Leisure and luxury reach a new peak in Renfrewshire, as we discover during a stay for honeymooners in the new Ben Lomond lodge

Spacious neutral coloured bedroom with chandelier hanging in centre

The Ben Lomond Lodge’s bedroom – can you spot where the TV is hidden?

It was a freezing December day when my partner and I drove out to Bowfield Hotel & Spa, an easy 20 minutes from Glasgow, for a highly anticipated overnight stay.

The weather was grim and overcast, but as soon as we set foot in the reception, the cheery check-in warmed us right up, as did the glorious red-and-gold Christmas decor.

The hotel’s 22 bedrooms are in the main building, but we were getting the full honeymoon experience in one of Bowfield’s swish private lodges. So, once the smiling receptionist had handed over our keycard, we made our way back outside for the short walk to the brand new Ben Lomond lodge.

Our timing was fortunate: the sun was setting and there was a gorgeous glow stretching across the landscape. We were already looking forward to exploring the grounds the next morning.

Our home for the night was both impressively spacious and intimately cosy at the same time, full of thoughtful touches and luxurious finishes – the ideal setting for loved-up newlyweds.

From the remote-controlled fireplace and delicious pre-mixed cocktails in the lounge to the dimmer switches and the TV built into the bed, it was apparent that everything in the lodge had been designed to make a guest’s stay as blissfully effortless as possible.

A spa swimming pool lit up with ambient lighting on the ceiling above

Splash away the pre-wedding jitters in this beautiful indoor pool

If you’re anything like me and love nothing more than a bit of water-based relaxation, prepare to shrivel up like a raisin – because at Bowfield, the options are endless.

Not only does the Ben Lomond Lodge have a gorgeous freestanding tub in the bedroom (as well as an actual bathroom, of course) and a private hot tub on the deck, the hotel has its very own AURA Spa. Guests can make use of the indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi during their stay.

Following a thorough dose of water therapy, and a sneaky pre-dinner cocktail in the bath, we headed back to the main building for a three-course dinner at the Plumpy Duck restaurant.

I’ve not yet been able to stop drooling at the memory of the mozzarella-stuffed arancini I had as a starter; if I were planning my own Bowfield wedding, these would most definitely be on the menu, or at the very least served as canapés.

Girl and boy cheers with wine and beer glasses and two plates of starters

Left: My partner Luke and I cheers to a wonderful stay at Bowfield; Right: Our starters at The Plumpy Duck – confit duck spring rolls for Luke and the incredible mozzarella arancini balls for myself – yum!

We were both tired out after a heavy week at work, so dozed off snuggled up to a festive film in bed.

I woke up still thinking about my arancini, so was delighted to start the following morning back at The Plumpy Duck.

This time, I settled for superb Eggs Benedict while my partner devoured a full Scottish.

“If you’re anything like me and love nothing more than a bit of water-based relaxation, prepare to shrivel up like a raisin – because at Bowfield, the options are endless”

Next up for me was a personal tour of the hotel and its grounds with wedding coordinator Audrey.

To call this woman passionate about her job would be a massive understatement.

As she guided me from the conference room, which is used for ceremonies, to the adjoining reception room, through the restaurant, past the spa, catching a glimpse of the outdoor hydrotherapy pool, and past any and all photo spots on the grounds that she could think of, Audrey told me so many brilliant stories about the weddings the team here had helped put together and the wonderful brides and grooms she’d met along the way.

Bride with red hair and a father figure walk down the aisle

A red carpet leads guests from the reception to the ceremony room, but once at the door, it switches to white to avoid clashing with dresses and decor (Photo: Lyall Gallacher Photography)

Laughingly admitting that her colleagues call her “a real cheese ball”, Audrey says she is quick to envelop newly booked-in couples in a big hug, and that more often than not she ends up “ugly crying” on the big day when it all comes together.

A Bowfield wedding package includes connections to a trusted assortment of vendors – florists, chair-tie providers, DJs and much more – plus a dedicated in-house team who’re quick on their feet, ready to transform your ceremony space into cocktail hour in as little as 15 minutes while your photographer ushers everyone outside for a great big group photo.

Round dining tables set up for a wedding reception with white table cloths and combinations of candles and floral centrepieces

Bowfield’s stunning reception space, dressed by its trusted suppliers

“Above and beyond” is their motto, and with someone like Audrey coordinating the day, the effort and attention to detail is sure to be just that. Not only does she personally test the grass for sinking heels before any big occasion, but she has gone as far as offering up her own heels to one bride who had last-minute doubts about her own pair, and has even accepted a handful of chewed gum moments before a ceremony began!

I’m confident that not only will a wedding at Bowfield result in a heavenly honeymoon snooze in the Ben Lomond Lodge, but you’ll also sleep soundly every night leading up to it, knowing the hotel’s brilliant staff are on your team.

Outdoor hot tub on decking overlooking green fields and blue skies

Slip into the complimentary robes and enjoy the private hot tub right outside your door

What you need to know about a wedding at Bowfield Hotel & Spa

Bowfield can welcome parties of up to 80 people for dinner and 130 for an evening reception. There are 22 bedrooms and nine lodges (not including the Ben Lomond honeymoon lodge), all of which are available to book for guests with a discounted rate in the hotel.

The stunning new addition is included as a complimentary stay for couples who wed at the hotel with full-day wedding packages. The cosy, neutral-toned space features an en-suite bedroom complete with a freestanding bathtub, vanity table and large bed hiding a built-in TV. The living room has comfortable sofas, a convenient remote-controlled gas fire and complimentary cocktails in the fridge. And, of course, there’s an outdoor terrace and private hot tub.

Catering is taken care of on-site by the incredibly talented head chef Peter and his team at the Plumpy Duck. Once you’ve chosen your selection of starters, mains and dessert, coordinator Audrey will liaise with the kitchen and ensure you have the menu of your w-day dreams – but if in need of a recommendation, the braised featherblade of beef has been deemed nothing less than “exceptional” by a fair few happily fed guests. Dietary alternatives are supplied at no supplementary cost.

Whether you’re looking to plan a small intimate gathering, party on a weekday, or have the on-site staff do it all for you, there’s something to suit every price point and preference. Why not meet the wedding team for a chat and a cuppa at the venue’s Stables bar to hear more? Package prices for 2024 start at £2,024.

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