A bed for the night on the Isle of Skye

Where is it?

At the tip of the Isle of Skye. Follow the sign to Sleat off the Broadford to Armadale road (A851). Skye Bridge is only a 20-minute drive away.

Describe the setting

The 19th-century hotel, which is a former hunting lodge, overlooks the small harbour of Isle Ornsay. Breathtaking views take in the hills of Knoydart and a lighthouse built by Robert Louis Stevenson's father.

Does it have a USP?

Gavin Maxwell, the author of Ring of Bright Water, was a regular visitor to this inn now owned by Sir Iain Noble and his wife. Flora MacDonald disembarked at the harbour before being taken to the Tower of London.

Comfort factor?

It's a sanctuary from the stresses of urban living. The main whitewashed building has 12 further en suite bedrooms decorated in florals with fireplaces and four posters. The decor is hunting-lodge chic meets Laura Ashley - tartan carpets, the odd stuffed bird of prey and tasteful pastels. There is also a converted stable block which houses four suites, all on two levels.

What's in the bathroom?

The bedrooms are all en suite and provide a bath and shower. Don't be put off by the brownish tap water - it contains peat and is excellent for your skin.

I'm hungry

Scottish cuisine featuring fresh local produce, including saddle of Skye lamb. The delicious seafood - squat lobster, prawns, scallops - is landed at the nearby old stone pier. Oysters are from the hotel's own oyster beds and the game and venison are from Sir Iain's extensive estate. The hotel does not provide room service, although there are minibars in the suites.

What are the people like?

The staff are unobtrusive but attentive. The guests are mainly moneyed American and Japanese tourists as well as a few television celebrities.

Local interest?

Fishing, walking and stalking - deer that is. Within staggering distance is the tasting room for Skye's only independent whisky company. Sculptor Laurence Broderick displays his work in his harbourfront gallery.

Access for all?

No wheelchair access. Pets are allowed only in guest rooms, not in public areas. There are baby facilities but this is not really the place for screaming toddlers.

What's the damage?

Prices start at £120 for a double to £180 for a suite, both including full breakfast.


Hotel Eilean Iarmain, Isle Ornsay Hotel, Sleat, Isle of Skye, Scotland IV43 8QR (01471 833332; www.eileaniarmain.co.uk).