How a chance meeting with a cheeky red squirrel inspired the design for Cairngorm Lodges!
Welcome to Cairngorm Lodges. We are proud of what we have created at Cairngorm Lodges and would like to share with you some of the background to the project and how a chance meeting with a cheeky red squirrel inspired the design for the woodland lodges!
Briefly, the lodges are a new development of five luxury self catering forest lodges set in their own individual Scots Pine woodland plots in the heart of Royal Deeside. Set right on the boundary of Cairngorms National Park we feel that they make an ideal base to explore the surrounding countryside and the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms area in general.
The lodges are owned by Gordon Drummond and his family and prior to the four new lodges being developed, Gordon and friends spent many weekends over a year refurbishing the property now known as Woodcutters Cabin. This project was kept ‘secret’ from Gordon's wife Gina, but after a year, and with the cabin refurbished they could eventually enjoy the retreat to which he and Gina could escape to! Many weekends were spent away with their dogs and where they could enjoy the peace and quiet offered by the estate.
The planning process for the new lodges took place through 2010. Originally the council planning department wanted the lodges to be sited in close proximity to one another. However during one site meeting at Woodcutters Cabin on a sparkling spring day a cheeky red squirrel was noticed hanging upside down and eating bird nuts from a feeder outside the kitchen window. Such a sight was inspirational to all! Gordon immediately said that this was why he wanted each lodge to have its own unique space so as not to disturb the wildlife experience of others.
Much of the philosophy for Cairngorm Lodges builds on this eco approach. For instance where possible firewood is used as the primary means of generating both hot water for sinks and also powering circuits to heat radiators throughout the cabins. There are "emergency" alternatives, but visitors are encouraged to adopt this green and sustainable approach. This fits well with the firms primary activities as a forestry enterprise – the lodges are fuelled using wood from the estate.
One nod too luxury and quality is that all the lodges are furnished completely throughout by John Lewis plc. This entailed Gordon walking in at the top of the department store in Aberdeen and declaring that he “intended to completely furnish several holiday homes” to a store attendant. Several hours later on the ground floor his credit card took a hit but he managed to ‘speak to the manger about a wee bit of discount’! The only thing that was discovered to have been forgotten when it all delivered and unpacked was an oven!
As the original Woodcutters Cabin was built with two dogs in mind, it has remained the philosophy that all of the new lodges should be dog friendly also. The lodges are all situated in a unique place in the forest which has many sandy tracks and circular routes which are ideal for dog walking. The lodges themselves are floored throughout so that they are easy to clean and maintain.
The new lodges opened in March 2012 and we are delighted with the quality of the lodges and that they meet the original vision for eco- friendliness and uniqueness. We hope that you enjoy your stay at Cairngorm Lodges!
heart of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms