Duisdale House Hotel occupies a striking Victorian edifice standing above and back from the main road from Broadford to Armadale along the south east coast of the Isle of Skye's Sleat Peninsula. If heading from Broadford you look out for the drive on your right half a mile before you reach the turning for Isleornsay. The hotel is surrounded by mature trees and enjoys good views over the Sound of Sleat to the mainland beyond. You can read our dining review for Duisdale House here.
Duisdale House Hotel started life in 1865 as a Victorian hunting lodge before being converted into a hotel in the 1900s. What you find today is the result of a fine refurbishment by the owners Anne Gracie and Kenneth Gunn. The result is spectacular: a chic yet comfortable hotel that combines contemporary boutique elements with a dash of tradition. The hotel's origins have been preserved, yet the public areas and guest rooms have a bold decor which is extremely impressive.
The public rooms include a large and comfortable guest lounge and the attractive Chart Room Bar. Both are ideal places in which to relax, and both make the most of the hotel's seaward views. The main dining room comes complete with a large conservatory extension that offers great views out over the hotel's gardens, which lie on both sides of a valley and are illuminated at night. The dining room itself offers romantic candlelit dining and, like the guest lounge, has a log fire on cold days.
Duisdale House Hotel offers a choice of 17 en suite guest bedrooms and a garden suite. The guest bedrooms are found on the first and second floors of the hotel, and serve to show just what can be sympathetically achieved in an old building by people with flair and imagination. The rooms have a variety of outlooks, with most offering views over the hotel gardens or the Sound of Sleat.
The rooms come with a choice of traditional (though king size) four poster beds or contemporary feature beds. The decor tends to feature either rich bold colours or striking blacks and whites. All the rooms benefit from good size windows. The bathrooms have been particularly well planned, with greys and whites predominant. Some rooms offer feature bathrooms including one with a central bath. And some have especially striking design touches, such as one with a false corner wall inserted to ensure the bed benefits from the views out of the window.
Guests at Duisdale House can benefit from the hotel's local contacts to arrange days hunting, fishing and cycling. Guests of the hotel and its nearby sister hotel, Toravaig House, can also take advantage of a highly unusual leisure opportunity. From April to September the hotel's private yacht, Solus a Chuain, makes sailing trips which allow guests to explore a wide range of destinations within easy reach of Armadale, including the Isle of Rum, Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis, and a chance to view some of the wildlife which abounds in these waters, including whales, dolphins, seals and otters.
Duisdale House Hotel is an ideal venue for a small wedding, which can take place in the dining room or Chart Room, or on board Solus a Chuain. The hotel works best as a wedding venue when used on an exclusive use basis, and receptions for up to 50 guests can be held, with overnight accommodation available for up to 35.
Disabled access is possible throughout the ground floor of Duisdale House, and disabled facilities are available: though assistance may be needed to get over the single step at the front door. Most of the guest rooms are on the first and second floors of the hotel, but the garden suite does offer ground floor accommodation.
Many aspects of a stay at Duisdale House come together to make it an experience worth repeating. Excellent service is combined with attractive and comfortable public rooms and guest bedrooms, all sympathetically created within a Victorian hunting lodge, and the food and overall dining experience is simply outstanding. You can read our dining review for Duisdale House Hotel here.