We stayed here overnight on 17th July on a DBB basis. On arrival, we were a little puzzled and looking for reception when a member of staff approached us and guided us to a lounge where other guests were indulging in afternoon tea. We were offered a welcome glass of champagne. A little later we were shown the location of the main dining room, the private dining room and bar area. We were recommended to use the bar or lounge area for pre-dinner drinks. Our 'escort' then took us to our room in South Lodge which is a separate building some 200 yards or more from the main building so umbrellas are available for the inevitable wet walk to the dining room but you have to be quick to get one!.
The room was spacious and overlooks the loch. It was very comfortable with a sofa and armchair as well as the obvious large bed and other furniture.The en-suite shower room was fine with a good supply of towels and robes. Hair conditioner does not appear to be routinely supplied but you can ask for it. NOTE: Best to do this before you get in the shower!! A large walk in dressing room also had a fridge but this was only stocked with water and fresh milk which was a very good touch. Other drinks were available in the ground floor sitting room which operated an honesty bar system. The TV was not the most up to date and if one were staying here for a few days, given the tendency to inclement weather, its likely its functionality would not be acceptable to many people who rightly expect top end services for top end prices.
On arrival in the main building for dinner we first went to the bar which is a relatively small room and all seats were taken by a private party of 10 or more people so we went to the lounge instead. This was fine and we enjoyed an exquisite selection of canapés with our aperitif.
The set menu for dinner had been adapted to reflect that we do not eat meat.The whole meal was very good and some dishes were outstanding. Service was impeccable. All tables were taken and consequently towards the end of service, there was a room full of very contented people, replete with excellent food and wines and the atmosphere amongst diners was relaxed. After dinner we (amongst other diners) elected to have coffee and drinks in the lounge. However shortly after we sat down in the lounge the large private party arrived. I do not wish to imply that this group were anything other than nice courteous people but their size simply dominated the room and this appears to have prompted other smaller parties to leave. We stayed but felt a little overwhelmed and regretted that the 'chat' we had enjoyed with other diners could not be continued. When we were leaving the main building we passed the bar area and noticed that a number of people who had initially chosen to end their dining experience in the lounge had moved to the bar.
Breakfast was OK and I am sure would be considered excellent if you eat meat. There was no evidence of a full vegetarian breakfast. That said, the boiled eggs and toasted soldiers were the best - ever!
Overall this hotel's target market is high end customers and to achieve this, Chef Tully is doing his bit but needs to consider vegetarians in the breakfast offer. However the hotel side needs some serious re-thinking. In particular, that there is no reception area ( I settled the bill in the bar) so there is no focal point to steer towards on arrival. The lounge/bar space is totally insufficient to comfortably accommodate all guests after dinner when both the main and private dining rooms are in use.
Since reading other reviews I have reflected on the total cost and agree with others it was expensive for what it is - a 3 star hotel. I have no trouble paying £70-80 per head for dinner if it is very good and this was and well worth the money. There is however no justification for 2 small glasses of Cloudy Bay costing more than the typical retail price of a bottle . Breaking down the total bill it seems the headline costs for Bed & Breakfast was around £200 per room and that is simply not justified by the standard offered in the public areas. Put simply it is fleecing a captive market.
Would I stay there again? I was asked this when settling the bill and I responded yes. I would now give a cautious yes depending on whether I see evidence of the management listening to customer feedback. Would I recommend the restaurant and Chef Tully? Absolutely yes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kinloch Lodge is a special place. It is somewhere to escape the noise and speed of modern life. Somewhere to relax and recharge, where you can take things at your own pace. The Isle of Skye is frequently, justly described as one of the most spectacular places on earth. Kinloch is in a particularly beautiful part of the island: down a long drive, at the foot of a mountain and at the head of Loch na Dal. Here you will find some of Scotland’s best food, roaring fires, whisky on tap and giant beds. It can be hard to leave. Kinloch Lodge was the Macdonald family home where Godfrey and Claire raised four children (and countless beloved dogs). They opened the doors of their home as a hotel with the intention of welcoming guests as they would do through their own front door. This spirit of heartfelt family hospitality was pioneering at the time and has not changed. Today Kinloch is run by their daughter Isabella Macdonald and Chef Director Marcello Tully. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kinloch Hotel Sleat
- Kinloch Lodge Isle Of Skye/Sleat, Scotland