The Queen of the Hebrides, a jewel in Scotland’s crown, the Isle of Islay is home to less than 4000 people and in joyous proportions, eight working whisky distilleries as well.
Known for its spectacular landscapes, views that stretch over the Mull of Oa to the Atlantic beyond, its wildlife and its rugged romance. It’s also got a reputation for five star hospitality and the superb warmth of its inhabitants.
So when asked where to stay on a visit to this South Hebridean escape, the Good Hotel Guide were quick to share the reasons they love these, the best hotels on the Isle of Islay…
A feature of Islay’s landscape for more than 150 years, Bridgend Hotel is a traditional retreat within easy reach of the island’s distilleries, walking trails and the lochs – plentiful with trout for the ardent fishermen amongst you.
A pretty country house, it was once the seat of powerful Lords of the Isles and dates back to 1849. Since then however, it has enjoyed a rich history hosting visitors, and they clearly haven’t lost their touch.
There are 11 rooms to choose from, all simply but elegantly decorated. Details such as local toiletries have been carefully tended to, and food and drink are in plentiful supply.
Of particular joy to guests is the choice of peaty Islay malts, island ales and The Botanist gin, also distilled nearby, available in the bar.
There is a real sense of grandeur at this lavishly decorated 19th centre house. Hosts provide a (literally) sweet welcome for their guests in the form of home baked treats and plenty of tea.
Not your average B&B, Kilmeny Country House is surrounded by 300 acres of farmland, making it superbly peaceful.
Rooms are generous, and there’s a family suite complete with its own kitchen for those who want that extra bit of independence.
A complimentary dram of whisky makes a thoughtful nightcap and plentiful breakfasts coax you out of cosy beds in the morning.
Located on Islay’s northern shore, Loch Gorm House, unsurprisingly perhaps, offers spectacular views over the bay.
Framed by carefully kept gardens, the B&B is filled with exquisite flower arrangements as the hostess also happens to be a florist.
Rooms provide a choice of sea or rural views, breakfast is a total feast and owners thoughtfully provide wellies, coats and beach towels for daytime adventures.
A whitewashed property with views across the Atlantic, Glenegedale House is a B&B with buckets if style.
A celebration of local produce, they serve local whisky by the fire at night, tea from the Edinburgh Tea Company, chocolates from a Highland chocolatier and porridge laced (naturally) with more local whisky.
Beaches are close by, as well as a small ferry terminal which can take you to the other Hebridean islands for a daytime jaunt.
Then return to one of only four exquisitely decorated rooms for a cosy night bathing in White Company toiletries and enveloped in Egyptian cotton.