A few weeks ago we needed accommodation on Skye and were really struggling to find a bed for the night. The island was 97% fully booked according to all the booking websites and the only rooms available were a couple at £400 plus and one Petite Double Room in Skeabost House for £120.
It must be about 13 years since I last stayed at Skeabost. Then a tired, draughty and slightly shabby old dame, with average food, average rooms and average service. The only thing that wasn’t average back then was the ghost activity. I’m convinced the Skeabost ghost visited my room during the night but nobody believes me!
After much deliberation and searching we decided to book the petite double room in Skeabost. It was only for one night, so a small room wouldn’t be too much of an issue and hopefully the ghost would be fully occupied in the suites.
We arrived to a lovely surprise. Skeabost has been bought by the Sonas Hotel Group and is currently going through a major refurbishment program. The bedrooms and public areas have all been modernised. We were certainly happy and contented.
|Beautifully refurbished room|
We checked in and were shown to our room which wasn’t as petite as we had expected. The room was modern and well furnished with an extremely comfortable bed. The bathroom was corridor like with a built in shower along the side. The shower was very neat and not everyone would be able to fit in it! White Company toiletries were a nice addition and smelled great but we did wonder why the hotel wasn’t using Scottish soaps – especially as Skye Soaps are almost on the doorstep.
We did find a gurgling and running water noise a bit odd but couldn’t work out where it was coming from. When we opened the window it looked like there was soapy water coming out a pipe and on the flat roof under our window…..maybe the old dame’s plumbing is also needing a wee bit work too.
We had spent the day dashing round Skye so decided to have dinner in the hotel restaurant allowing us both to relax and enjoy a beer. The restaurant is extremely modern with large windows overlooking the gardens and onto Loch Snizort beyond. The conservatory (once famed for its Sunday buffets) was not being used which seemed a pity as it has almost 360 degree views of the loch.
We were quickly settled with drinks and food menus and were soon ready to choose our drinks. We both really fancied a Skye Beer but there were none on the menu. We asked why there were no beers from Skye and were told that in Skye “you get Skye beer everywhere”. Hmmm but we aren’t everywhere, we are here and we fancy a Skye Beer! It seemed a wee bit strange but we decided on a beer from home; Innis and Gunn and a Loch Ness Brewery one. There were a few options for each beer on the menu but oddly we weren’t asked which one we would prefer.
|Loch Ness Brewery|
From the food menu, I decided on Isle of Skye Ale battered fillet of haddock (at least a taste of Skye Ale!) with homemade chips and tartar sauce (£13.50) and Raymond went for slow braised feather blade of beef served with mashed potato and chasseur sauce (£13.50).
|Fish and Chips|
The fish and chips were very nice with crisp tasty batter and delicious fresh haddock. The chips were definitely homemade and not the freezer variety you often get (uncle Neil would approve!)
Raymond was a bit disappointed with his beef. It almost felt that the beef and the sauce hadn’t been braised together. It tasted a bit like Monday’s Sunday dinner where you still have some gravy left over that you heat up in a pot and then add cold sliced roast beef to it. It was tasty enough with the creamy mash but not really a wow dish.
Since we had all night we decided to share some Isle of Skye ice cream for dessert and it was truly amazing. The chocolate flavour was so rich and filled with slivers of chocolate. We wished we had ordered some each!
|Amazing Isle of Skye Ice Cream|
After dinner we had a wander through the hotel grounds and down to the loch-side to enjoy the setting sun. We weren’t alone though – dozens of seals and thousands of midges joined us – it was quite an occasion!
By the time we returned to the hotel, fires had been kindled and candles lit making the whole place very welcoming.
We decided to sit in the bar and enjoy a dram each as a nightcap. This was presented beside the fire on lovely wooden tray. The perfect end to a lovely Skye day.
|A wee Talisker|
We slept well, and still managed to fit in the shower (after last night’s dinner!)
Breakfast is served in a very grand room to the carpark side of the hotel, just off the lounge and feels special. Antique furniture, heavy curtains, beautiful wooden platters filled with Scottish cheeses and charcuterie all set the scene to break fast.
|Scottish Cheeses and Charcuterie|
The choice available from the buffet table and menu is excellent with lots of cordials, Bloody Marys, homebaking, breads, fruits and fresh juices. You certainly won’t go hungry after breakfast at Skeabost.
|Scones and Muffins|
We decided to order porridge from the kitchen and then add some berry compote from the buffet table attempting to make a healthy start.
Our good intentions quickly went down hill when next we ordered a freshly cooked Scottish breakfast. Perfectly cooked and also just the right amount of everything, it was absolutely delicious.
|Scottish Breakfast minus sausages and beans|
After breakfast we had another wee walk down to the Lochside – not so many midges or seals this time. The green-keeper was busy preparing the tees for golfers and folks were getting ready to go fishing on the River Snizort. Skeabost has come along way since the last time I visited and we were sad to be leaving after such a short stay.
Hopefully we will make it back to Skeabost or one of her sister hotels, Duisdale or Toravaig in the near future. All of them offer excellent accommodation with Duisdale especially renowned for it’s food. The owners also have a private yacht and offer guests sailing trips from Sleat. We would need to get our sea legs first, but it would certainly be a very special thing to do.
PS. No ghostly visitors to our room overnight!
Isle of Skye
Tel 01470 532 202