News, Culture & Society

Great Britsh boltholes: A review of Airds Hotel in Argyll, Scotland

Now that IS a room with a view: Inside the cosy hotel set amid epic scenery on Scotland’s remote west coast

  • The whitewashed Airds Hotel is located in the beautifully remote hamlet of Port Appin in Argyll, Scotland 
  • The tables outside are the perfect spot for soaking up views of Loch Linnhe and the mountains
  • Breakfast is ‘gloriously Scottish’, with Rothesay kippers, porridge and a dram of whisky on the side

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Take a 20-minute drive from Oban and, just as the road becomes a single track, Castle Stalker appears on its own island in Loch Linnhe.

Skirt around the loch, with the Morvern mountains looming beyond, until you reach the beautifully remote hamlet of Port Appin and the whitewashed Airds Hotel.

Inside is pretty appealing too, with a cosy single-malt-minded bar, two lounges with log fires and sofas, and a restaurant. There are tables outside as well – the perfect spot for soaking up the views of Loch Linnhe and the mountains.

Epic scenery: The view of Loch Linnhe and the mountains from Airds Hotel’s garden

The hotel is located near Castle Stalker, pictured above, which is sited on its own island in Loch Linnhe

The hotel is located near Castle Stalker, pictured above, which is sited on its own island in Loch Linnhe

Late spring also sees an onslaught of colour as this part of Scotland catches up with the rest of Britain: daffodils, cherry and apple blossom plus the vivid purples and pinks of rhododendrons.

Despite epic scenery, walks are gentle here. Just past Airds, a wooded path runs by the side of the loch leading to Clach Thoull, a giant natural arch in the rockface.

Carry on around the headland and you reach a small harbour with the popular Pierhouse restaurant.

Welcoming: Inside the hotel is a cosy single-malt-minded bar, two lounges with log fires and sofas, and a restaurant

Welcoming: Inside the hotel is a cosy single-malt-minded bar, two lounges with log fires and sofas, and a restaurant

There are 11 rooms, all decorated differently, plus a couple of cottages for families and those after a longer stay

There are 11 rooms, all decorated differently, plus a couple of cottages for families and those after a longer stay

From there, ferries head to Lismore island, and Airds staff can provide you with bikes and a packed lunch so you can explore its ruined castles and inlets.

If you want to head further afield, the hotel can organise trips on rigid inflatables to Mull and other parts of the Inner Hebrides.

USP: A showcase for the west coast, from the otters that play at the bottom of Airds’ garden to the easy-going professionalism at the hotel – alongside Robert, the Ayrshire-born general manager, there’s a friendly and efficient young staff.

The food: A shellfish and seafood basket of culinary delights. Loch Linnhe provided the mussels which made a memorable lunch with a glass of rosé and home-made chips. The langoustines are from the same waters, while the smoked salmon is from a smokehouse in Inverawe.

Most guests go for the tasting menu at least once, but there’s a good-value set menu too.

And this year, because guests have been tending to book for longer stays than usual, there are some more casual dishes, but with ingredients still sourced from the shoreline and local farms. Breakfast is gloriously Scottish too, with Rothesay kippers, black pudding from Stornoway and Finnan haddock, as well as porridge with a dram of whisky on the side.

The rooms: There are just 11 and they are all different. Room five is the most contemporary but the two in the loft are the most sought-after because of the views. 

There are also a couple of cottages for families and those after a longer stay. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk