Posted by: Rory Brown | September 29, 2009

The Summer Isles hotel in Achiltibuie – have you been recently?

fronthouseWhen we are on holiday in Achiltibuie with friends they are always amazed by the fact that, in the middle of thousands of acres of wilderness, there is a fancy hotel complete with a Michelin starred restaurant. It can seem slightly incongruous.

However, the Summer Isles hotel is no one season wonder. The hotel has been there for generations – in fact I believe my great great uncle worked on extending the building.

It really came to prominence when it was acquired by Robert Irvine in the late 60’s or early 70’s and smartened up.

Over the years the Summer Isles hotel has become famous for both the setting and the cooking of the current head chef, Chris Firth-Bernard.

The 5 course evening meals are fixed and not cheap but worth it if you are celebrating a special occasion. I have eaten there 5 or 6 times in the last 20 years. Every time has been superb.

In 2008 the Irvine family finally sold up and the hotel is now under new management. I was curious to see how it was faring so went at the end of August with my brother and his wife who were staying with us at Greenhill.

Unfortunately when we went they had made a mistake and lost our booking. Even though they were very apologetic and tried to accommodate us, it was fairly obvious that we ended up eating food from the bar while others around us were eating langoustine and scallops. A lamb shank and mash didn’t quite have the same appeal.

So, I’m curious to know from others about whether the hotel is still a special place to stay and eat? I had a quick scan on TripAdvisor to see the reports and it seems to be a place that people either love or loathe.

I’d love to hear others’ experiences.

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