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Best Isle of Skye hotels 2022: Where to stay for culture and cliff views

This Scottish island isn’t just home to fantastic food and magnificent views, it has a whole host of excellent hotels, too

<p>Visit the Isle of Skye for breathtaking landscapes and long scenic walks </p>

Visit the Isle of Skye for breathtaking landscapes and long scenic walks

The mountains are charcoal black and rust red. The sea cloudy blue, always translucent. The sand shines, running the spectrum from dirty gold to pearly white. These are the colours of the Isle of Skye and they help frame the aesthetics of the Hebridean island’s best hotels. Some are located where mountains crash into the sea. Others offer dreamlike reverie beside beaches and cliffs. Here are our favourites.

The best hotels on the Isle of Skye are:

Cosy up in this Dutch-inspired hotel

Best for unique rooms: Flodigarry Hotel

Northern Trotternish

When ashen-skies loom on Skye, visitors should head north of Staffin to this riot of a boutique hotel for its Brigadoon-via-Bali design. The Dutch owners have imbued such a sense of aesthetic personality in the suites and lodges that it can be hard to work out if you’re in Scotland or Southeast Asia — but they’re also amongst the finest rooms in the Hebrides. The deliciously stylish restaurant and bar, with heart-pumping views across to Torridon on the mainland, are worth a visit regardless of whether you are a guest or not and the location represents the ultimate layover for hikes to The Old Man of Storr and Quiraing.

Price: Doubles from £215

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Best for romance: Kinloch Lodge

This lodge is perfect for a couples’ weekend

Location: Sleat Peninsula

With a reputation built on its kitchen (then, in the 1970s, home cooked wonders from original owner Claire Macdonald, now Michelin-star flair from experimental chef Jordan Webb), it’d be easy to forget the romance of this five-star boutique. First, there’s the location, overlooking the mesmerising Loch na Dal and Sound of Sleat. Then there’s the sophisticated, soft-tartan rooms and the exquisite service, be it fireside with a single malt or out in the heather with the hotel ghillie on a sunrise deer stalk (shooting with cameras, not guns). Also, worth a mention is the nearby abandoned ruin of Leiter Fura, a wonderfully alluring yomp along the coast.

Price: Doubles from £260

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Best for history: Hotel Eilean Larmain

Stay in one of the Eileen Larmain’s 12 historic bedrooms

Location: Sleat Peninsula

Named after a Gaelic seafaring hero, this 12-bed Sleat hotel used to be the gateway to the island. Flora MacDonald, of Bonnie Prince Charlie fame, departed Skye from its pier. The same jetty used to be the busiest port in the northwest Highlands and the largest store outside Glasgow was once based here. Which is to say it brims with history and ambience at every turn, from the grandstanding lobby portrait of Sir Iain Noble of Ardkinglas, hotel patron and far-sighted founder of Skye’s Gaelic college, to the dovetailed local’s pub Am Pràban, with trad music sessions, open arms vibe and signature range of blended Gaelic whiskies. The sense is this is a creaky hotel with history, retaining what brought people to Skye in the first place.

Price: Doubles from £80

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Best for views: Cuillin Hills Hotel

Is there a better view to have with your breakfast?

Location: Portree

First thing’s first: the panorama from the lawn of this family-run hotel is almost incomprehensible, scrolling across Portree to the black peaks of the Cuillins in the distance, leaving all comers in complete awe. There are 39 rooms and suites, making it the largest property on the island, but what also comes with the carousel of check-ins is investment (£2 million in the past five years) and here-and-now mod-cons: monster TVs, Nespresso machines, luxe amenities and QR code room service (also a first for the island). An infinity pool is in the works, plus co-owner and manager Edward Wickman is an absolute gent. Note, unlike other hotels the Cuillin Hills is open all-year round.

Price: Doubles from £88

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There’s something for everyone at the Three Chimney’s restaurant

Location: Colbost

Even if you never seen the point of a hiking or biking holiday (Skye’s stock in trade), you have to come to the island just to experience this sublime restaurant with six rooms. The seafront accommodation is subtle, not shouty, with a Noughties-Scandi feel and mini terrace for al fresco drinks, but, really, you’re coming here for the tasting menu and a la carte lunch. Once a croft, the kitchen is run by Welsh wonder Scott Davies and, alongside his Chefs’ Table out the back, he lives up to the promise of a near-zero mile philosophy. Creel langoustines are pulled from traps out the front, shellfish is picked up from Dunvegan harbour and the beef comes from Vatten farm six miles away. It’s popular — and expensive — for a reason.

Price: Doubles from £365

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Best for the great outdoors: Sligachan Hotel

The best spot for hiking up the mountains

Location: Sligachan

Perhaps only the Highlands could have come up with such a fantastical proposition. A slick hotel in almost the middle of nowhere (cue hit or miss 4G signals) and with an onsite craft brewery, fabulous pub and in walking and biking distance to stunning sea lochs and the Black and Red Cuillin, the most astonishing mountains in all of Britain. The landscape here is ripe for adventures, which explains why the place is muddy boot and backpacker territory, but also for those seeking solitude and escape. Rooms-wise, doubles are a serious upgrade on what the outdoors crowd typically expects — think rolltop tubs, Smeg fridges and luxe toiletries.

Price: Doubles from £96

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Best for families: Duisdale House Hotel

Travelling with the kids doesn’t need to be a headache at this family-friendly hotel

Location: Sleat Peninsula

The Sonos Collection operates three hotels on Skye, including Toravaig House Hotel and Skeabost House Hotel (see below), but this 21-bed property is the standout for families. Once a stately home built in 1867, then appropriated by the British army during the Second World War, it’s a sort of rambling place, with expansive lawns and gardens, beach access, grand piano lounge and Hamish the hotel dog. Babysitting services and children’s menus come as standard, while young ones get treated to a soft toy cuddly otter — the mascot of the hotel and a good excuse to visit the International Otter Survival Fund in nearby Broadford, a 10-min drive away. For Mums and Dads, an indulgent interlude comes courtesy of the Chart Room bar, with nautical theme, and cocktails made with garden fruits.

Price: Doubles from £170

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Best for country sports: Skeabost House Hotel

Coming with your dog? Consider the Skeabost

Location: Loch Snizort

Anyone for a round of golf? No, you’re not in St. Andrews, Carnoustie or Troon, but this old-school all-rounder comes with the premier 9-hole golf course on the island, as well as more country sports than you could shake a stick at. That’s thanks to full-time ghillie Danny Docherty, who’s a fly-fishing expert and dab hand at tickling salmon and trout that swim the rivers of the surrounding glens. Inside, the period features (sweeping staircase, high ceilings, stag-head lamps) measure up well against more sophisticated rooms and garden suites with balconies, while there are plenty of other highlights. How about 23 acres to explore, electric car chargers and dog-friendly treats?

Price: Doubles from £180

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