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“Lovely, lovely hotel away from the world”

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The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Achiltibuie
Certificate of Excellence
Cupertino, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely, lovely hotel away from the world”
Reviewed 4 July 2014

After driving on a single track road we arrived at the Summer Isles Hotel. What a great location and the room we had was such a delight with modern amenities. There was even a plug for my curling iron right by a mirror, something I had not found in Scotland prior to this stop. The restaurant was a delight to behold and the food was wonderful. We were seated at a window table and watched a squall come in and out over the water. Such a perfect setting. So peaceful and soothing to the soul.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
2 Thank JMV2424
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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446 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (122)
Date | Rating
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English first
Prestonpans, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Having taken the scenic road to get to the hotel, a warm welcome awaits. The hotel has great views of the summer isle and is very nicely furnished. The experience however, is let down by the restaurant and the offering of their taster menu - both for food and wine - which are both expensive and un impressive. The food portions were so small that several guest tables asked where the food was. The wine choices selected by the hosts were inappropriate for the dishes being served.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Nicky D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

I arrived for my one-night stay at this remote hotel rather later than planned having underestimated the time it would take to drive the 14 miles of single-track road to Achiltibuie. Having searched in vain for a reception desk I eventually spotted the bell push in the entrance hall. The pleasant young lady who responded showed me to my 'standard sea-view' room in the annex set to one side and in front of the main building just a few steps across the car park.
My double room was light and airy and the large window delivered the promised sea view, or at least that part of it not obscured by the trees and shrubs in the hotel garden. The bed was comfortable enough, but considering the price, the room was nothing special. Despite the warning in the room information that wi-fi reception in some bedrooms wasn't as good as it might be, I experienced no problems. There was no TV. The bathroom with its electric over-bath shower and cheap-looking fittings was functional rather than inviting. Unfortunately the bathroom window had been left open allowing access to a multitude of flying insects, most of them the dreaded Highland midge. The next morning the bedroom window sill was littered with mini-corpses. The tiny black flecks which adorned the white washbasin turned out to be more of the same. I was also unimpressed by the partly used tablet of soap left glued to the shower soap-holder. A cupboard in the corner concealed the building's hot water cylinder. The resulting noise from the plumbing was such that I had to keep the bathroom door closed.
I'd pre-booked the six-course dinner (£59) and found the daily-changing menu in my room folder along with the wine list. The hotel is justifiably proud of its wine list which runs to over 400 bottles, so it was good to be able to study it at leisure before dinner. The choice of half-bottles is very limited, although you can order wines by the glass from those recommended to accompany that day's dinner menu. These are priced individually rather than being part of an all-inclusive dinner-with-wine arrangement.
Dinner was served in a single sitting at 1930 with diners convening in the comfortable lounge from 1900 for drinks and canapes before being invited through to the restaurant with its panoramic views of the bay and the Summer Isles. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night in mid-summer. The meal consisted of the six courses listed on the menu plus an additional soup course served in portions which were very small even by the accepted standards of 'fine-dining' restaurants. The cooking was refined in an understated sort of way with predominantly subtle flavours. The food and recommended wines were well matched. Service was provided by young, friendly staff who'd been well briefed on the components of each dish and responded knowledgeably to questions. There were a couple of minor issues with service and one major one: the non-appearance of the dessert wine.
Breakfast next morning was the usual choice of cereals, juices and hot items cooked to order. For those who don't feel up to a full cooked breakfast, the menu offers a 'mini' version. I thought the provision of just a single round of toast was rather mean, but I dare say the helpful staff would have been happy to bring more if I'd wanted it.
Although the new management team and staff were obviously trying hard to create a welcoming and relaxing experience for guests and to maintain the hotel's reputation for fine food, I was expecting rather more for my money. At these prices guests are entitled to expect high standards across the board, It has to be said that in some areas, particularly the quality of the accommodation, this hotel fell some way short.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank CrossDoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

We stayed here as a couple for a quiet getaway. The hotel was very welcoming and comfortable in the country house style. Delicious food in the evening and at breakfast. Quite expensive but a real treat. We hope to go back.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dmmacrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014 via mobile

Popped in for lunch after walking Stac Polly. The staff were very friendly and kept popping out to see if we wanted more drinks. It was hard to say no given the beautiful sunshine and views. The food was really tasty and the beer very good. Try the mackerel pate.

Stayed June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Catherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SummerIsles, General Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
Dear Catherine C,

thank you very much for taking the time to write this review.
Since we have just changed the bar menu a few weeks ago, it's great to read reviews like yours to see that we made the right choice.
Maybe next time try our signature Seafood Platter, a wonderful selection of locally caught Langoustines, Oysters, Crab Meat, Hot & Cold Smoked Salmon and the Hot Smoked Mackerel you seem to have liked so much as a pate.

Best Regards
Chris & Julia
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 18 June 2014

If you really want to get away from it all, but still have some home comforts, then the Summer Isles hotel is for you.

We had many questions and various changes to our arrangements due to family logistics. Despite many emails to Julia which would have tested the patience of many, she dealt with all our changes and questions in a very helpful and professional manner. When we arrived at the hotel, we didn't even make it into the building before Julia came out, welcomed us very warmly and escorted us inside to register.

We were there for a friends special birthday and the hotel really went the extra mile and left champagne and fresh flowers for us, I couldn't think of a warmer welcome or better start to our weekend away.

We were a group of 5 and stayed in Matthews Cottage. This is a separate building and has 3 good sized bedrooms all ensuite. The ground floor double room has a bathroom ensuite with spa bath. The twin and double upstairs had shower rooms ensuite. There is also a 2 person sauna which we didn't use but looked good. The beds were extremely comfortable and we all slept well. The cottage has amazing, unobstructed views of the Summer Isles and is modern, clean and well appointed. We were only there 2 nights so didn't use all the facilities but there was a wood burning stove already set with wood and matches and dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid etc in the kitchen.

The food in the bar was delicious with excellent and friendly service. The menu is limited as per others comments on here but we didn't find that a problem, and the langoustine and fresh crab were the best I have ever had. The wines and spirits selections is extensive so most people should find what they are after. The set meal gives no choices but we were asked in advance about any preferences or allergies and that was accommodated in the menu selection for what proved to be an excellent meal.

The staff were all extremely friendly and accommodating, they obviously care about their guests and want you to relax and enjoy yourself, and we were made to feel very welcome. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to get away from it all and have great food, great views, great walks (and they do have wifi if you need to keep in touch!).

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Liz L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SummerIsles, General Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 30 June 2014
Dear Liz L,

thank you so much for taking what must have been quite some time to write this splendid review.
It was so lovely to have you stay with us, and it makes us very happy to see that all our efforts are paying off and our guests are having a really good time at the Summer Isles Hotel.

Hope to have you back for the next girl's birthday!

Best Regards
Chris & Julia
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inverurie, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 June 2014

You have to visit this special hotel to really feel the best of warmth, good food, friendliness AND unspoilt beauty in Scotland. It was such a pleasure to meet such a collection of interesting staff. Thank you to the most warm Marine Biologist student, The generous chef, The very petite Lithuanian waitress, The very friendly girl form Aberchirder and the tall Polish barman. Also all the helpful morning staff.
We also managed some terrific sea kayaking and cycling in this beautiful part of Scotland. Missing it already!!
T and M Boyle

Room Tip: We stayed in the log house which was very private and quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Megan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant

Property: The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant
Address: Main Street | Achiltibuie, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Ross and Cromarty > Achiltibuie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Achiltibuie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant 3.5*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Originating in the 19th century as a fishing inn and crofters' bar, the hotel has been developed over the last 4 decades into an oasis of civilisation in one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Britain. Renowned for its fine food and wine, it is a destination for foodies as well as those who enjoy walking, climbing and exploring in exotic landscapes. There are 13 letting units ranging from simple log cabin rooms to a sophisticated cottage with 3 en-suite bedrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Summer Isles Achiltibuie
Hotel Summer Isles
The Summer Isles Hotel And Restaurant Achiltibuie, Scotland

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