No review on earth could do this wonderful holiday home justice. Seriously. We have stayed in so many different places around the UK, from a hundred pound hovel in Yarmouth to an executive apartment in Edinburgh, but Failte sets a new barre to which all holiday lettings should strive to follow.
We booked almost a year ago for our family of four - mum and dad and kids aged 8 and 11 - and set about saving for two precious weeks by the sea.
After a complicated two day journey (don't ask) we felt instantly at home from the moment the key went in the lock. No weird, musty holiday house smell or a measly portion of instant coffee here. Instead, this Tardis of a lovingly restored home brought fabulous surprises galore. Fresh flowers; a welcome hamper of epic proportions, stuffed with local delicacies; a nespresso machine with all the pods you could shake a stick at; chocolates on the pillows and fluffy robes to relax in.
A super kingsize bed in a bedroom twice the size of ours at home downstairs and a kingsize and twin upstairs. The mattresses and pillows were dreamy, something that is sometimes lacking in other places we have stayed.
Fixtures and fittings are all of the highest quality. Heck, even the solid wood doors were a wonder to behold. It was too warm to light the woodburner, but if we had needed to there was enough wood on the woodpile to keep a small power station going for a good couple of weeks.
Not so much as a speck of dust or a smear on the shower screen, cleanliness was second to none.
On the days when we did manage to drag ourselves out of bed and into the open air, we discovered a few things that we think everyone should do when staying at Failte.
1 Go on a 58 North Sea Adventure at Findhorn. We went on a two hour boat safari (not for the faint hearted) and were lucky enough to sail alongside a pod of dolphins
2 Brave the cliff walk from Portknockie to Cullen, discovering rockpools, hidden coves and beautiful, empty beaches
3 Take the picturesque Keith and Dufftown Railway, The Whisky Line, our son fulfilled a lifelong ambition to drive a train!
4 Drive to Portsoy for the ice cream parlour
5 Buy fish and chips from Portknockie chippy at least once. You have never tasted fish so beautifully cooked, with chips to die for and deep fried macaroni cheese. Food from the gods. Honestly.
Last, but by no means least, a special mention to our hosts - Wullie and Alison . They really have created something special at Failte and are such thoughtful, caring people. We hope your business goes from strength to strength. Thank you. We hope to be back some day.
Lang may yer lum reek.
There aren't enough superlatives in the English language to describe Fàilte! From the moment of booking til the moment we left Wullie,Alison & family were brilliant,nothing is too much trouble. The house is kitted out to the highest standard, the welcome pack just wow! the photos don't do the house justice! We had an amazingly comfortable & enjoyable holiday made all the better with the hot-tub! This was our 5th trip to Portnockie and was definitely the best! 5 stars not enough!
This trip to Portknockie was our second family trip to the area. Our first was in 2014 when we welcomed our little girl into our lives. This trip was to mark our sons arrival as we liked the idea that both our kids would have the same first staycation.
Travelling and holidaying with a 3 year old and a 6 month old was never going to be easy, however we all felt instantly at ease as soon as we opened the door to Failte. Allison and Wullie have thought about everything from the welcome pack that included all the usual essentials and a whole lot more (biscuits, tea, crisps, bread, chocolate, jam, butteries (a personal fave!), rolls) Not to mention a nicely stocked fridge (Coke, bacon, pizza, cheese and butter) as well as a plentifully stocked fruit bowl. We knew we were on to a winner!
Failte smelled amazingly inviting as well as looking the part too!
On paper I was sold on this particular cottage due to the promise of a BBQ and a hot tub. Simple pleasures. My plan was that we would enjoy a couple of family BBQs in the glorious sunshine (it wasn't as abundant as it could have been but it was still there!) and that once our kids were in bed we could relax and unwind in the hot tub which was sheer bliss. One evening our son woke up just minutes after delving in, but only once!
There is nothing which appears to be 'missing' from the cottage. In fact there were an abundance of things which went above and beyond any expectations we had. It really was like a home away from home and I thoroughly enjoyed all the little touches of luxury Failte offered e.g. Netflix and Napster as well as luxury toiletires and the Nespresso machine for a much needed caffeine hit.
As for what we enjoyed doing during our stay. We enjoyed lots of fresh sea air with visits to Spey Bay (sadly no dolphin spotting during our visit), Sandend beach, a hike over to Bow Fiddle, we walked the old railway line between Portknockie and Cullen, we visitied Buckie and we also enjoyed lots of beautiful food. The stand out fayre being fish obviously which was thoroughly enjoyed from the local chippy and Rockpool in Cullen. A visit to Portsoy Ice Cream was also a must as was some Cullen Skink on one of the more dreich days!
Owners very friendly and extremely helpful. Fabulous welcome pack on arrival. House perfect, full equipped with everything you need. High quality furnishings through out. Plenty to do rain or shine. Hot tub was great to relax in after a day of walking. House situated in an ideal occasion. Definitely should be rated 5 stars.
This little cottage has recently been totally refurbished. The standard of workmanship and finish are amongst the highest I have seen. Technology features througout the cottage with control of sound, vision and more by wifi or remote control. The cottage is provided with all you need and all you might wish for in the kitchen, whilst copious towels and a fluffy robe for every bedspace make the outdoor hot tub a must! I can't even begin to list the items that the owners have provided but suffice to say you should find that all you need to take is yourself and the family. A great cottage with very friendly owners.