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“A beautiful place but the hotel did not live up to expectations”

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The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Achiltibuie
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 19, 2013

The Summer Isles Hotel has a view to die for and you get the full benefit of this from the dining room and sitting room. I felt the decor in the hotel did not really do the place justice. The sitting room was very tired and not in the least Scottish and the dining room very bland and the linen looked very tired and not well ironed.

Our bedroom was one of three log cabins and sadly had no view and was also rather cold and not particularly soundproof. The bathroom was fine with a bath with a shower in it but one of the light bulbs was missing and despite being assured it would be replace this did not happen in the two days we were there and the pop up waste in the basin could only be popped up with the aid of putting something sharp under it to lever it up and again we were told someone would look at it and it didn't happen.

The Set Dinner was delicious and very well prepared but we thought it was sad that over two nights the only seafood to feature was one scallop (two nights running) but served in two ways.
We had been really looking forward to lots of fish positioned as it was right on the sea and looking out to the Summer Isles. The Amuse Bouche were delicious and the Scottish cheeseboard was really interesting but the portions so small you needed a magnifying glass to see them.
Nice canapes were served before dinner and we had a glass of champagne which was fine but it was served in a glass with a cocktail stick precariously balanced across the top with a raspberry, strawberry and blueberry threaded through and the glass had been dipped in a thick layer of brown sugar which spoiled the taste of the champagne. It was not a champagne cocktail so we had no idea why it was served like this. The hotel's suggestions of different wines to drink by the glass with every course were very helpful.

The dining room was very empty the first night despite the hotel being full and when we enquired why we were told a lot of guests were eating next door at the Gastro Pub. We tried this the second night and it was a fun place with a lot of the local fishermen in for a drink and some good seafood, simply served, on the menu. We enjoyed crab, langoustines and salmon at fraction of the price of the restaurant and wondered again why none of it was on the menu next door.

Breakfast was good with a lovely selection of fruit and a hearty Scottish cooked breakfast on offer.

All in all it was a lovely location and interesting and well prepared food but the atmosphere was somewhat cold and the whole place appeared a bit un-loved and run down. It lacked a really passionate and enthusiastic manager.

Room Tip: Try to avoid sleeping in one of the log cabin rooms and do try eating in the Gastro Pub (under the s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SummerIsles, Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you for your detailed feedback, I can assure you that it will not fall upon deaf ears and the comments will be discussed with my team in a constructive way. I am pleased that in spite of not quite living up to your expectations there were many positive experiences during your stay in residence and we do hope that you return in the future.
Kind regards Neil (Host)

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253 - 259 of 471 reviews

Reviewed August 15, 2013

This is a hotel with beautiful location and nice, informal and friendly staff. My only complaint was that my room was very damp, this was a room in the timber-building on the left side of the hotel.

But scenery and all that aside, this place is very much a foodie’s den, and I want to comment especially on the food.

In short: The food is excellent and very, very good value for money.

We came at lunch and went over to the pub for a beautiful platter fresh langoustines and a bottle of plain, but good table wine. A perfect treat at a nice price!

In the evening we went for the tasting menu and the recommended wine by the glass. The meal turned out to be French inspired, but with a north Italian touch of simplicity that allowed the terrific local produce to speak out. A very nice solution. Not experimental or avant garde, but honest, tasty cooking.

A nice compliment of pear and sauterne (?) granite started the meal, followed by parsnip "three ways", truffle and mushroom risotto, a seafood platter, sirloin of beef, a nice pudding with fresh berries and a visit from the superb cheese trolley. Three different versions of home baked bread followed.

Most of it was very good, bordering on absolutely brilliant and only some minor issues let down our menu. The red cabbage compote was far to sweet in my opinion to serve as good compliment to the tender beef, and the beef itself could have been more rare. It would also had benefited from meeting a really hot pan for a few seconds after (I guess) the sous vide cooking. It needed some "crisping".

The seafood platter had a taste of pickled herring. This is staple food for a Norwegian, but as a Norwegian I also know that raw onion and vinegar will kill any wine. Beer and schnapps (Scandinavian aqua vitae or German "korn") is the best compliment for pickled herring, hot smoked mackerel and ditto salmon. Why not serve a small glass of the brilliant Ullapool beer with this rustic food?

On the other hand: The tender, smoked scallops matched the wine brilliantly!
Maybe these are minor details, but the level is high, and these issues are very easy to fix.

After the meal and some necessary digestif (crisp whisky and GOOD grappa, serve by one of the nicest and most skilled bartenders I’ve ever met), we went over to the pub (all the 20 foot away) and met the locals. Nice people, very good local ale.

