The Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant can be found at the end of the pier in the village of Port Appin, within easy reach of both Oban and Fort William. It stands on the shore of Loch Linnhe and enjoying a magnificent panorama of islands and mountains, while the frequent arrivals and departures of the small passenger ferry linking the mainland with the Isle of Lismore from the adjacent pier are an endless source of fascination.
If you are looking for a truly relaxing experience in a truly idyllic location, then look no further: the Pierhouse Hotel is hard to beat. The accommodation is superbly comfortable, the service from the great team of staff is excellent, and the food is outstanding. You can read our dining review for the Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant here.
The core of the hotel started life as the residence of the Port Appin pier master and comprised two bow-fronted rooms flanking a boathouse. It was later sympathetically extended to provide an accommodation wing on one side and a restaurant on the other. The Pierhouse has its own car park in front of the accommodation wing, and has seven visitor moorings to allow anyone cruising these waters to take full advantage of everything it has to offer.
The hotel's main entrance leads you into the welcoming and attractive Ferry Bar, occupying what was once the pier master's boatshed. At the rear of the lounge is the hotel's well stocked bar. Off to the right is the hotel reception, plus the Lismore dining room, occupying that side of the original building. Off to the left of the entrance lounge, most of the remainder of the original building forms part of the restaurant, while the bow fronted area forms a lovely residents' snug lounge complete with stove and a porthole window.
Beyond the original restaurant is the large extension sympathetically built to increase its size in 1997. This forms a bright and attractive space and has a bow front that echoes those of the pier master's house. Internally it is spacious enough to allow well separated tables, while large windows allow diners to make the most of the hotel's magnificent views, which extend out over Loch Linnhe to the islands of Lismore and Shuna, and to the more distant mountains of Morvern on the far side of the loch. The rear wall of the lounge, and other public areas, are used as a gallery space to showcase the work of local artists.
There are twelve en suite guest bedrooms in the accommodation wing. This was built onto the south end of the hotel in 1992 in a style that suits the rest of the building very well. The accommodation wing occupies two floors, and there are six rooms on each. The rooms are individually styled and have an airy, uncluttered feel. They are also extremely comfortable and well equipped. Six rooms face out over the loch, while the other six offer views of the (often rhododendron-clad) hillside to the rear of the hotel. Two of the sea view rooms are classified as "superior", and all rooms come complete with kingsize or twin beds. Some rooms are suitable for family use. At the time of our most recent visit, all the guest bedrooms had recently been equipped with - extremely comfortable - new beds.
The hotel can cater for a range of private functions including weddings, receptions and dinners, and it is possible to take the whole hotel on an exclusive-use basis during the winter months. A wide range of outdoor activities can be arranged by the hotel, or you can simply relax in the traditional Finnish sauna. Disabled access is possible to the ground floor of the hotel, including in the bar and restaurant: and a disabled toilet is available. The guest accommodation is not wheelchair accessible.
The true test of a hotel is how you feel about it as you leave. We packed our belongings in the car and left the Pierhouse Hotel with considerable reluctance, delaying the inevitable departure by a few minutes with a last walk along the pier to breathe in once more the magical beauty of this remarkable place. You can read our dining review for the Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant here.