Portavadie Marina and Spa is one of my favourite places to go for a wee treat and it only only takes a 15 minute drive and 25 minute ferry crossing for me to get there which is great. So when I was contacted by Jodie from Portvadie asking if I would like to come for the day and participate in a promotional film for their new SAIL | SWIM | DINE PACKAGE I was very excited! But also slightly nervous as being in the other side of the camera doesn’t come naturally.
I caught the 10.15am ferry from Tarbert which got me into Portavadie at around 10.40am. It’s a short walk from the pier to the main reception and on a sunny May day it was rather pleasant.
At the reception I met Jodie and Abbie who took me around to the Spa and pool area. Portavadie has a beautiful indoor pool and spa area but the real attraction for me, and I guess most folk, is the infinity pool and outdoor hot tub. I think I’m right in saying that this infinity pool is the largest in Scotland. The pool offers stunning vistas across Loch Fyne to the little fishing village of Tarbert and out to the spectacular Isle of Arran. Abbie filmed me relaxing in the pool for a while which was actually a lot less awkward than I thought it would be.
The next part of the day was the part I was least looking forward to, a trip on Loch Fyne on a motor boat. This may sound like heaven to most people but I have a bit of a phobia of boats and deep water. Up until recently I even got worked up going on ferries. Just as we sailed out of the marina my nerves were distracted by two porpoises who were breaching near the boat. It was a real treat to see these lovely creatures so close and it definitely helped settle my nerves.
I ended up being very brave (for me) and sat up front as we speeded south towards the Sound of Bute. I still can’t decide if I found this fun or terrifying, possibly both. What I can say for definite is the views are lovely and it was great to see the area from a totally different perspective! We went as far as Ostell bay which looked really beautiful and I can’t wait to visit this beach on foot on my next visit to this area.
I did enjoy the boat trip and it was very kind of the staff at Portavadie to take the time to take me out on the loch but I was very glad to get my wobbly legs back on dry land. By this time it was lunch time and I was booked into dine at the Marina Restaurant and Bar. I had a fantastic steak meal in this restaurant in March so was thoroughly looking forward to my lunch. The menu has a great selection but there was no way I could pass up the Loch Fyne Langoustines which was served with a big bowl of salad and chips! They have a great drinks menu as well including a cocktail and mocktail list. Since I was driving later on in the day I decided to opt for a passion fruit flavoured mojito mocktail which was every bit as good as a regular alcoholic mojito. The restaurant itself is really bright and fresh looking and as you eat your meal you can look out onto the marina.
After lunch that was my official ‘work’ done but the girls said I could spend the rest of the day using the pool and spa which I wasn’t going to say no to. I spent at least an hour and a half relaxing in the infinity pool, the sun was out and winds were light. While I was in the pool I spotted the porpoises again, watching them swimming just off shore was a great experience! There is also an adults only Spa area upstairs which includes a sauna, steam room and hydro pool. Later on in the afternoon the pool got a bit busier so it was lovely to escape up there and regain peace and quiet. The spa offers floor to ceiling views across Loch Fyne and onto Arran so I was still able to watch the porpoises from the indoor hydro-pool.
I eventually managed to drag myself away from the spa and catch the ferry back to Tarbert. It’s was such a calm evening which made it ideal for watching the porpoises which were still playing around the area. I counted around six on the short crossing and even managed to capture a couple on camera.
Below is the finished film, I hope you like it! I’m heading back to Portavadie tomorrow for a couple of days while I explore Argyll’s Secret Coast which should be fun! The team at Portavadie have put together a great itinerary and if you like you can follow along on Instagram!