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Cuillin Hills Hotel, Isle of Skye, Scotland
It may be a four-star hotel, but it has a five-star view across the water to the picture postcard brightly-painted houses on the harbourside, although it's the Cuillin mountains, perfectly framed, that will steal your attention as well as your heart. Formerly part of the Macdonald estate, this is an old-school hotel with a contemporary (if slightly dated) look, diligently maintained: everything is spotless. There's an impressive whisky bar and better still, a popular restaurant that also takes advantage of that staggering view - as do many of the bedrooms. You can walk to the centre of Portree or straight onto the coastal path, or you can just sit on the lawn and eat cake.
We embarked on the circular walk from the hotel - along the Scorrybreac path hugging the coastline around the Black Rock point, up the hill and back through the woods to the hotel.
Explore the pretty fishing harbour, Portree, with its brightly-coloured buildings or see the iconic wildlife by boat trip.
By car: around 5 hours 15 minutes from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and 8 hours 30 minutes from Manchester. Free parking on-site.
By train: trains run from Glasgow to Mallaig for the ferry to Skye, and from Inverness to Kyle, where you can take a bus to the island. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel's never going to be a hipster's cup of kombucha but teenagers might enjoy the in-room ordering app. The eye-popping scarlet poppy wallpaper and checked carpet in the 'drawing room' really shouldn't work, but it does.
Service & Facilities
We loved the chairs on the grass, positioned just so, to drink in both the view and a gin and tonic.
- Board games
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Premier Deluxe Room have big bathrooms and staggering views. We even spotted a pod of dolphins in the bay from our bedroom window.
Standard, Premier, Turret Deluxe, Premier Deluxe
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, hair dryer, tea and coffee facilities, bottled water, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Dine on the lawn on a beautiful late summer evening (with enough breeze to keep the midges away). We recommend the venison with clapshot, neeps and kale with chocolate venison jus. With locally grown leaves on the side you've had your five-a-day.
The Restaurant: modern British cuisine, locally sourced ingredients. Dishes include pork chop, Atlantic salmon and truffle parppadelle. All-day dining, open daily.