This Helensburgh hotel has it all – sea views, good food and easy access to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
If the folk at the Riva Hotel had paid for their location on the Helensburgh seafront, they couldn't have chosen a better one – located on the shores of Gare Loch and the Clyde, with some of the best sea views in the region. The hotel occupies a uniquely accessible spot, at the western end of the central belt but also within easy reach of some of the finest highland scenery you'll find. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park are on your doorstep, and Helensburgh is an attractive seaside destination in its own right, plus Glasgow is just a 40-minute journey away. Riva ticks a lot of boxes!
Fashioned out of a series of converted townhouses in the heart of this pleasant seaside town, it's a self-consciously cool sort of place, with a slick bar and a late-night vibe that encourages you to chill out with a nightcap or to order room service from one of their 14 very comfortable guest rooms. Ranging from cosy Standard doubles to spacious King-Size rooms, these are crisp and up-to-date, with a palette of blues and greys, Smart TVs with Sky, good wifi, tea- and coffee-making facilities and complimentary water and chocolates, walk-in rainfall showers with Highland Shop toiletries, and – in the pricer rooms – fabulous sea views and Nespresso machines. Most rooms also have record decks with a selection of classic vinyl. They also have a family room, equipped with a sofa bed and baby cot on request, and the majority of rooms welcome dogs.
Downstairs, the bar serves up cheeky cocktails and is open till 4am, and the restaurant offers on-the-money Italian food and bar meals, including excellent pizzas. There's also the rest of Helensburgh to explore, with plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops in what is an undeniably handsome Georgian town centre. Charles Rennie Macintosh was born in Helensburgh (as was TV inventor John Logie Baird) and you can visit one of Macintosh's greatest creations – Hill House – in the upper part of the town. Ferries also run across the Clyde to another, more workaday resort in Gourock, and the classic Glasgow paddle-steamer, The Waverley, stops in the town. You can also pick up all manner of hiking trails in Helensburgh which take you straight into the Trossachs, and Loch Lomond is just a 15-minute car journey away.