It became one of the most sought after staycation destinations post-lockdown and has always been the kind of place visitors dream of moving to. While the Isle of Skye is still in Scotland, its separation from the mainland (access is via a road bridge) creates an overseas feel. And life here takes on a very different form, enabling travellers – particularly those from urban areas – to fully escape the rate race for a completely different pace. Yet there’s no shortage of luxury properties, gourmet cuisine and mod cons nestled among the lunar-like landscape and wild coastal shores. These are the places to stay to enjoy a finer side of the island.
Back in the 16th-century, this was a hunting lodge. Now it’s a well respected, family-owned and run hotel in a remote part of Skye (although, most of Skye is by nature remote). Local craftspeople have been employed in the process of decorating this hotel, giving it a distinctly Scottish, yet upscale look. Homely rooms are all individually designed, with views of the nearby loch, fluffy robes and L’Occitane bath products. Guests can go foraging with the lodge’s own ghillie, take part in traditional country pursuits, play board games, dine on menus constructed to include ingredients from the Kinloch’s kitchen garden and drink at the honesty bar.
The Three Chimneys and The House Over-By
If you dine anywhere on Skye, make it The Three Chimneys. The restaurant has achieved worldwide fame, yet is a humble figure on the landscape, in the shape of a cosy white croft cottage. Located in Dunvegan, the restaurant is accompanied by a romantic place to stay, The House Over By. Part of the Wee Hotel Company, the hotel has just six rooms, with one on the ground floor catering for families. Each has Temple Spa toiletries and Bose sound systems, with calming, refreshing decor. And, as it’s right next to the restaurant, you won’t have far to go to get ‘home’ – a factor that’s especially handy on Skye, where the transport infrastructure relies on access to a vehicle.
Five minute’s walk from the island’s main town of Portee, this four-star Manor Hotel, puts you a little further toward the busier parts of Skye. However, set on a hill and surrounded by mature gardens, with views across the coast, you can still enjoy a sense of peace. 34 bedrooms come with Nespresso coffee machines, Bose sound systems, Highland Soap toiletries and 300 thread count sheets. Seafood is the focus at the Chargrill Restaurant, which provides excellent views, seasonal menus and a wood-burning stove for cosy evenings eating beside the fire. During warmer months, guests can dine and drink out on the hotel’s terrace, overlooking the Cuillin Hills.