The Ranald Metro Hotel, Oban

For me, The Ranald has been long awaited, filling a gap in the market with a smart and functional Metro Hotel in the most popular West coast town of Oban.

The town has long held a place in my heart and I have a great admiration for the people of Oban who drive the town forward and are warm, friendly and welcoming to visitors all year round. The gap however was glaringly obvious; superb guesthouses and some fabulously luxurious country house hotels permeate the town and scatter over the surrounding coastal countryside, however the space where a good standard, straightforward modern hotel should be, lay empty for many years and trade continued in the older, more traditional strongholds of the town.

The Ranald however has prompted a switch and offered the long awaited plug, to avoid tourists travelling elsewhere to a simple, straightforward and comfortable overnight stop. Oban now has that too, adding to the eclectic mix, with a new Metro Hotel offering, just off the main drag, with great access to all the facilities, the town now boasts.

The Ranald is a Metro Hotel, in that the hotel doesn’t offer evening meals and there is an overall feeling that management is very in tune with not only the offering of their town but the requirements of the modern-day traveller. With the plethora of dining establishments, and very good ones at that, literally on the doorstep; there is absolutely no requirement for a dinner option at The Ranald and clever business cards promote a free first drink to any guest visiting their partner restaurants in the town – simple, straightforward, sold.

Their unique approach to marketing doesn’t stop there however with The Ranald name almost synonymous with breakfast ‘Baked Eggs’! For it is here that the delicacy is served and enjoyed in various guises, in an attractive breakfast room; catered admirably by a small, friendly and extremely efficient staff.

And wow, do they ‘do’ breakfast; they call it quirky, and that it is, but it is continental breakfast with flare and an unfettered enthusiasm to perform admirably within an area underestimated by many. It is here that The Ranald shines and I am sure, a facet, which shall reap the rewards of ‘repeat business’ for many years to come.

A smooth, efficient affair in the downstairs public area which also provides a cosy and comfortable evening bar, The Ranald’s baked eggs provide a star feature and one of a number of quirky offerings in addition to the more standard cereals, fruits and toast. Smoothies, bagels and delicious pancakes also play a starring role and present an invigorating start to the day; far from the tired breakfasts of old!

Everything is so simple and straightforward at The Ranald; it poses the question, why would anyone complicate things further; rooms are offered from a choice of Compact, Standard, Grand and Grand Plus – all en-suite and decorated simply but impressively, fitting of a metro hotel in a Scottish town.

That is not to say that time cannot be idled away at The Ranald; indeed it can; flat screen TV, iPod docks, complimentary WiFi and a well stocked bar, with an impressive array of whisky, ensure that stays, for business or pleasure, long or short, are catered for and catered for well, at The Ranald.