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“Good -- not great”
Review of Kinloch Lodge

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Kinloch Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 August 2014

My wife and I stayed at Kinloch House in July 2014 for one night. The accommodations were similar to staying at someone's old family house -- lots of family pictures around, family knick knacks, somewhat worn furniture, etc. Charming in that way.
The room (2nd floor in building separate from main house) seemed a bit small but was comfortable and quiet. A large sitting room with honor bar is on the first floor of this separate building. It was unseasonably warm, so I was thankful for the fan in the bedroom.
Dinner involves first meeting with a staff person in bar area for a drink and hors d'oeuvres to go over the menu and make a few decisions. The meal was very good and inventive (crushed popcorn on gazpacho, for example). Lots of staff. Breakfast was similarly very good.
It is in a quiet part of the island -- not much in way of shopping options or restaurants nearby.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank MMfromAustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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416 - 422 of 880 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed here for one night to sample the restaurant. It is hard to separate the two, but this review is about the hotel itself.
When we arrived we were given a glass of bubbly in the whiskey bar, where we sat in olde worlde charm. There are numerous family photographs around the place, and it does rather feel like you are a special guest of Lady Clare. Her books are on sale in the bar.
We were shown to our room, which was upstairs overlooking the Sound of Sleat. The bathroom is gigantic, and the underfloor heating was a nice touch. The water is indeed a brown colour, but that is because it comes from the river. It was slightly offputting in the bath, but enough bubbles helped! The bathroom fittings are all of the highest quality Villeroy & Boch, and Hansgrohe. The bathroom has a beautiful view, although this couldn't be appreciated fully, as privacy demanded pulling the blind!
There is a sofa overlooking the Sound, and a massive bed which was terribly comfortable. We had a problem with our kettle, but this was quickly remedied after a call to reception. There was a fridge with a jug of fresh milk, plenty of tea and coffee and shortbread biscuits that were like no other!
After our meal we returned to the room to find the bed had been turned down and tealights left burning - very romantic!
The hotel is in an isolated area on the Isle of Skye but this forms part of its charm.
On check-out, Lady Clare herself was in the reception area and spent a good 20 minutes chatting generally to us about the hotel, food and apologising profusely for the wet weather which meant the view wasn't as good.
I hope we can visit again!

Room Tip: Get the best you can afford!
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Janette59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

This property is in a beautiful location on the Isle of Skye but has been living too long on its laurels both in terms of its very average food and in terms of the accomodation. We paid a fortune for a relatively small and old room in a building beside the main lodge. The whole place needs to be gutted and remodeled. It all looks tired with old carpeting and fixtures which are average at best. We stayed the following night on the island at a Bed and Breakfast which was infinitely better and half the price. Whatever glory the Kinloch Lodge may have had in times past is not deserved by what it is now offering.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
9  Thank Cankenjan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We stayed at Kinloch Lodge for one night as we had opted for the DBB package. The reception is reached following arrows and seems to be the bar - which is fine as that is where we had our 'complimentary' arrival drinks.

Our bedroom was situated in a separate contemporary building (designed to look like the original Lodge but is less than 20 years old). We were given room 16 which had a pleasant side view of the Loch. The furnishings were plush and the bed was as large as it was comfortable but the TV was of a rather ancient disposition (which was acceptable as we were here for the views and the food). However, on entering the room one could feel that it was extremely warm (and for no obvious reason). We couldn't open the window much as i) it was held in place by a chain screwed into the window frame and ii) the staff member who showed us the room cautioned us against leaving the window open whilst eating as midges might enter the room.

We awoke at approx 2 a.m. and the room was very hot despite it being cool outside (and no heating was on). A fan was at hand so we used that to bring in cool air from outside and tried to return to sleep. Alas, the room remained inordinately hot so a sound sleep was not possible.The contrast of the temperatures between the bedroom and the adjoining bathroom was apparent when we arose in the morning. We concluded that there must have been 'something' that was keeping our room hot.

The cost of the DBB was £170 per person was means the room and breakfast cost £100 per person i.e. £200 for the two of us. It is questionable that this can be considered value for money.

If we had to stay again we would opt to pay for an upgraded loch view room (rooms 17,18,19) providing the occasion warranted the extra £50 plus per person.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank unana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

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.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank skyecorrina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

I came here with my wife for a romantic break, even though friends had warned us against choosing the highlands of Scotland in summer because of the bad weather and midges. Thankfully we lucked out with both!
Kinloch is a special place in an amazing setting. There have been some bad reviews on here, but I'm beginning to realise it's the same story everywhere when it comes to Tripadvisor. I've finally joined to try and balance out the neggie noras!
Our room in the old house was lovely with an amazing view. The bed was gorgeous and we slept like logs, not just because of the whisky! The food was exceptional. We are a bit sceptical when it comes to Michelin star places but it was not fancy or precious for sake of being artistic, it was just plain yummy. The staff are a great bunch, friendly, relaxed and helpful.
My wife and I loved it here and are planning to return for a weekend in witner. It's rare to find hotels with character these days, particularly in remote corners of the UK, and Kinloch is the perfect pad for exploring the many wonders Skye has to offer.
ps: Tips elsewhere on the island - go to Neist Point on the western tip for sunset, Skye Weavers is a great couple with a cycle loom that makes beautiful tweed in a wooden hut, a walk along The Quirang is a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Bradley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We came down from the summer isles to spend a weekend in Skye. We picked Kinloch Lodge and were pleased we did.
Our room (#5) had beautiful views down to the water, over the bay and had a seating area, so like a mini suite. It was finished tastefully and had an excellent, large bathroom with separate walk in shower.
The food in the restaurant was the standard you expect from a Michelin starred chef - yummy.
My only small negative was that the staff, although friendly and helpful seemed a little disorganised. For example I think I was asked five times what time we wanted for our dinner reservation.
Would I stay there gain - YES!

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view, and understand I'd you will be in the main block, or the new (& separate...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kinloch Lodge

Address: Sleat IV43 8QY, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > The Hebrides > Isle of Skye > Sleat
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Sleat
Price Range: £237 - £378 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kinloch Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kinloch Lodge, the home of world-renowned cook and author Claire Macdonald and her husband Godfrey, high chief of the Clan Donald. Enjoy exquisite views and sumptuous food in their ancestral home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kinloch Hotel Sleat
Kinloch Lodge Isle Of Skye/Sleat, Scotland

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