Heating and water
The heating and water run from a combi gas boiler so there's always hot water. The heating controller is located in the hall however the heating schedule is set to keep the apartment cosy for your arrival and comfortable for your stay.
The wifi code is in the apartment in the information folder and also in a picture frame next to the swan on the mantelpiece. Island broadband is sufficient for streaming videos but may be slower that you will be used to on the mainland.
Linen, laundry and cleaning
Ben linen, bath towels, hand towels, bath mat, kitchen cloths and dishtowels are all provided. No linen changes are scheduled during your stay unless you have paid for additional cleaning or linen changes. Washing machine tablets are provided in the utility cupboard should you wish to do any laundry. There is a clothes airer, iron and ironing board for your use too.
The kitchen facilities include electric cooker, hob, microwave, kettle, toaster, fridge freezer, dishwasher. The cooker is a 1950s belling and is rather dainty so I've also provided a second oven for use if you want to cook a larger meal such as a Sunday roast or a Christmas dinner. The oven is above the fridge and can be lifted down to be used if you need more oven space. Some tea, coffee and sugar is provided. A few dishwasher tablets are also provided along with washing up liquid and rubbish bags. Rubbish can be disposed of in the bins in the back garden.
Lounge and Dining
The lounge and Dining are open plan with the kitchen. There is lounge seating for at least seven people comfortably and the dining table seats six. Four of the dining chairs are around the table and one in each of the bedrooms. There is a TV with freeview channels and built in DVD player, a chrome cast to watch things from your phone or tablet and a bluetooth speaker you can connect to.
The bath is a very deep sitting bath, it won't be to everyone's taste and some will not want to have to climb into it and out but there is a large walk-in shower cubicle we well. Toilet roll and hand wash are provided.
There are two bedrooms, the rear facing bedroom has a double bed while the front facing bedroom has a king fourposter bed. There is wardrobe space in both bedrooms and a hairdryer is provided.
There is a garden to the rear which is shared with the rest of the street, you're very welcome to use it. There are washing lines out there too if you wish to dry clothes though there is also a clothes airer in the utility cupboard in the hall.
Parking on street outside the apartment all around the castle walls is free and it's normally easy to find a space. There's additional parking on all surrounding streets and also on Guilford Square which is directly in front as you come off the boat.
Here are answers to some of the questions I'm frequently asked...
What is with all the taxidermy?
As you will notice there are a number of taxidermy pieces in the apartment. Marjory the swan is in the lounge along with Donald the duckling, Spike the puffer fish and five sets of antlers. In the rear bedroom is Percival the Peacock. If you're not sure about taxidermy think about it like a leather couch or a sheepskin rug. It's full of either wood or polystyrene and it's just the hide which has been tanned and preserved and put back together to look like the whole animal. They're all old items - none have been sourced for their aesthetics and importantly the swan has not been poached from the castle moat as many rumours in the local pubs will have you believe... she is an Italian swan not a Scottish one!
What time can I check in and when do I need to depart?
Check in is from 4pm on the day of arrival however if the apartment is ready earlier I will let you know. Often there are guests leaving in the morning and new guests arriving that afternoon so the housekeeping team needs time to turn the apartment around between guests. Therefore departure time is 10am on the day of departure. Unfortunately I do not offer a late departure.
Will the cleaner come during my stay?
Towels and bed linen for four guests are included as well as dish cloths and dish towels, kitchen roll, toilet roll, washing up liquid, hand soap, washing machine and dishwasher tablets.
Is Wifi included and what's the mobile signal like?
Yes, there is wifi in the apartment. Island wifi might be slower than what you are used to at home but it's more than sufficient for watching films and general email and browsing. When it comes to mobile signal things are improving on Bute - you can now get 4G! That however is limited to the town and if you venture to the other side of the island you may well find that you've gone off grid.
How do I get the keys?
The keys can be collected from the key box, keys are put in on the afternoon of your arrival once the cleaner has departed. Arrival is from 4pm but if the cleaner finishes earlier I will let you know. The code is changed every time a new guest comes so I cannot provide the code for key collection until the day of arrival.
What happens if the ferry is cancelled?
I always recommend that you avoid aiming to catch the last ferry in case it is cancelled. Keep an eye on Calmac's sailing status if weather is inclement. The alternative route to come via Dunnoon might be an alternative if you are coming by car. The ferry being cancelled does not result in a refund of your booking.
Why do I need to check out by 10am?
Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am. Often on the day you leave there is someone else coming that afternoon. The housekeeping team look after many properties on the island and they have only a few hours to turn them around ready for the next arrivals. If you need to have access to the flat after 10am on the day you leave you are very welcome to book another night so that the housekeepers will not come till the day after you depart. This would need to be booked at the time of booking.