Posted on July 15, 2016

Reflections on a Boutique Eco Pod Retreat

Two weeks ago the husband and I headed North to a tiny place called Appin, near Oban in Scotland. We were going to an Eco Pod.

It felt cool, adventurous and loaded with anticipation; the trip had been booked for months and it was a place I’d wanted to stay for a while.

Eco Pod Boutique Retreat, Appin, ScotlandThe sun came out briefly as we drove over the narrow bridge, in awe at the sight of Loch Awe.

It soon started pouring again as we arrived at the Castle Stalker View CafeI was glad I’d brought wellies and a rain mac.

A winding path led through the woods like a mystical fairy trail. The leaves seemed more green, the rustle of nature amplified; more noticeable, the air laden with purity and relaxation. We’d arrived. The door was unlocked.

Eco Pod Boutique Retreat, Appin, ScotlandThe Eco Pod was much bigger than we’d imagined, but looked just as luxurious as the pictures on the website promised (we stayed in Pod 1).

Except it was cold. The weather didn’t help, but even looking back over the pictures now, a shiver goes down my spine. (Did I mention it was cold?)

The hot tub was wonderful – the second time.

The pod features a Japanese cedar-wood affair, and for hygiene it requires to be run fresh each time. So far, so good. But on our first attempt the gas ran out resulting in less than luke-warm water, followed by a freezing shower.

The situation was quickly rectified after a desperate voicemail, text, and a hot breakfast in the cafe. (Thanks Jim.) I felt warmth for an hour, and then it was back to the Eco Pod. It was raining and we could see our breath in the air. (Did I mention it was cold?)

Eco Pod Boutique Retreat, Appin, ScotlandEventually the hot tub came into its own. The view was unadulterated tranquility. The view is the reason to visit. The view is worth every penny.

We took our own champagne and a basket of goodies left in the fridge meant we didn’t go hungry (eggs, smoked salmon, cheese, chocolate…)

Eco Pod Boutique Retreat, Appin, ScotlandOne thing the Eco Pod does guarantee is privacy and isolation, but when you want it, there’s an Apple TV, iPod dock and Wi-Fi. And a hairdryer. (If you need that kind of thing in the rain-strewn wilderness.)

On the Saturday we headed into Oban.

Oban Harbour, ScotlandThe infamous Scottish weather persisted, honouring us with gorgeous atmospheric cloud and a moody sunset. The harbour held a particular draw for me with all the little fishing boats, the fishing equipment, the sea air.

Oban Harbour, ScotlandI had wine with dinner and snapped lots of photos and made friends with seagulls.

It felt merry and bright; the heater in the car efficiently keeping us warm. But when we got back to the Eco Pod, sans roaring fire (because how can you maintain a fire when you’re not there?), it was cold. Really cold. Did I mention we could see our breath in the air?

At one point I thought it might have been warmer outside.

Oban Harbour, ScotlandDuring the moments the fire was gloriously roaring, it was blissful and I’ve never done as much watercolour painting as I did at the pod.

Eco Pod Boutique Retreat, Appin, Scotland

Apparently the underfloor heating is only on during the winter months, as it runs off a bio-mass boiler…

Perversely I think if it had been sunny, the pod would have heated up like a balloon in a sauna (uncomfortably so).

The rain tapping against the walls of the pod was soothing and reassuring at first. But then it was a psychological reiteration of the cold. The summer storm that seemed to rage outside kept us awake and tree branches beat against the roof.

In the mornings we woke earlier than we wanted as there aren’t any curtains.

On the way home we stopped at Glencoe so I could admire the mountains. (Here’s a little photo/poetry book I created as an ode to the mountains.)

Glencoe Mountain Range, ScotlandThen it started raining again and I couldn’t wait to get back into the warmth of the car.

The verdict: did I enjoy my stay at the Eco Pod?

Yes – it was an interesting experience, it was an adventure and it was fun together and creative time away from home.

No – I didn’t expect to feel so miserably cold the whole time.

Would I go back? Err…

The Eco Pod is a popular destination in a scenic location, and is definitely a step up from a tent. Check availability/find out more.

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  • Reply Collette July 16, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Your photos are spectacular. Really beautiful! Loch Awe was one of the first little holidays that my husband and I went on together. We visited all the places you write about – Oban, Glencoe, and we also visited Iona (which was quite spectacular). The eco-pod looks amazing, but I agree to be cold is to be miserable. Thanks for sharing, and taking me on my own little trip (down memory lane). xx
    Collette recently posted…The Morning Drum’s First Humble Beginnings Contribution: What Is That? By AnonMy Profile

    • Reply daintydora July 16, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Aw how lovely Collette – it would be so wild and romantic for a honeymoon because the scenery is spectacular and you feel so close to nature and the rugged edge of life. I think we would have done a few more outdoor activities if the weather hadn’t been so bad – we took walking boots etc and I would have liked to see Iona. I would definitely visit the area again. Thanks for sharing your memories xx

  • Reply Emily August 19, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Wow, what a gorgeous get away idea. I feel a bit cold after reading your post though. Bollinger for the win!
    Emily recently posted…Hello there, I’m still here but you know … life.My Profile

    • Reply daintydora August 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Ha yeah the Bolly certainly helped with the cold Emily. I feel shivery just looking at those pics too, though it was very beautiful – can’t fault the scenery! x

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