The island itself is amazing and the people there seem lovely.
Stunning location, the holiday cottage was basic but adequate.
There were however a couple of issues which significantly effected our stay.
Firstly there were no curtains or blinds on the upstairs window/ skylight which was situated directly above the only double bed in the property and so both us and our kids were woken at 5am when the sun came up. The downstairs curtains were also poor and let in lots of light, as did the poor quality curtains in the other small twin bedroom at the front of the house.
When we arrived the log burning stove also had a sign on on to say 'not in operation' and a warning not to use it which was a disappointment. As it turned out, it didn't matter too much on our trip as we had great weather, but it can still be nice in the evenings, or if there are colder/ rainy days of which we had one or two.
We holiday a lot in Scotland and we usually try to pick somewhere with a log burning stove. The properly was advertised as having a log burner so we should have been made aware on booking the property that it was not in operation as in all reality we'd have chosen somewhere else at that early stage. The boiler is also potentially temperamental, we had one evening with no hot water for some unexplained reason when I went to bath kids. It then seemed to kick back in and we had hot water for the rest of the holiday without any other issues...
The recent new owner of number 33 Chris Sellars was on the phone during our stay to try to figure out what the problem was with the boiler. At that time I raised with him the other issues effecting our stay, mainly the total lack of curtains in the upstairs bedroom, poor curtains in all bedrooms and burner not working.
I told him that curtains were a basic requirement of a holiday cottage... The quality of the curtains on the downstairs bedroom was also poor and let in lots of light but no curtains or blinds at all in the main bedroom was not on.
He told us at the time that he was aware of the issue but as he'd not had any previous complaints and was getting away with not fixing it. (but bizarre to admit I thought)
We also raised the fact that we'd not been made aware that the log burning stove was not working on booking the property.
At that point, he then of this own volition asked what he could offer to remedy the situation, I said that was up to him to decide what what he was willing to do, I even suggested that he go away and think about what he felt might be appropriate... At that point he said that he would fix the issues and then, "no if's ands or buts" we could pick a week that we'd like to return to the cottage and he would give us a free week of our choosing to remedy the situation.
We thought that offer was really generous of Chris to offer this, and more than made up for the issues we experienced.
We sorted the dates there and then during that week. All good...
I then received an email from Chris Sellars a few days ago, saying that he'd not been able to fix any of the issues, that he had a lot of 'remedial' work to do in the property including sorting the stove, rewiring and a new front door in order to bring it up to 'insurance standards' (not 100% sure what he meant) he then said that after the season was over he was going to stop letting the property as it was too much hassle so he was retracting the offer to us of our previously offered free booked week with him.
Incredibly surprised he would go back on his word 6 weeks before our holiday and on further pressing, he then admitted in the next email, that actually, he'd just decided he'd been too generous in the first place and didn't want to loose the income as someone else obviously wanted to book the
property at that point.
He also suggested at that point that we should have had the foresight to bring out own blinds on holiday with us if we wanted to ensure good sleep.
We have holidayed in Scotland for 10 years, we have never made a complaint about any other holiday cottage, or in fact any holiday we've ever been on either in this country or abroad. In fact, this is our first ever review on trip advisor!
On his final email to us Chris called us “professional compensation-seekers'.. Considering I at no point asked him for compensation, but he offered it freely himself, and also considering I have never complained in my life about a holiday, this was a bizarre and undeserved insult.
The general experience with Chris has left us feeling disappointed and annoyed.
The issues themselves would be all relatively easy fixes I would think and apart from those issues, the cottage itself is pretty basic but fine, but it was Chris and his attitude toward is that gave us a such a bad experience in the end.
Such a shame, as there was no need for this to be the case.
As mentioned stunning Island, awesome wild swimming places, nice locals, great vibe, lovely local cafe with great local food.
If we return, we'll just find a different property.
Superb place to stay, very clean and comfortable. Lovely garden right next to the sea. Perfect place to relax and a privilege to be on Easdale island. Wonderful community, this is how life should be. Beautiful scenery whichever way you look. Heaven.
This is our second visit to Easdale Island and I wish we could have stayed! People talk to you there - not intrusively but like you're one of the family, like they care and are interested. The cottage is lovely. It's a bit basic but it does everything you need of it and if you take anything away from Easedale it's the sense that the trimmings which we are pressurised into draping over ourselves and our houses are really unnecessary distractions to the art of just being human and living in the moment! There have been dolphins playing round the ferry this week and yesterday we had our lunch on the rocks trying to eat as near to the sea spray as we could. We lit the fire every night and just read books - can't remember the last time I did that at home! Wonderful!
If you spend your life working six-seven days a week, under constant pressure of deadlines and customer/target demands, never knowing your neighbours and craving for "peace", visit this traffic free idyll with its stunning scenery. The cottage is well-equipped and maintained with excellent local support. The community spirit is so obvious in its contrast to most modern day experiences and centres on the Puffer Bar which serves superb food. I have never felt so welcomed anywhere and cannot wait to return.