I short: Just a beautiful evening! Will I come back to Summer Isles Hotel? You bet! This place is well worth the long travel!

--- sorry or any bad english ---

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Onthemoveagain2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SummerIsles, Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2013

We certainly do not claim to be brilliant but thank you for your praise, foodie comments are noted and will be a source of inspiration to the team. Sorry about the damp smell, having spoken to my housekeeper she has made me aware of her over enthusiastic attempt to clean the carpet without considering the time it took to air the room before your occupation. Sorry about this and hope it does not deter you from coming back to our Oasis in the Highlands.
Neil (Host)

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Reviewed August 14, 2013

On the final leg of our tour of Scotland we booked 3 nights in the Summer Isles Hotel. The hotel is fantastic with the most wonderful food throughout the day but the evening dinner must be tried! The specially selected local produce and seafood was amazing and the attention to detail of cuisine, service and hospitality is first class. Our mid teen children also enjoyed the hotel as there is so much to see and do, there was even a signal on their phones, for a remote location this was great.
We would definitely recommend the hotel to others as every request was personally dealt with by the team there.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ottewill2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SummerIsles, Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2013

The Team are delighted that your gang had so much fun in our humble Hotel, we do hope you return soon.

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Reviewed August 11, 2013

This was our first visit to this hotel, but will not be our last. We were there for only one night and ate in the hotel restaurant which did not disappoint. Each course had a recommended wine which enhanced the already great standard of food which was consistent throughout the courses, and we appreciated the effort made when we requested an alternative to the first course. Altogether a great dining experience, and standard of service.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank aBlack-isler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

This is our second visit to the Summer Isles Hotel with the same set of friends, this time to celebrate a 50th birthday, and we weren't disappointed. We know the format - it's about a five course tasting menu and you are asked to arrive at 7pm for dinner at 7.30pm. We enjoyed a Kir Royale in the lounge and some canapes before being taken to our table. Each course was wonderful, particularly the fillet of beef main course and the cheese trolley which they are famed for. We had first class service and a lovely evening.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank foxxylizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SummerIsles, Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Thank you for the kind supportive feedback. The team will be delighted that you enjoyed the experience; such praise helps to keep them focused and makes them try harder for future guests.
Kind regards
Neil (Host)

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Reviewed August 2, 2013

This was our first trip to Achiltibuie, and the Summer Isles hotel made our stay in this gorgeous part of Scotland an absolute pleasure. We stayed in the cheaper 'log cabin' style rooms, which were more than comfortable. As advertised, they have no view, but you can enjoy the sun trap of a front garden with a G & T in the evening & take in the stunning view from there- something we would definitely recommend! We ate in the bar on the first night & enjoyed a fantastically fresh seafood platter with a good bottle of wine. On the second night, we ate in the hotel's restaurant, which was a lovely, but expensive experience. The food was absolutely excellent, but for that sort of money (top end London prices), perhaps the service was a bit 'rough round the edges'. The cheeseboard at the end was absolutely wonderful though! All in all, it was a great place to stay, we would certainly recommend Achiltibuie as a beautiful place to visit & if you can afford to splash out, definitely go for the Summer Isles.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Caroline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SummerIsles, Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 2, 2013

On the whole a great review, we have noted your comment regarding service and will focus on this aspect at our next team briefing.
We hope you return to our Oasis in the Highlands soon.
Thank You
Neil (Summer Isles Host)

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Reviewed July 29, 2013

This was our second visit to Achiltibuie, having stayed there last July (2012). We stayed this year in a luxury self-catering accommodation walking distance from the Summer Isles hotel and visited this hotel on a number of occasions both at lunchtime and in the evening during our weeks's stay.

The hotel/bar - the hotel has spectacular views over the Summer Isles and a super beer garden with a good-sized car park for those of you on a day trip who wish to sample the hotel's magnificent selection of food. You have so many choices to choose from. There is a daily specials menu in the bar and restaurant and between 12noon and 3pm you can also chose hot or cold sandwiches if you only want a light snack eg smoked salmon and cucumber, spring onion and cream cheese or pan-seared highland rib-eye. I loved the seafood platter, but if you don't like seafood there are nice steaks and lots of other dishes to chose from.

Lovely staff, particularly Rose and Emma who were great fun to talk to.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank monketteDouglasIOM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SummerIsles, Manager at The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2013

Glowing praise indeed! Thank you for your kind feedback, the lassies in the bar will be thrilled to see their names up in the bright lights. We hope you return to our Oasis in the Highlands again soon.
Neil (Host)

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Additional Information about The Summer Isles Hotel and Restaurant

Address: Main Street | Achiltibuie, Achiltibuie IV26 2YG, Scotland
Location: 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: $130 - $253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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