Toravaig House stands on the south east side of the road from Broadford to Armadale on the Isle of Skye's Sleat Peninsula, in a location which gives excellent views south west to the ruins of Knock Castle and Knock Bay beyond it. You can read our dining review for Toravaig House here.
The hotel was built as a large private house in the 1930s for the sister of Osgood Mackenzie, the man who developed Inverewe Garden near Poolewe. The house has avoided major redevelopment or expansion over the intervening years, and as a result it retains the lovely feel of walking into a welcoming and superbly comfortable home.
Public rooms comprise the guest lounge and the Iona Restaurant. The lounge is home to a range of comfy sofas and chairs, with ample table space for your afternoon tea or evening drinks. The window end of the room is dominated by a baby grand piano, while the rest of the room has as its focus the impressive green marble fireplace and, on cold days, the equally impressive wood fire within it. The Iona Restaurant is subdivided by an internal wall pierced by two arches, giving an already intimate and attractive space additional flexibility and creating a semi-private area at one end. A corner of the restaurant is home to a small bar offering a range of drinks. The restaurant and lounge, like the corridors on both the ground and first floors, are attractively decorated with paintings and other artworks.
The nine en suite guest bedrooms are all on the first floor of the hotel, and enjoy a variety of outlooks. A description of some of the rooms at the time of our visit helps give a sense of the range of accommodation on offer at the Toravaig House Hotel. Rooms included Eriskay, a double with an oak sleigh bed and a bathroom with an overbath power shower; Colonsay, a smaller room with a bay window overlooking the garden and, more distantly, Knock Castle and Knock Bay, plus a power shower in the bathroom; and Islay, a twin. Details of all of the rooms, and the facilities they offer, can be found on the hotel's website: see link above right.
Guests of the hotel and of the Toravaig's sister hotel, Duisdale House Hotel, can 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.
Toravaig House Hotel offers a range of facilities for small conferences and private business meetings of up to 20 people in meeting rooms overlooking the garden. The hotel's intimate and romantic atmosphere also make it the ideal location for a small wedding, and the hotel is licensed to hold weddings both on the premises and on its private yacht, Solus a Chuain. Exclusive use bookings can be arranged for those wishing to have the hotel to themselves and their guests.
Disabled access at Toravaig House is not straightforward because of the intimate scale of the ground floor accommodation: and all the bedrooms are on the first floor, so inaccessible to anyone unable to tackle the stairs. Guests likely to experience access problems are directed to the Toravaig's sister hotel, the Duisdale House Hotel, which offers better access and is located about three miles to the north east.
What really sets a stay at the Toravaig House Hotel apart is the excellent service you receive from everyone you meet, combined with the sense of intimacy that comes from the small scale of the operation and the romantic presentation of the public rooms. And, of course, the food: the dinners are simply superb, and quality of the breakfast is equally good. And as described above, guests also have the unique opportunity to sail on the hotel's private yacht. You can read our dining review for Toravaig House here.