Isle of Eriska Hotel

Oban, Scotland


This is a magnificent piece of 19th-century Scottish magic tucked away on its own 300-acre private island a few miles from Oban on Scotland's rugged west coast.

The hotel is a Buchanan-Smith family owned property and son Beppo has guided this wonderful elegant lady to what it is today, a five-star luxury island retreat with a Michelin-star restaurant, spa and gym, a nine-hole golf course, a private island and acres of manicured gardens to wander.

Purists will no doubt prefer the 25 guest rooms at the main house; a wonderfully grand 19th-century mansion, with log fires crackling, floorboards creaking and that wonderful feel of elegance and pomp that only comes with houses like this.

But Beppo has expanded Eriska, with extra accommodation hiding within the gardens. Spa suites have their own outdoor jacuzzi and patio, conservatory, huge lounge and ensuite bedroom.

More secluded are the two-bedroom cottage suites, and even more so, the self-contained Hilltop Reserves, which offer private self-catering accommodation.

Complimentary tea and homemade scones at 4pm are de rigueur of course and there is free tea and coffee in the mornings if you want to just lounge around reading the papers.

Come the evening, it all gets more serious. After all, this is 3 AA Rosette and Michelin-star dining. Dinner is included in the daily rate, including vegetarian and fish options. It's a celebration of Scottish west-coast produce beautifully presented in an intimate dining setting.

The golf course, while not perhaps comparable to the many fine links nearby, is a worthy diversion along the banks of Loch Creran, there's clay pigeon shooting, archery, sailing, private fishing, biking, walking and a new indoor sports hall with a full-size tennis court.

The Stables Spa has ESPA-trained therapists ready to rebalance your body and mind, a 17-metre indoor pool, sauna, steam and gym.

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