Spooktacular Hallowe’en at 5 Gold Anchors Portavadie Marina

Sunday 28th October sees Portavadie Marina host a Spooktacular Hallowe’en event of family activities – including dookin’ for apples, face painting, Halloween treats, pumpkin carving, prizes for the scariest fancy dress and goodies for all in The Lodge from 12 noon to 4pm.

Then there’s a Haunted Forest Walk with frights and teases galore from 6pm to 7pm – and back for hot chocolate and marshmallows.

For the stout hearted and testosterone packed, the day ends with a late night scary movie in The Lodge on the big screen from 9pm to 11pm – with popcorn and eye ball punch all round.

Earlier this month Portavadie became only the second marina in Scotland to be awarded Five Gold Anchors by The Yacht Harbour Association. This is the highest possible award given only to the marinas with the very best facilities – and Portavadie has brought it to Argyll.

The assessment process was a rigorous one and included a ‘mystery shopper’ visit and consultation with berth-holders. [The under-floor heating in the bathrooms got a special mention.] The report noted how well constructed the marina is – pointing out that it had stood a working test in hurricane conditions.

Assistant Marina Manager Craig Cochran wasn;t at all surprised by that, saying: ‘Portavadie’s one of the UK’s most modern marinas. Right from the word go the decision was made to invest in quality.

‘In a sense, it was designed and built to Five Gold Anchor standards.’

But the award isn’t just about facilities and buildings. It takes into account customer service and community spirit.

Craig says: ‘The fact that we organise events for our berth-holders, such as musters, went down well in the assessment. It shows that we’re focussed on people as well as boats and facilities.’

The report also picked up on the high level of personal service, noting our team’s daily ‘walk around’ the marina when they check for chafing, inspect lines and generally keep an eye on the boats.

The TYHA Assessor, Gareth Turnbull, says: ‘I had the opportunity to personally audit Portavadie Marina and can vouch for the superb facilities, stunning location and the team who were a pleasure to work with. Services include mountain bikes for loan, fine dining overlooking the marina, a well-stocked chandlery, unforgettable cruises in company (including a top-quality, seafood-inspired packed lunch) and hair straighteners in the men’s and women’s changing rooms. You get the picture!’

This is certainly the Portavadie picture – and the programme for Sunday’s Spooktacular carries the same imagination and sense of fun in organising the unusal. Eye ball punch. Hmmmm

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