The Cuillin Hills Hotel stands in its own grounds on the east side of Portree on the Isle of Skye facing south over Portree Harbour. It is surrounded by 15 acres of grounds that climb up the hillside from Portree Harbour. The hotel appears as an attractive collection of gables in views from Portree itself, and it comes as no surprise to find that the views back across the harbour are equally impressive: if completely overshadowed by the more distant and iconic views of the Cuillins Hills, 12 miles to the south and the UK's wildest and most jagged mountain range. You can read our dining review for Cuillin Hills Hotel here.
The hotel was originally built as a shooting lodge called Armadale Lodge in 1883 and has been sympathetically extended over the years into what you find today. The hotels public areas are spacious and stylish. They include the airy and very welcoming reception area, in which you will have your first experience of some of the best service you are likely to find in any hotel anywhere; the large and extremely stylish bar which occupies the old core of the building and the extension which projects to one of the hotel; the stylish, comfortable and relaxing guest lounge; and the bright and airy dining room which, like the bar, makes the most of the hotel's views. A notable feature of the bar is the raised area which is home to the hotel's extremely impressive malt whisky bar or "whisky library".
There are 26 en suite guest bedrooms at the Cuillin Hills Hotel. 19 are in the hotel itself, and 7 are in the lodge to the rear. 3 of the rooms in the hotel are on the ground floor, and one is fully wheelchair accessible. There are three "collections" of rooms, reflecting three different standards. The entry level rooms form the Classic Collection and are highly specified and equipped. Premier Portfolio rooms are larger and offer front facing views over Portree Harbour to the Cuillins and one comes complete with a turret offering a circular seating area. They also come with a complimentary dram of Talisker whisky on arrival. The most luxurious rooms are in the Cuillin Range. These two large rooms offer magnificent views and a superking four poster bed or an empire Queen bed with posted corners: and their equally luxurious bathrooms are equipped with large corner baths.
The Cuillin Hills offers a function suite adjoining the bar capable of accommodating up to 120 people depending on layout. As a result the hotel has the flexibility to host meetings and functions of between 12 and 120 participants, and its private setting and top class facilities make it very popular with local and not-so-local businesses and public sector bodies for meetings, conferences and training events. The hotel is licensed for weddings and its location, setting and views make it a magnificent wedding venue. Exclusive use can be offered for up to 54 guests, and each wedding is individually planned with the couple by the hotel's wedding coordinator.
Disabled access is good. All the public areas of the hotel are fully accessible to wheelchair users, and there is disabled toilet provision in the hotel. Three rooms in the hotel are on the ground floor and relatively easily accessible, and one room is fully converted to be accessible by a wheelchair user.
The hotel's reputation meant that we expected a lot from our visit: and it was a genuine pleasure to find our high expectation easily surpassed. The public areas and guest rooms are excellent, as is the food on offer. The Cuillin Hills Hotel gives some of the best customer service you are likely to find in any hotel anywhere in the world. This goes beyond the courtesy and professionalism you have a right to expect as the norm wherever you stay: and extends to a friendliness that says a great deal about the traditions of hospitality once the norm across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. You are treated as if you are a guest in a private home, and the impact is extremely impressive. You can read our dining review for Cuillin Hills Hotel here.