we went to the station and started our journey back home.

An unforgettable holiday, dear friends, and not least because of that magical last day at one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever been to!

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