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Eilean Iarmain, Isle of Skye

Eilean Iarmain

This charming Victorian pub-style property is set right on the water’s edge. The hotel’s staff place great emphasis on speaking Scots Gaelic, welcoming guests in the language, and the public bar encourages locals to come and chat in Scots Gaelic. Local fishermen regularly come straight from their day’s work to have a drink at the bar, giving it a wonderfully friendly atmosphere. Rooms are styled fairly traditionally, with plain walls and carpets, dark wood furniture and flowery bedspreads and cushions. None of the rooms have a TV, and music isn’t played in the bar. The dining here is wonderful, offering seasonal, locally sourced ingredients for either an à la carte menu or, once a week, a five-course tasting menu.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

Rooms all feature antique furniture, slightly old-fashioned decor in keeping with the hotel’s Victorian history, and a complimentary bottle of whisky. The different room categories vary by size and view, with superior rooms looking out to sea. The suites each have two floors and are located in a separate building in front of the main hotel. Many of the rooms have interesting features and layouts, for example wood-lined walls, exposed beams and hidden nooks and cubby holes.

Location

Located on the shore of Loch Hourn, Eilean Iarmain overlooks the water towards southeast Skye, the Isle of Ornsay, and the remote and untouched Knoydart Peninsula on the mainland. The hotel is around a 15 minute drive from the ferry at Armadale, and 50 minutes’ drive from Portree. Surrounded on all sides by either mountains or water, Eilean Iarmain is a true rural getaway.

Food and drink

Breakfast is served in a light, front-facing room, while dinner is served in the restaurant. This is a choice of either à la carte or a five-course tasting menu, both of which use fresh, seasonal, local produce. There’s also a traditional, welcoming public bar which is popular with the locals and hosts a folk club featuring Scottish music every Thursday.

Facilities and activities

Adjoining the hotel is a tiny gallery exhibiting local artists’ work, and a small crafts and whisky shop. The hotel also owns its own gin still, and offers private foraging tours for guests to collect plants and herbs to create their own gin. Eilean Iarmain can also arrange activities from the hotel, such as wildlife walks, wildlife photography workshops and Argocat safaris: a tour of the local countryside driving your own all-terrain, off road vehicle.

Accessibility

Please note, there’s no lift in the property and many of the doorways are narrow, with low ceilings.

Our opinion

We love this hotel because it’s a wonderfully characterful property, run by an enthusiastically Scots Gaelic-speaking husband and wife team.

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